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HELP! Failed pollygraph. I can retake in 4 days (Read 2890 times)
Paste User Name in Quick Reply Box Boogie
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HELP! Failed pollygraph. I can retake in 4 days
Jan 12th, 2001 at 7:39pm
Mark & Quote Quote 
I recently took a polygraph test and employed counter measures. The tester Said he knew I was doing it because basically  my fingers were were sweating on the relevant questions and on the controll questions I had controlled breathing. He didnt say it in those words but thats what I got out of it from what my lawyer told me he explained it to her. The test came up inconclusive. I am going to re take the test but this time it is going to be with some one else who they say is more experienced in counter measures. Also I dont know if it has anything to with the fact that he mixed the controll and the relevant questions every other question. I am innocent and if I fail again this could be very detremental for my future.
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Paste User Name in Quick Reply Box George Maschke (Guest)
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Re: HELP! Failed pollygraph. I can retake in 4 day
Reply #1 - Jan 12th, 2001 at 8:36pm
Mark & Quote Quote 
Could you describe precisely the countermeasures you employed?

If you have been accused of a crime, then I think your best option would be to refuse to submit to any polygraph "test."
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Paste User Name in Quick Reply Box boogie
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Re: HELP! Failed pollygraph. I can retake in 4 day
Reply #2 - Jan 13th, 2001 at 4:27am
Mark & Quote Quote 
I inhaled extra and continued to breath a little faster and contracted the anal sphincter muscle  when the control questions where asked.  He asked the control questions with the relevant questions back and forth and when he realized what I was doing he started to ask me to respond the the questions differently than yes or no. One way was to say the last word of his question and then my answer, the other way was to give my answer with a slight head movement and no words.  I stress I am innocent but i think I responded to the relevant questions because I am scared that this could mess things up for me really bad and the whole thing makes me nervous just to think about it.  I want to take the test because it can help me out alot in this situation if it turns out the way I need it to.  I cant afford a real lawyer so I need to do what I can to clear my name.  I only have a public defender. (AKA public pretender). Any sugestions or help would be greatly apreciated.
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Paste User Name in Quick Reply Box George Maschke (Guest)
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Re: HELP! Failed pollygraph. I can retake in 4 day
Reply #3 - Jan 13th, 2001 at 8:10am
Mark & Quote Quote 
I'm not a lawyer, and I cannot tell you how you should proceed in this instance, but I can offer some thoughts for you to consider.

First, I think it was not a good idea to submit to polygraph "testing" in the first place; I'm surprised your lawyer agreed to this. Sometimes, prosecutors will agree to drop charges if a suspect passes a lie detector "test." That a prosecutor would do so strongly suggests that the case against the suspect is weak to begin with. If I were you, I would strongly consider canceling any second polygraph "test." If you feel the need to explain your decision, you can offer that you are not a suitable candidate for polygraph "testing" because you understand the trickery on which these "tests" depend.

I noted that while you titled your message "HELP! Failed pollygraph," you wrote in the text of your message, "The test came up inconclusive." An inconclusive outcome is not the same as failing. It means that the levels of your physiological responses to the relevant vs. the "control" questions were about the same.

You may well have produced strong physiological responses to the accusatory relevant questions. The key to passing a polygraph "test" is to produce stronger responses to the "control" questions. Are you certain that you correctly distinguished between the relevant and "control" questions? When applying countermeasures, it is important to do so only when answering those questions that you are certain are control questions.

With regard to the question order being mixed, that is normal. The most commonly used format in polygraph interrogations of criminal suspects is the Zone Comparison "Test," (ZCT) which comes in numerous varieties. You'll find further information about the ZCT on this message board at:

http://www.antipolygraph.org/cgi-bin/forums/YaBB.pl?board=Proc&action=display&nu...

Did your polygrapher specifically accuse you of employing countermeasures? This is a common bluff. If you should choose to employ countermeasures a second time, it would be unwise to admit it.

If you choose to submit to a second polygraph interrogation, you should review chapters 3 and 4 of The Lie Behind the Lie Detector and practice. In addition, consider purchasing former police polygraph examiner Doug Williams' manual, "How to Sting the Polygraph":

http://www.polygraph.com

The technique Doug Williams teaches is consistent with chapter 4 of The Lie Behind the Lie Detector, but Mr. Williams also provides illustrations of breathing patterns and practice question series that you may well find useful. Most importantly, the price of Mr. Williams' manual includes consultation by phone or e-mail, and this may prove most helpful. You can reach Mr. Williams by e-mail to <doug@polygraph.com> .

I wish you all the best in these difficult times. Please feel free to post any further questions here, and to let us know how things turn out.

