Normal Topic Polygraph "Testing" of Informed Subjects (Read 2138 times)
Paste Member Name in Quick Reply Box George Maschke (Guest)

Polygraph "Testing" of Informed Subjects
Jan 8th, 2001 at 7:09pm
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[pre]American Polygraph Association (APA) president Skip Webb
ultimately joined Secretary of Energy Bill Richardson in
declining to explain how polygraphers are to handle subjects
who admit to understanding the psychological manipulations on
which polygraphy is theoretically dependent:


But American Polygraph Association member Scott Walters
provides an answer in a 29 August 2000 article entitled, "The
Rise in the Use of Countermeasures In Pre Employment and
Specific Issue PDD Tests" and posted to the Florida Polygraph
Association website. Admitting that polygraphy depends on the
subject's ignorance of the true nature of the procedure,
Walters laments:

   Today, there is a vast amount of reference materials
   available on the subject of PDD testing
   [psychophysiological detection of deception testing
   -- a buzzphrase for "lie detector 'testing'"]. These
   reference materials are being published in an effort
   to improve the validity and accuracy of the
   Polygraph Examination, and to improve standards
   within the community of Polygraph Examiners as a
   whole. Unfortunately, it is also providing
   individuals with a greater knowledge of how the
   examination is administered and how the results are
   determined. How many times have you heard a subject
   make reference to his/her understanding of what the
   Comparison question is and why it is used. Thus,
   rendering any attempt at a Zone Comparison Technique
   (ZCT) all but useless as a means of determining the
   truthfulness of that subject.
All but useless.

Mr. Walters' article may be read in its entirety at:


The Zone Comparison Technique (ZCT) to which Mr. Walters
refers is one of the most commonly used varieties of the
probable-lie "Control" Question "Test." Mr. Walters'
observations with regard to the ZCT hold true for other
polygraph formats, including the directed-lie "Test" for
Espionage and Sabotage (TES) adopted by DoD and DOE for
security screening.

For more on the TES see:


For more on the ZCT see:


Like it or not, those in the polygraph trade are going to have
to confront the question of what to do with those who
understand "the lie behind the lie detector."

George Maschke

[i]Last modification: George Maschke - 01/08/01 at 11:09:12[/i]
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Polygraph "Testing" of Informed Subjects

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