Welcome, Guest. Please Login or Register
AntiPolygraph.org
Make a Donation

   

Important: We strongly recommend that you use the free Tor Browser Bundle when browsing AntiPolygraph.org. (Here's why.) For an alternative, system-wide implementation of Tor, try The Amnesiac Incognito Live System. For better anonymity, guest posting is enabled, and you may use a fake e-mail address (e.g., nobody@nowhere.com) when posting as a guest.

Be aware that polygraph operators also read the discussions on this message board. If you wish to remain anonymous, be careful not to post enough personal detail that you could be identified (for example, the exact date of your polygraph examination).

Try the chat room to communicate anonymously with other visitors presently online. (Choose a user name and leave the password field blank.)

  HomeHelpSearchLoginRegister  
 
Pages: 1 2 3 
Reply Add Poll Send Topic Print
Countermeasure considerations for the innocent (Read 18329 times)
Paste User Name in Quick Reply Box Gordon H. Barland
Senior User
***
Offline



Posts: 68
Countermeasure considerations for the innocent
May 4th, 2001 at 10:58pm
Mark & Quote Quote 
Many of those critical of the polygraph urge the truthful (innocent) person to use countermeasures to avoid a false positive error, which they believe is very likely.  They claim that if you follow their instructions you will almost certainly succeed, that there is virtually no risk of your manipulation being detected.  They also claim there is no ethical problem because it's okay to "con the con man."  Whether you follow their advice is up to you, but you should be aware of the risks involved.

So that you may judge where I'm coming from, I'll tell you up front that I've been a polygraph examiner for thirty years.  Both my Master's and doctoral degrees involved research on the accuracy of the polygraph.  I spent the past fourteen years as a researcher at the DoD Polygraph Institute.  For the last six or seven years I specialized in countermeasures and counter-countermeasures.  I recently retired, and am now able to voice my opinions.  I do not pretend to speak on behalf of the Federal government, the Department of Defense, nor the DoD Polygraph Institute.  My views are strictly my own.

Over twenty federal agencies use the polygraph.  Some are very alert for (and experienced at detecting) countermeasures; others are less so.  I'm confident there is a similar degree of variablility among police and private examiners.  You may be lucky and encounter an examiner or agency that is not alert, and your manipulations may not be detected.  With each passing month, examiners and agencies become more sophisticated and alert, and your odds of succeeding are likely to diminish.

Contrary to the statements posted on the anti-polygraph sites (I'm speaking in the plural here; it's not just this site), many countermeasure attempts are detected.  Some types of countermeasures are obvious to the trained eye, others are not.  Moreover, I have little idea as to what percentage are detected, for I have no idea how many people attempt them.  But I can tell you with absolute certainty that the Government has detected many attempts, both obvious and subtle.

You may have noticed that the critics once were claiming that nobody applying the recommended countermeasures ever failed the polygraph.  They are no longer saying that.

Each Federal agency has a quality control office which reviews every examination.  I know of a number of cases where the examiner cleared the person taking the test, but the quality control office detected apparent countermeasures.  The persons were re-examined, and the use of countermeasures was confirmed.  Increasingly, it is the line examiner who is detecting countermeasures before it ever gets to the quality control office.

Trying to distinguish between the innocent person trying to guarantee the test comes out right and the guilty person trying to make the test turn out wrong is often impossible.  Therefore, few examiners are likely to clear a person believed to be manipulating the test.

In a security screening situation, even though the examinee denies manipulating the test, Federal agencies are loathe to hire a person who is believed to be manipulating.  The person who feels that he or she should decide for him or herself which security measures to abide by and which to flaunt is not a person they are likely to entrust with the most sensitive secrets America has.  It's an old saying, but true: security clearances are a privilege, not a right.

If you have nothing significant to hide from the examiner, I urge you not to augment your reactions on the controls.  If your attempts are detected, as is increasingly likely, you are shooting yourself in the foot.

I know this advice will be hotly contested, for those who write on these sites firmly believe they are correct, and that the polygraph is an evil which must be eradicated.  They are emotionally dedicated to their cause.  My advice is not for them.  It is for the person who is about to take the test, who is open minded, who wishes to know the risks as well as the prize. 

