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New approach? (Read 883 times)
Paste User Name in Quick Reply Box Revenant
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New approach?
Mar 24th, 2009 at 6:02pm
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Now stay with me because I have a new approach to this.  We should not be trying to sway the views of polygraph supporters with stories of the wrongfully "failed" and how it has damaged their lives, because they obviously don't care.  It seems apparent in the short time that I have become a reader of these forums that the supporters are willing to take these "acceptable losses," and chalk them up to "being for the greater good."  The only problem is that, unlike a rule or practice that sometimes is unfair to the minority for the safety, protection, ect. of the majority, using polygraph as a disqualifier for employment hurts the majority as well.  This is obviously because the test lets in just as many "bad people" as it kicks out "good people."  So perhaps we should invite those who have "passed" the polygraph and are now abusing their position to post on this site!  Imagine what kind of an uproar might be caused when hundreds of people post things like; "I passed my polygraph and now I spread racism through out my city's police department! Thank you American Polygraph Association!" or while speaking in a heavy Arabic accent for shock value, "I passed the FBI's intense polygraph screening and now I plan to sell America's secrets to the highest bidder!"  Makes for a much more convincing poster board don't you think?

If the polygraph "failed" say 7-13% of those tested unfairly, but successfully eliminated ALL those that were being untruthful, a case could possibly then be made for the polygraph's use in hiring for police, fire or sensitive government positions.  And to be honest if this were the case I would even be willing to accept my own "failure" at the hands of the polygraph as acceptable, but the fact is that it doesn't.  If governments wish to use the polygraph as a tool to find things that they may want to delve deeper into during a background investigation then I'm all for that.  But to say that just because a person can't explain why they are reacting to a question eliminates them from consideration is not only stupid and lazy on the part of the department/agency, but also disrespectful of the person in general.

This has probably all been said before by someone much smarter who came before me, but just in case it hasn't I figured it would post it for my own venting process.

Thank you for your time.  End transmission.
   
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Paste User Name in Quick Reply Box T.M. Cullen
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Re: New approach?
Reply #1 - Mar 24th, 2009 at 9:48pm
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Interesting approach.

We HAVE brought this up before, mentioning the "green river" killer, and famous spies like Aldrich Ames that have ALL passed the polygraph.  The "Pro" crowd's response has always been "Gee whiz, no test is perfect!  Even X-rays have error rates!  Blah, blah, blah!"

To my knowledge (and GM would know more), there are no statistics, or attempt to measure how many false negatives there are out there.   Though, if you consider the pre-employment, periodic update type polygraph accuracy rate to be at around 50%, that leaves a lot of room for "bad guys" to slip through.  To be fair though, just because you pass a polygraph doesn't mean something untoward about an individual won't come up during the BI.  Also, it is probably a very small percentage of the population of persons poly tested for positions at NSA/FBI/CIA likely to be bad guys is probably very small to begin with.  That fact can be just as easily used to question the near 50% failure rate of applicants (e.g. GM) trying to get hired at the FBI.

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But to say that just because a person can't explain why they are reacting to a question eliminates them from consideration is not only stupid and lazy on the part of the department/agency, but also disrespectful of the person in general.


Most of all, it is NOT SCIENTIFIC.  For one thing, the physiological data measured by the polygraph are produced by the autonomic nervous system which is controlled by the UNCONSCIOUS mind, and so a person really CAN'T explain the reason behind a reaction.  Biology 101!

TC

P.S.  The politicians and government bureaucrats aren't going to continue the polygraph, or discontinue it based on logic.  They've made that pretty clear.  They will base it on (SURPRISE!) political considerations and covering their pathetic pencil-neck geek butt holes!  Most people don't care one way or the other because it doesn't effect them.  Popular culture, and TV mythology is fine for them!
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"There is no direct and unequivocal connection between lying and these physiological states of arousal...(referring to polygraph)."

Dr. Phil Zimbardo, Phd, Standford University
 
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Paste User Name in Quick Reply Box George W. Maschke
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Re: New approach?
Reply #2 - Mar 25th, 2009 at 1:19am
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Revenant wrote on Mar 24th, 2009 at 6:02pm:
We should not be trying to sway the views of polygraph supporters with stories of the wrongfully "failed" and how it has damaged their lives, because they obviously don't care.


It's not really our objective to convince polygraph operators of the harm caused by their pseudoscience. As Upton Sinclair reportedly put it, "It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends upon him not understanding it."

Rather, our objective is to inform the general public, in particular those who may face polygraph "testing" in the future and those who have regrettably been its victims. In my experience, those who are not blinded by self-interest (our polygrapher friends) readily grasp how ridiculous polygraphy is when they are provided an honest explanation of how it "works" (see Chapter 3 of The Lie Behind the Lie Detector).

Note that it is unrealistic to expect that criminals who have been enabled by government agencies' misplaced faith in the lie detector will boast of it on this site.
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George W. Maschke
E-mail: maschke@antipolygraph.org
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A great deal of intelligence can be invested in ignorance when the need for illusion is deep. -- Saul Bellow
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Re: New approach?
Reply #3 - Mar 25th, 2009 at 1:40am
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I don't think there's anything we could provide that would sway the opinion of polygraph examiners.

If we post stories about how people told the truth and failed they generally either say the person is simply lying or no test is perfect.

If we post stories about people who lied and got away with it they generally either say there's no proof the person was lying or no test is perfect.

And they only say that if they don't dismiss us entirely by claiming our opinion is invalid because we are not polygraph examiners and therefore don't know what we're talking about.

I don't think the purpose of this board is to convince polygraph operators of anything.
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Lorsque vous utilisez un argumentum ad hominem, tout le monde sait que vous êtes intellectuellement faillite.
 
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Re: New approach?
Reply #4 - Mar 25th, 2009 at 1:03pm
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T.M. Cullen wrote on Mar 24th, 2009 at 9:48pm:
The politicians and government bureaucrats aren't going to continue the polygraph, or discontinue it based on logic.


Ah, now I see where I went wrong.  I'm thinking logically.

George W. Maschke wrote on Mar 25th, 2009 at 1:19am:
"It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends upon him not understanding it."


Excellent quote sir.    

Sergeant1107 wrote on Mar 25th, 2009 at 1:40am:
I don't think the purpose of this board is to convince polygraph operators of anything.


I know its not, and I don't think anyone would post about getting away with lying.  Like I said I'm just venting a bit.  I had never read anything about the polygraph before my own and believed what most people believed about it.  That it measured reactions in your body that a skilled operator would be able to surmise from those reactions if it was possible the subject was being less then truthful.  I believed that logically however, because false positives do occur for whatever reason that an operator would be able to tell the difference between something that was just natural reaction and an actual deception.  I felt that even if I registered wrong that logically my documented history, experience, multiple interviews and personal references would be more then enough to clear me.  Apparently not though so I'm still a bit upset.

Anyway, I tell people about this site as often as I can since then so hopefully at least people will be educated as to what a polygraph actually can and cannot do.
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