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What about the NAS study?
Reply #30 - May 9th, 2001 at 11:59pm
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Mr. Barland,

I'm curious to get your opinion on the ongoing NAS Polygraph study.

1. Do you have any opinion as to what the study's conclusion will basically be?

2. Will the conclusion of the study bear any impact at all on how you view polygraphy? Would you view polygraphy any differently if the study essentially says the premises of polygraph analysis are scientifically invalid?

3. Do you think those who claim to be victims of incorrect polygraph results all fit into the reported 0.1% of error rate? Or do you think that the vast totality of those claiming to be judged in error are making it up?
  
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Re: Countermeasure considerations for the innocent
Reply #31 - May 10th, 2001 at 10:58am
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There is no longer a real need for foreign intelligence services to spend their resources developing countermeasures, for the techniques are all available on the Internet for a nominal fee or free of charge.  The sad thing about this, in my view, is that it is American citizens who are advising sex offenders, murderers, spies, and rapists how to beat the test.


Gordon,

Earlier in this message thread, you wrote "If you don't mind, I'd like to focus in this thread on the risks of using countermeasures..." Now that you've chosen to venture into commentary on ethics, perhaps you'd care to respond to the following questions I posed in my initial reply, which you had earlier shrugged off. For convenience, I'll re-state them here:

Our discussion of the ethics of polygraph countermeasures [in The Lie Behind the Lie Detector] is short and simple:

Quote:
We believe that it is not unethical for truthful persons--faced with a government that routinely lies to and deceives its employees and prospective employees  through the polygraph screening process--to employ polygraph countermeasures to protect themselves against a false positive outcome.


Do you disagree? If so, why? Is it ethical for our government to lie to and deceive employees and applicants for employment through the polygraph process? If so, why? (The  deceptions involved are discussed in Chapter 3 of The Lie Behind the Lie Detector).
  

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Re: Countermeasure considerations for the innocent
Reply #32 - May 11th, 2001 at 4:49pm
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Jane Doe III said:

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Re: Countermeasure considerations for the innocent   (Date posted: 05/05/01 at 23:32:34)  Logged

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Hello,
  It seems to me that Mr. Barland is stating that polygraph examiners are now attempting to detect countermeasures from readings that would normally be considered a "truthful" reading. If that's the case then that would explain the high number of "inconclusive" results as polygraphers are naturally assuming that the examinee is going to employ countermeasures on the test. Thus to justify their suspicions they label the test results at best "inconclusive". I am certainly no expert in this field, but I think that a so-called scientific "truth or lie" machine that was declared to be imperfect and beatable should not be used to judge peoples lives and should be relegated to the circus side-show circuit.....of course, that's just my opinion. I could be right.


Jane,

Federal agencies have specific guidelines about when an examiner must render an "inconclusive" opinion.  I believe that with some agencies, one of the situations requiring that decision would be when the examiner has reason to believe the examinee is engaging in countermeasures or purposeful non-cooperation.

Frankly, I'm glad there is an inconclusive category.  With ambiguous situations, better to render no opinion than to make a mistake.

Peace.
  

Gordon H. Barland
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Re: Countermeasure considerations for the innocent
Reply #33 - May 13th, 2001 at 1:12pm
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False + (5/09/01 at 16:59:14) wrote:

Quote:
I'm curious to get your opinion on the ongoing NAS Polygraph study.

1. Do you have any opinion as to what the study's conclusion will basically be?

2. Will the conclusion of the study bear any impact at all on how you view polygraphy? Would you view polygraphy any differently if the study essentially says the premises of polygraph analysis are scientifically invalid?

3. Do you think those who claim to be victims of incorrect polygraph results all fit into the reported 0.1% of error rate? Or do you think that the vast totality of those claiming to be judged in error are making it up?


