Very Hot Topic (More than 25 Replies) Rejecting false positive job applicants (Read 12357 times)
Paste Member Name in Quick Reply Box Gore Sassoon
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Rejecting false positive job applicants
Jun 26th, 2012 at 6:23pm
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Let me preface by saying that if you get a false positive then that sucks.  But a good question is why shouldn't you be rejected for a government position if you produce a false positive?

Polygraphs are good at gauging composure, which is a critical component in working with security and intelligence.  If you're rattled by thoughts of drugs, terrorism or confrontation (e.g. false accusations) then government work probably isn't for you.
  
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Re: Rejecting false positive job applicants
Reply #1 - Jun 26th, 2012 at 7:07pm
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Polygraphs are good at gauging composure

Can you provide the research data to substantiate this claim?
  
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Re: Rejecting false positive job applicants
Reply #2 - Jun 26th, 2012 at 7:54pm
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Stefano,

What in particular about that sentence causes you concern?

Symptoms of acute stress response are well known (I can't post links but if you google "acute stress response" and you'll find plenty).

If the words "gauge" and "composure" are giving you problems then the dictionary can help us out:

To gauge (verb):
to appraise, estimate, or judge

Composure (noun):
serene, self-controlled state of mind; calmness; tranquillity

Antonyms of composure (which is what we're actually talking about):
agitation, alarm, anxiety, discomposure, excitableness, upset, worry

Plenty of things can cause anxiety, alarm, agitation, upset, worry and excitableness.  The polygraph instruments (the same attachments used in hospitals) only record those changes.

The point of the post was to say that if you can't maintain your cool under pressure then you probably shouldn't have secret clearance.  It doesn't matter whether you tell the truth: it only matters whether you can remain composed under pressure.
  
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Re: Rejecting false positive job applicants
Reply #3 - Jun 26th, 2012 at 8:05pm
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What in particular about that sentence causes you concern?

I think most in this forum would agree that I can pretermit your tutoring in the lexicon.

What causes me concern is that you have ordained yet another false claim upon the polygraph. I asked you to provide the research and/or empirical data that you have to substantiate this newly discovered power of the polygraph.
« Last Edit: Jun 26th, 2012 at 8:22pm by »  
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Re: Rejecting false positive job applicants
Reply #4 - Jun 26th, 2012 at 8:54pm
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Stefano,

Nice!  Combative and insecure.  I bet the polygrapher who rubbed you the wrong way really enjoyed himself.

Now that your personal needs have been taken care of by your attempt to prove yourself to me (a stranger), I'm going to ask you for the second time:

What in particular is causing you concern?

I'll put the possible problems in multiple-choice form because your reading comprehension skills are, for whatever reason, not up to par at the moment:

A) The polygraph measures stress

B) If you're stressed, you're not composed

C) If you're not composed, you may get a false positive

D) If you lack composure, you probably shouldn't work where security clearances are required
  
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Re: Rejecting false positive job applicants
Reply #5 - Jun 26th, 2012 at 9:06pm
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So in other words, you have no data. It's all based upon whim and conjecture--thought so.
  
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Re: Rejecting false positive job applicants
Reply #6 - Jun 26th, 2012 at 9:41pm
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The classic moment of failure: resteer and discredit.  If you're unable to articulate your own thoughts then what can you do? I'll give you one last try, though, because it can't be your intent to ask broad questions and NOT get an answer:


What are you asking me to provide data for exactly?  You just need to narrow it down for me because, as you saw, there are at least 4 different interpretations.  I'm here, responding for your benefit, wasting my time with you, just make sure you get what you need.  The least you can do is ask an intelligent question by focusing it to a specific point.  This should be easy: you do love pretending to be intelligent.
  
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Re: Rejecting false positive job applicants
Reply #7 - Jun 26th, 2012 at 9:49pm
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Gore,
While your knuckle-dragger humor may generate thunders of mirth from the back corner of the donut shop, it does little here among those with some critical thinking.

You say that the polygraph can be a "good gauge of composure."

How so? tell me, how much amplitude of a galvanic skin response is required to show a deterioration of composure? Are beta responders more composed than alpha responders? What threshhold of thoracic apnea would indicate acceptable composure? Please elaborate on this newly discovered technique.
« Last Edit: Jun 26th, 2012 at 10:28pm by »  
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Re: Rejecting false positive job applicants
Reply #8 - Jun 26th, 2012 at 10:35pm
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Maybe humour would ease you up a bit.  I bet you typed those phrases through clenched teeth.  Think of this as a good anal sphincter exercise. 