Last modification: George Maschke - 01/13/01 at 05:10:26
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Paste User Name in Quick Reply Box Boogie
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Re: HELP! Failed pollygraph. I can retake in 4 day
Reply #4 - Jan 13th, 2001 at 2:05pm
Mark & Quote Quote 
I was not accused directly. My public defender told me what the poligrapher and others there were saying about me when they left the room together.

You are right it is a very weak case and that is why I want to take this opporotunity to clear my name.  the poligrapher told my attourney " on all of the questions that help us determine what type of person she is she was using a very controlled intentional change in heart beat and breathing". he told her that if  the controll questions wouldnt have turned out the way they did then he would have concluded decption for the relevant questions. 

My main concerne here is that whole sweaty finger thing, thats what made  it appear deceptive.  I dont know what to do about that.  or is there a better breathing technique I could use?

They indicated to my lawyer that the next time they would use counter measures aginst my countermeasures. Is any one familiar with this?

My understanding is that  the two metal plates that record sweat gland activity detected more activity only when the relevant questions where asked and basically that is what ruined the test for me because on all of the controll questions there wasnt that same sweat gland activity.

I just dont know what to do because I really do want to take the test again.  I just need to pass it this time.
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Paste User Name in Quick Reply Box Jimmy (Guest)
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Re: HELP! Failed pollygraph. I can retake in 4 day
Reply #5 - Jan 13th, 2001 at 11:28pm
Mark & Quote Quote 
First of all, I concur with George in that you should never have taken the polygraph in the first place.  Pass or fail, they still may prosecute you.  But in any situation, they will get you to sit down with a trained interrogator, without the benefit of your lawyer being present.

I suggest using a tongue bite (strong enough to cause pain, but not strong enough to break the skin) this time.  This is rumored to have a substantial effect on GSR [sweating].

I would also suggest using mental countermeasures at the same time (thinking exciting thoughts during the control questions). 

As long as you have more sweating during the control questions than during the relevant ones, you will be fine.  Properly applied countermeasures will provide for this.  Donít worry about controlling the sweating during relevant questions.

As far as the breathing goes:

#1)  Be sure not to breathe too slowly.  Follow the recommendations in the AntiPolygraph book for breathing rate.  Polygraphers commonly accuse those who breathe slowly of trying to defeat the test (whether countermeasures are applied or not).

#2)  Ensure that there is a gentle transition from inhale to exhale and exhale to inhale, each time.  A good way to do this is to pause, holding your breath for like 1/2 a second after each inhale and each exhale (breathe in, slight pause, breathe out, slight pause).  You should have no problem here...  Doug Williams manual is also a good suggestion--he has illustrations of the proper breathing patterns.

Counter-countermeasures are a joke... The only counter-countermeasure for properly applied techniques is to bluff the examinee into admitting that he/she attempted to defeat the test.  Under NO circumstances admit that you know about/are attempting countermeasures.  The best advice here is to play dumb.  "I have no idea what you're talking about..."
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Paste User Name in Quick Reply Box George Maschke (Guest)
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Re: HELP! Failed pollygraph. I can retake in 4 day
Reply #6 - Jan 14th, 2001 at 1:25pm
Mark & Quote Quote 
Again, based on what you've said here about your situation, I think it is highly unwise for you to submit to a second polygraph interrogation. Was your first polygraph interrogation a "stipulated" one? That is, did your public defender agree that the polygrapher's report would be admissible as evidence in court? If so, your public defender has done a poor job defending your interests, and you need a new lawyer.

Your polygrapher told your public defender that "if the control questions wouldn't have turned out the way they did then he would have concluded deception for the relevant questions." This means that your polygrapher thinks you used countermeasures, and he also thinks you answered the relevant questions deceptively, even though he scored your charts as "inconclusive."

Will your second polygrapher have the first polygrapher's report? If your polygraph interrogations are being conducted by a governmental agency, you can be sure of it. The first polygrapher's suspicion that you were deceptive and that you employed countermeasures is highly prejudicial. I think it is quite possible that given the first polygrapher's report, your second polygrapher will not give you a "pass" regardless of your polygraph charts.

Although I think it would be foolhardy for you to submit to a second polygraph interrogation, let me nonetheless address your questions.

With regard to polygraph counter-countermeasures:

  • A common one is to use a strain gauge to detect shifting of weight such as would occur if a subject were to use the tack-in-the-shoe countermeasure or to press his/her toes to the floor. You'll find illustrations of two common strain gauges in the message thread "Question concerning counter-countermeasures" on this bulletin board:

    http://www.antipolygraph.org/cgi-bin/forums/YaBB.pl?board=Proc&action=display&nu...

