Normal Topic CIA Polygrapher Interrogation Techniques – The Alternative Question Technique (Read 232 times)
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CIA Polygrapher Interrogation Techniques – The Alternative Question Technique
Sep 19th, 2023 at 5:18pm
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To elicit an admission, CIA polygraphers will employ the Alternative Question Technique. It presents the examinee with a choice between two possible explanations for their commission of a disqualifying act. Like the theme development technique, it makes it easier for the examinee to implicate themselves with a disqualifying act as the polygrapher attempts to coerce the examinee into acknowledging. 

For example, to elicit an admission of theft, the examiner will ask the examinee did you take the money from the register because you used it on partying, women, and drugs, or did you use it to support your family? The polygrapher examiner would encourage the examinee to accept the later explanation as a face-saving choice. It is a “more morally acceptable” explanation, but the examinee has just implicated himself with the admission of theft. No matter which explanation the examinee acknowledges, he implicates himself. This is the trick of the Alternative Question; an examinee acknowledging either explanation for the commission of an act incriminates himself. Both explanations assume that the examinee has committed the disqualifying act, thereby accepting either implicates them. 

The CIA polygrapher examiner will employ a positive support statement, which suggests and reinforces the belief that the examinee isn’t such a bad guy and chooses the more morally acceptable explanation of supporting his family. The polygrapher will say this is an understandable and justifiable explanation. 

The CIA polygraph examiner might also employ a negative support statement stating that if the examinee chose the less morally acceptable explanation for using the stolen money on partying, women, and drugs, the examinee is of bad character, untrustworthy, and unreliable for a clearance. 

The goal is for the polygrapher to get the examinee to accept the more “acceptable” explanation and thereby implicate himself, although the “unacceptable” will do so too. 
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CIA Polygrapher Interrogation Techniques – The Alternative Question Technique

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