Peace.
Back to top
 

Gordon H. Barland
WWW  
IP Logged
 
Paste User Name in Quick Reply Box George W. Maschke
Global Moderator
*****
Offline


Unbeliever

Posts: 5327
The Hague, The Netherlands
Questions and Comments
Reply #1 - May 5th, 2001 at 7:55am
Mark & Quote Quote 
Gordon,

Thank you for sharing your thoughts on the issue of countermeasures use by innocent subjects. I've got several questions and comments.

Quote:
Many of those critical of the polygraph urge the truthful (innocent) person to use countermeasures to avoid a false positive error, which they believe is very likely. They claim that if you follow their instructions you will almost certainly succeed, that there is virtually no risk of your manipulation being detected. They also claim there is no ethical problem because it's okay to "con the con man." Whether you follow their advice is up to you, but you should be aware of the risks involved.


Am I correct in supposing that you include me and Mr. Scalabrini in your remarks? I would point out that in The Lie Behind the Lie Detector, we do not "urge" anyone to employ countermeasures. To be sure, we counsel anyone accused of a crime to refuse to submit to any polygraph "test." For those facing a polygraph screening interrogation, we offer options ranging from refusing to submit, to being completely honest with the polygrapher about one's level of knowledge about the trickery on which polygraphy depends and requesting that the "test" requirement be waived, to the use of countermeasures to protect against a false positive outcome. The likelihood of a false positive outcome in a non-science based "test" like a polygraph interrogation cannot be determined empirically, but we agree with University of Minnesota Professor Emeritus David T. Lykken, who writes at p. 277 of A Tremor in the Blood: Uses and Abuses of the Lie Detector, "...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..."

I am not aware that we have explicitly stated anywhere that there is virtually no risk of countermeasures attempts being detected. However, in countermeasures studies conducted by Professor Charles R. Honts of Boise State University (see the bibliography of The Lie Behind the Lie Detector for citations and abstracts), polygraphers were not able to detect countermeasures attempts at better than chance levels of accuracy.

Regarding the ethics of using polygraph countermeasures to protect oneself from a false positive outcome, I think it is Doug Williams who has specifically referred to "conning a con man." Similarly, we begin chapter 4 of The Lie Behind the Lie Detector by quoting the title of a late 16th century play by English playwright Henry Chettle: 'Tis No Deceit to Deceive the Deceiver. This principle has a long tradition in our culture and may well be universal. Our discussion of the ethics of polygraph countermeasures 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).

I fully agree with you that it is up to the reader to choose whether to use any of the techniques described in The Lie Behind the Lie Detector to protect against a false positive outcome.

(continued in next post)
Back to top
 

George W. Maschke
E-mail: maschke@antipolygraph.org
PGP Public Key: 316A947C
Bitmessage: BM-GtK3fjwGHLLcdRRsYU9eHRdPGxGabbuL
Twitter: georgemaschke
Tel/SMS: 1-424-835-1225
SIP: georgemaschke@ostel.co
Encrypted voice and text chat (XMPP via Jitsi): georgemaschke@jit.si
Postal mail: Van Trigtstraat 53, 2597 VX The Hague, The Netherlands
Personal Statement: "Too Hot of a Potato"

A great deal of intelligence can be invested in ignorance when the need for illusion is deep. -- Saul Bellow
WWW George W. Maschke  
IP Logged
 
Paste User Name in Quick Reply Box George W. Maschke
Global Moderator
*****
Offline


Unbeliever

Posts: 5327
The Hague, The Netherlands
Questions and Comments (continued)
Reply #2 - May 5th, 2001 at 7:59am
Mark & Quote Quote 
(continued)

You also wrote:

Quote:
Contrary to the statements posted on the anti-polygraph sites (I'm speaking in the plural here; it's not just this site), many countermeasure attempts are detected. Some types of countermeasures are obvious to the trained eye, others are not. Moreover, I have little idea as to what percentage are detected, for I have no idea how many people attempt them. But I can tell you with absolute certainty that the Government has detected many attempts, both obvious and subtle.