    If one were to flex other muscle groups while using the "anal pucker" technique, the strain gauge might sense a shift in weight. Anyone employing countermeasures who is concerned about a strain gauge would be best off employing other countermeasures instead.
  • A simple counter-countermeasure for the tack-in-the-shoe technique is to instruct the subject to remove his/her shoes.
  • Some people think that applying antiperspirant to one's fingertips is a good countermeasure. It isn't. But nonetheless, polygraphers have a simple counter-countermeasure for it: make the subject wash his/her hands. Some polygraphers keep a supply of alcohol wipes with them for this purpose.
  • Another counter-countermeasure, described in The Lie Behind the Lie Detector, is for the polygrapher to let the polygraph instrument continue recording physiological data for a minute or so after the last question has been asked. If the subject had been deliberately maintaining a baseline breathing pattern, any change in breathing after the last question has been asked may be taken as evidence that the subject employed countermeasures. Thus, it is important that the baseline breathing pattern be maintained until the pneumo tubes are removed from around one's chest and abdomen.


With regard to artificially creating reaction on the galvanic skin response (GSR) channel, Jimmy's suggestions coincide with my general understanding, though I don't have much specific information on this. In an article published in the American Polygraph Association quarterly, Polygraph, polygraph charts for a subject who admitted having employed countermeasures is provided. The subject, who had studied Doug Williams' "How to Sting the Polygraph" told the polygrapher he had employed the "anal pucker" in addition to biting his tongue when answering one of the control questions. The polygraph charts show strong reactions in the GSR channel to the "control" question on which the subject employed these countermeasures.

I would point out one possible misunderstanding that could arise from Jimmy's second point of advice about breathing:

Quote:
Ensure that there is a gentle transition from inhale to exhale and exhale to inhale, each time. †A good way to do this is to pause, holding your breath for like 1/2 a second after each inhale and each exhale (breathe in, slight pause, breathe out, slight pause).


I think a better way to put it might be that one's baseline breathing pattern should be "well-rounded." As Jimmy stated, there should be a smooth transition between inhalation and exhalation. If we were to compare it to driving a car, it would like the so-called "California stop" where a driver slows down for a stop sign but never comes to a complete halt such that the vehicle rolls forward and back on its suspension. What one wants to avoid a jagged baseline breathing pattern (such as would occur with panting). One wouldn't want to inhale, suddenly stop, hold it for half a second, and then suddenly exhale.

Last modification: George Maschke - 01/14/01 at 10:25:12
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Paste User Name in Quick Reply Box Shropshire Lad (Guest)
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Re: HELP! Failed pollygraph. I can retake in 4 day
Reply #7 - Jan 14th, 2001 at 1:38pm
Mark & Quote Quote 
I would never focus on a single dependent variable, i.e., electrodermal (GSR), nor would I ever pay any attention to a polygrapher's comments about what he claims to see in the charts regarding deception, countermeasures, or anything else. As already pointed out, well-chosen and effectively applied countermeasures (both mental and physical) designed to affect all autonomic-related channels are the basis for successful countermeasures. By and large, true polygraphic responses (ergo, those which successful countermeasures should be modeled on) are multi-channel, not single channel responses. And, again, as already pointed out, there is NEVER an appropriate circumstance for a post-test interrogation admission or confession on the part of the examinee.
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Paste User Name in Quick Reply Box Anonymous
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Re: HELP! Failed pollygraph. I can retake in 4 day
Reply #8 - Jan 15th, 2001 at 11:56am
Mark & Quote Quote 
I noted mention of antiperspirants used as countermeasures. Although I do not necessarily want to get into to it, that would not be the desired way to effect electrodermal tracings anyway. Electrodermal sweating (eccrine sweat glands on the soles of the feet and palms) is a function of sympathetic cholinergic innervation. This physiology would best be modified by using an anticholinergic drug such as scopolamine, either taken orally or, more likely, through one of the trans-dermal patch preparations available as an anti-nausea preparation given for motion sickness. Scopolomine, in addition to effects on exocrine glands, has others, including central nervous system depressant effects that could cause an overdose if improperly used. There also could be drug interaction effects for those taking medications:

http://www.healthanswers.com/Sources/gsm/patinfo.asp?drugid=286

Although one can clearly effect the GSR channel in the desired manner, it is a fool's errand in the sense that both control and relevant questions are similarly effected, reducing the likely possible outcomes to an inconclusive result. This polygraph result might have some utility in a criminal specific test setting, but clearly would not be useful in an applicant or on-board screening scenario.
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Paste User Name in Quick Reply Box Abby
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Re: HELP! Failed pollygraph. I can retake in 4 day
Reply #9 - Jan 15th, 2001 at 6:18pm
Mark & Quote Quote 
"I recently took a polygraph test and employed counter measures."