Composure, as the dictionary already defined for us, indicates a mind that is tranquil and calm.  The polygrapher uses the polygraph to search for acute stress responses, which are motivated by fight-or-flight responses through abrupt changes in breathing, skin response and heart rate.  If you are stressed then your mind cannot be composed by definition.

Additionally, if you've the read the DoDPI, which I'm sure you have, one of the first indicators listed under "Truthful Attitudes" is "composed".  As you're well aware, the polygrapher monitors behavioural and mood changes.

So, the polygraph instrument is a good gauge of composure because that is its primary job.  If you're composed, you WILL pass because no ASRs will be picked up (i.e. you won't be anxious, you won't be worried, you won't be stressed, you won't be anything but relaxed the whole time).

I'm sure Bill Brown, the resident polyprapher, can corroborate that.  If you lack composure, it doesn't indicate that you will fail but you MAY end up with a false positive or inconclusive result.  If you have a false positive it means you weren't composed through the entire exam (otherwise you would have passed).  If you can't maintain composure why should the government hire you and give you a security clearance?
  
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Re: Rejecting false positive job applicants
Reply #9 - Jun 26th, 2012 at 10:45pm
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So you cannot provide any data, nor any articulation of your theory that the polygraph can gauge composure.

You may be powerful in the interrogation room, but in this forum, you are an intellectual eunuch.

Pailryder and Quickfix, I hope this is not an example of your bringing in a big gun, because it's a real dud.
  
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Re: Rejecting false positive job applicants
Reply #10 - Jun 26th, 2012 at 11:21pm
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Stefano,

I'm sure it makes you feel powerful to say things like "intellectual eunuch" but don't try to change the subject and don't run to your buddies.  Just point, like the intelligent person you are, to what's wrong with what I've said and make a counter-argument.

This is a conversation, not a way for you to react emotionally after everything I say and then make wild generalized statements.

Now, try it again.  Set aside your emotions, use your brain, analyse the statements and put me in my place where I'm wrong.  If it's not possible to stay focused and make critical analyses then just let me know.  I'll unhook you and file away your report.
  
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Re: Rejecting false positive job applicants
Reply #11 - Jun 27th, 2012 at 2:06am
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Yes, those polygraph machines can gauge composure because, after all, they have the same attachments as in the hospital.
  
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Re: Rejecting false positive job applicants
Reply #12 - Jun 27th, 2012 at 2:24am
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Gore Sassoon,

Your analysis of polygraph is off target.  Composure has little to do with passing a polygraph, it may be good in the pretest and post test interviews.  You should have ASR to some questions, and your suggestion that you were not composed enough is fallacious at best.  If you have research that indicates differently please post the link so I may study and learn. 
  
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Re: Rejecting false positive job applicants
Reply #13 - Jun 27th, 2012 at 6:52pm
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Set aside your emotions, use your brain, analyse the statements and put me in my place where I'm wrong.If it's not possible to stay focused and make critical analyses then just let me know

So apparently you have gauged my composure to be inadequate? Oh my, how can I go on?
  
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Re: Rejecting false positive job applicants
Reply #14 - Jun 27th, 2012 at 7:19pm
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Sorry, I have to side with Stefano on this (I can't believe I'm saying that!);  obviously a polygraph instrument cannot measure composure;  it's not a quanitfiable condition, although some aspects of it are (i.e. blood pressure);  polygraph components are not identical to medical devices used in hospitals;  first of all, a cardio cuff on a polygraph instrument does not record blood pressure;  it monitors and records relative blood volume; that's not the same thing;  you can calculate pulse rate, but you can't determine someone's blood pressure "reading", i.e.130 over 70, etc.  Furthermore, I have never seen polygraph pneumo tubes used in any hospital, clinic, or emergency room I have ever been in.

As a former clearance adjudicator, I can also say with authority that "composure" is not an emotional state that may be used to deny or revoke someone's clearance.  Behavior as a result of loss of composure certainly is;  I'm sure you are familiar with the term "going postal";  coming back with an uzi and whacking your co-workers is loss of composure but is behavioral;  raising one's voice in anger may also be construed as loss of composure, but no one has ever lost their clearance for that.

Stefano's point is on target here;  unless you have data to support your statement, it is opinion only.
  
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Rejecting false positive job applicants

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