I am not aware that Mr. Scalabrini and I have ever claimed that countermeasures attempts are undetectable. But I think you blur the distinction between naive and sophisticated use of countermeasures. Some people who do not understand the assumptions based on which polygraphers infer truth vs. deception may believe that the polygraph "test" can be passed by coughing, or flexing one's arm, or wiggling one's toes, or by breathing slowly and evenly. Such manipulations might well be detected by an alert polygrapher, and are unlikely to help a person in passing. But none of the countermeasures described in The Lie Behind the Lie Detector are obvious to the trained eye, whether that eye is observing the subject or poring over a polygraph chart, and there is no evidence in the peer-reviewed scientific literature that polygraphers can detect the use of these countermeasures at better than chance levels of accuracy.

Indeed, in a recent non-peer-reviewed report by Charles R. Honts, Susan L. Amato, and Anne K. Gordon titled "Effects of Spontaneous Countermeasures Used Against the Comparison Question Test" (Polygraph, Vol. 30 (2001), No. 1, pp. 1-9), polygraphers were unable to identify even unsophisticated countermeasures attempts at better than chance levels:

Quote:
The present study also examined the ability of highly trained polygraph examiners to detect the use of countermeasures. The results of this study indicate that they cannot detect the use of spontaneous [i.e., untrained] countermeasures. Their ratings of the likelihood of countermeasure use were generally unreliable and were not associated with actual countermeasure use at better than chance levels. Field polygraph examiners generally appear to operate under the notion that a detection of countermeasure attempts is synonymous with attempted deception to the relevant questions of the examination... Clearly, that notion is incorrect. The results of this study show that an examiner's decision of countermeasure use is unrelated to both countermeasure use, and to deception. Our analyses indicated that almost half of the subjects judged to be using countermeasures were in fact Innocent subjects. These results strongly suggest that the field practice of equating countermeasure attempts with deception to the relevant issues of an examination should be abandoned.


In Honts et al.'s laboratory study, which involved a mock crime scenario, 89.6% of the programmed guilty subjects and 45.8% of the programmed innocent subjects reported the use of spontaneous countermeasures, that is, although they had received no training in polygraph countermeasures, they did things that they imagined would help them to pass. (We can be confident that the subjects in Honts et al.'s study had not read The Lie Behind the Lie Detector, as the study was conducted before the 18 September 2000 release of our book.)

Honts et al.'s study suggests that unsophisticated countermeasures attempts are quite common -- even by truthful subjects -- and that polygraphers cannot detect them at better than chance levels. The countermeasures described in The Lie Behind the Lie Detector would arguably be much harder to detect than unsophisticated countermeasures attempts, as they are quite subtle, replicate the reactions deemed by DoDPI doctrine to be significant, and those applying them will be well aware of the distinction between "control" (also known as "comparison") questions, relevant questions, and irrelevant questions and will know to augment their reactions only to the "control" questions.

Absent an admission from the subject that he/she used countermeasures, how can a polygraph examiner confirm that any of the various countermeasures described in The Lie Behind the Lie Detector were employed? (The answer "I know, but I cannot tell you" is not convincing.)

(continued in next post)
Back to top
 

George W. Maschke
E-mail: maschke@antipolygraph.org
PGP Public Key: 316A947C
Bitmessage: BM-GtK3fjwGHLLcdRRsYU9eHRdPGxGabbuL
Twitter: georgemaschke
Tel/SMS: 1-424-835-1225
SIP: georgemaschke@ostel.co
Encrypted voice and text chat (XMPP via Jitsi): georgemaschke@jit.si
Postal mail: Van Trigtstraat 53, 2597 VX The Hague, The Netherlands
Personal Statement: "Too Hot of a Potato"

A great deal of intelligence can be invested in ignorance when the need for illusion is deep. -- Saul Bellow
WWW George W. Maschke  
IP Logged
 
Paste User Name in Quick Reply Box George W. Maschke
Global Moderator
*****
Offline


Unbeliever

Posts: 5327
The Hague, The Netherlands
Questions and Comments (continued)
Reply #3 - May 5th, 2001 at 8:02am
Mark & Quote Quote 
(continued)

Gordon, you advise truthful subjects not to augment their physiological responses to the "control" questions. Let us suppose a subject heeds your counsel and instead adopts the "complete honesty" approach described in chapter 4 of The Lie Behind the Lie Detector. This approach seems to me to be ethically preferable, and yet a DoDPI graduate has advised that if a person were to follow this course of action, and admit to their detailed knowledge of polygraph procedure up front, he/she would likely be polygraphed anyhow and arbitrarily accused of deception and/or countermeasures. I asked American Polygraph Association president Skip Webb how APA members should handle honest, informed subjects who admit to their knowledge of the trickery on which the procedure relies up front, and whether such knowledge would make them unsuitable candidates for polygraph "testing." Mr. Webb refused to answer:

http://antipolygraph.org/read.shtml#informed-subjects

What would you say to the earnest employee or applicant for employment who wants a straightforward answer to this simple question: what will the polygrapher do if I admit to him/her that I understand "the lie behind the lie detector?"
Back to top
 