"I am innocent and if I fail again this could be very detremental for my future."

Well, why on earth would you employ counter- measures, if you are truely innocent? Hark, this is what's called a clue! I would venture a guess that you are guilty or at least withholding information about the crime for which you are accused.  If you want to help yourself, don't take another exam.  Don't waste your time. This is really the best countermeasure of all and there aren't counter-countermeasures for it. This is the best advice you can get from this site or others like it.  If you really want to help yourself, walk in and tell the truth. Be responsible for your action(s).  Start by telling the truth to your attorney. Tell him to attempt to make a deal or plea bargin with the prosecutor.

"The truth shall set you free."
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Paste User Name in Quick Reply Box Anonymous
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Re: HELP! Failed pollygraph. I can retake in 4 day
Reply #10 - Jan 15th, 2001 at 8:37pm
Mark & Quote Quote 
Abby,

There is a complete lack of reason and logic in the deductive process contained within your recent posting.  You quoted two statements from the initial poster (Boogie) of this thread.  In those two sentences, he makes five claims: (1) He took a polygraph exam about an undisclosed criminal charge for which he claims to be innocent and for which he honestly answered polygraph questions, (2) He employed countermeasures while taking that exam, (3) He failed his initial exam, (4) He will take a subsequent exam, and (5) He would like to pass the upcoming exam inasmuch as there exist undesirable consequences for him in not doing so.

There are no de facto contradictions in any of these claims allowing you to demonstrate for us that he is categorically lying (or even mistaken) and therefore require that we must logically deduce that he was lying in regard to the initial polygraph subject matter.  You might as well have chosen any two other of Boogie's sentences or no sentences at all in arriving at the conclusion you did.   The fact that you are apparently blind to the reality of polygraph error does in no way preclude Boogie or anyone else from realizing such and the resulting need to apply countermeasures in order to produce both a truthful and "no deception indicated" polygraph result.

It is, however, very useful for the lay audience which reads these posts to witness such a lack of logic from a pro-polygraph source and furthermore to witness your less than veiled accusation (I would venture a guess...) regarding Boogie and his connection to a matter for which you have no knowledge or evidence whatsoever.  I would suggest that you confine yourself to the facts in the future.
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Paste User Name in Quick Reply Box George Maschke (Guest)
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Re: HELP! Failed pollygraph. I can retake in 4 day
Reply #11 - Jan 16th, 2001 at 7:29am
Mark & Quote Quote 
Abby asks:
Quote:
Well, why on earth would you employ counter- measures, if you are truely innocent?

Professor Emeritus David T. Lykken of the University of Minnesota, a past president of the Society for Psychophysiological Research, provides the answer to your question in Chapter 19 (How to Beat the Polygraph) of his seminal work on polygraphy, A Tremor in the Blood: Uses and Abuses of the Lie Detector:
Quote:
...if I were somehow forced to take a polygraph test in relation to some important matter, I would certainly use these proven countermeasures rather than rely on the truth and my innocence as safeguards; an innocent suspect has nearly a 50:50 chance of failing a CQT administered under adversarial circumstances, and those odds are considerably worse than those involved in Russian roulette.
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Paste User Name in Quick Reply Box WhiteNoise
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Re: HELP! Failed pollygraph. I can retake in 4 day
Reply #12 - Mar 30th, 2001 at 6:31pm
Mark & Quote Quote 

a small point - Boogie i believe is a woman ... as is her attorney.  re-read her followup posts.

also, as for the idea of "just walk in" ...   the police are not, have never been nor ever will be the tool whereby an accused/suspected is "proven innocent."

primarily this is because, well, they are "pigs."

secondarily, because they have the 'burden of proof' in proving us guilty.  an institution isn't built on two methodologies that are so opposite - LEAs have obviously focused on the methods used to prove people guilty.  [ point of fact, in actual practice the individual has the burden of proving our innocence. ]

take care,

-dan




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Paste User Name in Quick Reply Box Jane Doe III
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Re: HELP! Failed pollygraph. I can retake in 4 day
Reply #13 - Mar 31st, 2001 at 12:22am
Mark & Quote Quote 
In responce to "WHITE NOISE's" most recent post, this is not an ANTI-LAW ENFORCEMENT website. Many of us "PIGS" are also victims of polygraph abuse either from attempting to apply to other agencies (pre-employment polygraph) or internal investigations. Most Law Enforcement Officers fear the polygraph just as much as would any other citizen. So please don't confuse your US v. THEM issues on this site. We have enough controversy on this site as it is.    
    Thank you.
P.S who cares if Boogie is a woman!
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