1.  I won't second guess what conclusions they will reach or how they express them.  They have world class reputations.  I'm confident they will take a fresh look at the data and the issues within the scientific literature.  I do not know to what extent they will solicit information from the polygraph community, observe real world examinations, etc.  I do not know how they will weigh or resolve the various conflicting data and viewpoints.  I will be rather surprised if they don't contribute some fresh insights to the literature.  Anything new they have to say will benefit society.

2.  Of course it will affect my knowledge of the polygraph.  I strive to be open minded and incorporate all new information into the way I view the polygraph.  Would I reverse my views if they conclude it doesn't work better than chance?  Not unless they make a far more persuasive case than the critics have thus far; there is just too much evidence that it works far better than chance.

3.  The false positive rate varies from one type of exam to another.  It is probably lower in security screening than it is in criminal investigation, and vice versa.  Certainly, some who claim they were false positives, are lying.  Others are not.  I don't pretend to know what the ratio is.  I'm sure there are many variables affect it.  One is how one defines an error.  This is a variable seldom discussed, but I'm convinced it is an important one and worthy of serious discussion.

Peace.
  

Gordon H. Barland
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Re: Countermeasure considerations for the innocent
Reply #34 - May 16th, 2001 at 5:25pm
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Gordon,

In order to advance our discussion and to summarize outstanding issues (for only those posts/replies placed within your countermeasure thread by me--there are several additional from Mr. Maschke and others), I have prepared this short list of unanswered/unaddressed questions/comments for your consideration. I hope this summary will aid in your full and timely response to these outstanding issues:

(1) Victimization of polygraph screening examinees (replies #4, 18, 28) and how this victimization should be prevented in the future and how these victims should be compensated for past serious injustices,

(2) Any evidence for your claims of robustness of existing CQT counter-countermeasures (replies #4, 19),

(3) An evaluation of the sting scenario I suggested involving leaders of the polygraph world and their susceptibility to polygraph countermeasures (reply # 10),

(4) Reaction to my evaluation of your commentary regarding examinee dissociation (reply # 19),

(5) Reaction to my commentary about the ease of using posted DoDPI chart evaluation criteria to produce responses to control questions and consequently yield effective countermeasures (reply # 19), and

(6) Your apparent abandonment for both practical and theoretical reasons of the CQT (for RI technique) with knowledgeable subjects and your characterization of it as depending upon, for any success obtained, the na•vet* of a gullible populace (replies # 26, 28)

I would suggest/urge your beginning with that contained in point number one for the following reason: your credibility with the audience you are addressing on all other subjects depends upon your realizing and clearly verbalizing the plight that your profession has placed these individuals in. Although you are not personally responsible for these exams and their consequences, anything less than a full and complete statement about the victimization of the majority of those who both created/maintain and contribute to this site will ring empty and will appear to be nothing but idle lip service (to include your claim that those individuals have "your deepest sympathy").
  
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Re: Countermeasure considerations for the innocent
Reply #35 - May 20th, 2001 at 7:09am
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Gordon,

From one of your recent postings to George Maschke on the CAAWP listserv:

"Incidentally, I will continue to make occasional posts on various matters on your .org site, but I will be orienting myself toward the average visitor to your site, not seeking to debate the hard core, professional critics.  I think the scientific fora (including CAAWP) are more appropriate for serious discussions."

I presume since you have not responded to my questions/comments, I fall within your categorization of "hard core, professional critics." I am disappointed to see you take this approach. Although clearly a gentleman, this (what appears to be a) cowardly approach is neither becoming of you nor edifying to the reading public. Apparently, not only does the CQT depend upon a naive and gullible populace for counter-countermeasure success, but your responses regarding the same require an audience of only the most unsophisticated and naive of the reading and writing public.

If I have misjudged, a thousand pardons.  If you truly care to address the important issues raised, please do so in any forum you chose, the CAAWP list, or in Sanskrit in the Bangkok Gazette or anywhere else you choose.  Just let me and others know where we might look for answers.
  
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