George W. Maschke
E-mail: maschke@antipolygraph.org
PGP Public Key: 316A947C
Bitmessage: BM-GtK3fjwGHLLcdRRsYU9eHRdPGxGabbuL
Twitter: georgemaschke
Tel/SMS: 1-424-835-1225
SIP: georgemaschke@ostel.co
Encrypted voice and text chat (XMPP via Jitsi): georgemaschke@jit.si
Postal mail: Van Trigtstraat 53, 2597 VX The Hague, The Netherlands
Personal Statement: "Too Hot of a Potato"

A great deal of intelligence can be invested in ignorance when the need for illusion is deep. -- Saul Bellow
WWW George W. Maschke  
IP Logged
 
Paste User Name in Quick Reply Box Anonymous
Guest


Re: Countermeasure considerations for the innocent
Reply #4 - May 5th, 2001 at 8:14am
Mark & Quote Quote 
Gordon,

A substantial percentage of those who contribute to this message board (including those who manage the antipolygraph.org web site) are individuals whose initial experience with polygraphy was not in the role of a polygraph critic or as an advocate of the use of polygraph countermeasures.  They simply began as innocent examinees who trusted their federal government and its tools for applicant evaluation.  Only after having found themselves VICTIMIZED THROUGH POLYGRAPHY (having done precisely what you suggest), did they then wish that they knew then (before the polygraph exam) what they now know regarding this pseudoscience. It is with this experience in mind that they now with unwavering purpose and clear conscience make the information and advice available that you openly question and most assuredly privately fear.

With regard to the efficacy of countermeasures to polygraphy, your advice has the clear ring of bluff.  As is the case with a deceptive subject who successfully maintains his innocence (makes no admissions during a polygraph examination), e.g., Aldrich Ames, there is every reason to believe that both innocent and guilty examinees who make no admissions regarding the use of countermeasures will likewise be successful in their efforts to employ them.  If this is not true, i.e., polygraph counter-countermeasures are not simply a bluff requiring an admission on the part of an examinee and can only be perpetrated with a cloak of secrecy, please explain.  In your explanation, please give concrete examples (whose sources can be verified) of polygraph examinations where polygraph countermeasures were demonstrated independent of foolish and unnecessary admissions on the part of examinees.   Furthermore, if polygraph counter-countermeasures are truly effectively in place, you should be able to describe how they work in such a manner as to convince this audience that (1) this is how they (counter-countermeasures) reliably work, (2) this is how we can unquestionably demonstrate them (responses to countermeasures) not to be reflective of normal physiological response (independent of an examinee making such an admission), and (3) there is no way that they (examinees) can foil polygraphers by simply being aware of  these counter-countermeasures and thereby force a non-deceptive result.  Anything else, again, rings of nothing less than a hopeless bluff on the part of an industry that is a teetering house of cards ready to collapse.  Understanding the existence and principles of radar and even the existence of radar detectors has not rendered traffic cops/highway patrolmen ineffective in catching speeders.  If you would have this audience believe that the polygraph community has equally effective and robust tools at its disposal, please explain.  Otherwise, based on the experience of those who have been victimized by following your advice (even before it was posted), there is every reason for an individual facing a polygraph exam to learn and employ countermeasures.
Back to top
 
 
IP Logged
 
Paste User Name in Quick Reply Box Gordon H. Barland
Senior User
***
Offline



Posts: 68
Re: Countermeasure considerations for the innocent
Reply #5 - May 5th, 2001 at 10:36pm
Mark & Quote Quote 
You raise a number of points, George, which I'd like to respond to.  If you don't mind, I'd like to focus in this thread on the risks of using countermeasures and discuss topics like the scientific basis of polygraph exams and examiner accuracy for future threads.

