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Polygraph Pain (Read 970 times)
Paste User Name in Quick Reply Box RoamingBack
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Posts: 22
Polygraph Pain
Feb 7th, 2012 at 12:30pm
Mark & Quote Quote 
Of course everyone in jail is innocent. And today when someone is caught lying, they are 'telling the truth.' We've seen so many lies presented in expose TV shows, movies, and even government hearings. Not only the Polygraph but now layered speech analysis and eye movement are touted as determinative in truth evaluations. The science behind most of these is the ANS (autonomic nervous system) and particularly the "flight or fight" aspect of the sympathetic portions. But all that aside, the so called science of 'truth' evaluation is not sharp and fails often. I have just experienced it and of course I am 'innocent.' But does it matter?

I recently took a polygraph in AZ for a civilian position with a Sheriff Department. I knew about the counter measures and even had heard the horror stories about 'failed' polygraphs WHILE telling the truth. As much as people believe folks who say they are 'innocent' are not, I wondered as to those horror stories because I knew people who lied and lied often. But then came my turn.

I was surprised at the type of questions (bestiality, pedophilia, child abuse and all forms of what I consider perversions) and was increasingly nervous. I had a history dealing with several of those forms of perversions in law enforcement and the questions brought back sharp and emotional memories (these were principally dealing with child abuse both physical and sexual). I mentioned that I had such recollections and was uncomfortable (don't know if that is right or wrong). The questions (and we'd gone through many without being hooked up, probably 40 or so questions just sitting in the hard backed chair for over an hour before hookup) covered lying to advance oneself and lying to supervisors and marriage, anger and spousal abuse. I had a very unpleasant (in the sense that 'it' happened, not in divvying up belongings or even in any confrontations - I felt the divorce was a major failure on my part and it embarrassed me greatly) divorce.

When the poly was done I failed the question (singular) about 'ever physically hurting a spouse during an argument' (the comment was 'you had a problem with that question). Well, I have never hurt a spouse in any way on purpose and have never had any argument that ever became physical. But I have always felt that the divorce "physically" hurt my spouse because of all the crying she did, and it remains an embarrassment. No matter that I discussed this...

It is painful to be called a 'liar'. It is depressing to have a job that you need (and one that you were qualified for and actually number 1 on the list) taken from you by an erroneous polygraph. It is angering that there is no recourse (depression is anger turned inward more or less) and that polygraphs have a history of such disqualifications and are still used in the face of strong evidence to the contrary. A polygraph is impersonal and cold and that adds a lot to the insults and demeaning 'suggestions.' In the old days when you were called a liar one could ask "for satisfaction." Today a 'group' of people evaluate the results of a machine and send you a letter saying you are disqualified and do not apply again. Society is decreased by this "type" of selection process and people's dignity and honor and history are given short shrift. Ultimately as these types of real qualities are less and less important we will find more and more liars and cheats and abusers who've got no conscience, have no emotions or feelings about their mistakes however great or small, filling jobs that are significant to society's continuance. Sad days ahead.   
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« Last Edit: Feb 7th, 2012 at 12:49pm by RoamingBack »  
 
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Paste User Name in Quick Reply Box stefano
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Re: Polygraph Pain
Reply #1 - Feb 7th, 2012 at 3:04pm
Mark & Quote Quote 
RoamingBack wrote on Feb 7th, 2012 at 12:30pm:
When the poly was done I failed the question (singular) about 'ever physically hurting a spouse during an argument' (the comment was 'you had a problem with that question). 

If this was the wording of the question, it was a poor choice. Even inserting the adverb "physically" does not remove enough ambiguity--getting an upset stomach, or even crying can be rationalized as "physical." Even the definition of an "argument" can be subjective. A proper question would have been "Did you ever hit, strike or kick your spouse?"
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Re: Polygraph Pain
Reply #2 - Feb 7th, 2012 at 6:30pm
Mark & Quote Quote 
Yes, that was the question. Pretty much exactly as I noted and I appreciate your comment. It is a derailing experience when the truth is viewed as a lie and you are told that "if you think of something else" let me know, almost an invitation to tell a non-truth.

I am pleased to have found this forum. While I don't feel good about the injustices that are perpetrated upon many (it would seem) honest people the large numbers takes some of the sting out of my experience. I frankly have never run into something so dishonest as allowing a machine to call one untruthful and then have absolutely no recourse or functional rebuttal. An applicant would appear to have only a 33% of a good outcome. Tell the truth, get hired versus, tell the truth and be called a liar (not hired) or tell the truth and get disqualified because "that" truth is outside of the acceptable criteria. Am I missing one?

Thanks again... I doubt that I'll ever submit to one again but sure wish there was a way to prove I was telling the truth.
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Paste User Name in Quick Reply Box Steven
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Re: Polygraph Pain
Reply #3 - Feb 8th, 2012 at 10:29am
Mark & Quote Quote 
RoamingBack wrote on Feb 7th, 2012 at 12:30pm:
Ultimately as these types of real qualities are less and less important we will find more and more liars and cheats and abusers who've got no conscience, have no emotions or feelings about their mistakes however great or small, filling jobs that are significant to society's continuance. Sad days ahead.   

What's upsetting is how these people are suddenly better qualified to find work than you are. It's as though one needs to borrow some of these otherwise negative attributes to assure the job desired.
How much havoc would those who get a job simply by passing a polygraph have to cause before its seen as being a ridiculous way of finding a suitable worker?
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