I purposely didn't specify any names of those urging innocent people to use countermeasures, as I don't want to be seen as making ad hominem attacks.  The issues are too important to get bogged down in personalities.  I was trying to refer to the average person posting on these sites, usually those who have taken and failed the polygraph.  Urging may well have been too strong a term for some of the posters.  Perhaps suggesting, or gentle coaxing might be closer to the mark.

As for the detectability of countermeasures, it is often not so much the precise wording of the message, but the impression left with the reader that is important.  The general tenor of many posters to this and related sites is that there is little risk to using countermeasures.  For example, one recent (12/17/00) poster stated:  "I beg to differ with your contentions that polygraph countermeasures are ineffective and that polygraphers can reliably detect them.  The fact is that polygraph countermeasures are effective and extremely difficult, if not impossible for even well trained polygraphers to detect."  The poster then went on to summarize Honts' research which found that countermeasures could not be detected by experienced examiners.

Some types of countermeasures are easy to detect, others are hard (in part because they tend to be ineffective at significantly altering one's physiology).  One of Honts' key findings is that spontaneous countermeasures are not effective.  Honts does not specify the precise type and frequency of several of the countermeasures.  I suspect that many innocent and guilty subjects tried dissociation by staring at a spot on the wall.  If so, it's not surprising that it was not effective in clearing the guilty subjects, and that it was not detected by the examiner.  I don't claim to be able to detect most attempts at dissociation, either.  There is little need to; it does not seem to pose a significant threat.

As you pointed out, George, the untutored person who employs crude countermeasures (what I call low level CMs) because they don't know much about the polygraph is the one most likely to be caught out.  Where we differ is in the detectability of the sophisticated person employing mid-level CMs, such as are taught in the manuals available through the Internet.

Perhaps the reason the examiners in Honts' research were unable to detect the countermeasures is that they applied the traditional reaction criteria and scoring rules, got group averages, and reported group results.  That is how most psychophysiological research is conducted.  In our research, we took a different approach, making post hoc analyses of known CM charts in order to develop new criteria and scoring procedures. 

To summarize, I can only repeat the gist of what I said earlier.  We have successfully detected many people using sophisticated countermeasures taught via the Internet.  What percentage that amounts to, I do not know.

Peace.
Back to top
 

Gordon H. Barland
WWW  
IP Logged
 
Paste User Name in Quick Reply Box Jane_Doe_III
New User
*
Offline


Just say NO !!!

Posts: 6
Re: Countermeasure considerations for the innocent
Reply #6 - May 6th, 2001 at 1:32am
Mark & Quote Quote 
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.
Back to top
 
 
IP Logged
 
Paste User Name in Quick Reply Box Fred F.
Very Senior User
****
Offline


Get Educated.... Knowledge
is Power

Posts: 224
Re: Countermeasure considerations for the innocent
Reply #7 - May 6th, 2001 at 2:41am
Mark & Quote Quote 
Mr. Barland

You have stated that countermeasures are easily detected and you have spent time studying the issue.

As Jane Doe III has pointed out this can be a plasable explaination to why so many "readings" come back "inconclusive". You have yet to explain how you can detect these countermeasures scientifically and if you are such an expert on the subject, why are you trying to convince the users of this site that your textbook polygrapher answers will suffice. There is too much information published to counter many of your claims.

Sir your "science"is not science, it is a dog and pony show designed to weed people out that agencies have predetermined to be unfit for hire and a plausable excuse for disqualification is needed. Again like many others on this site, maybe you can give us the truth as to how Aldrich Ames, a convicted spy, "passed" a polygraph examination. Or how Wen Ho Lee, who did nothing more than mishandle some materials, be deemed as "deceptive".

There are many people who come to this site who have had FBI and law enforcement careers ruined by polygraphs. This must end. Judge Freeh turned in his resignation this week, do you really think he wants to be around to answer to why he is losing agents because they are deemed "deceptive".  

Fred F.
Back to top
 
 
IP Logged
 
Paste User Name in Quick Reply Box George W. Maschke
Global Moderator
*****
Offline


Unbeliever

Posts: 5327
The Hague, The Netherlands
Re: Countermeasure considerations for the innocent
Reply #8 - May 6th, 2001 at 2:56am
Mark & Quote Quote 
Gordon,

You wrote, "If you don't mind, I'd like to focus in this thread on the risks of using countermeasures and discuss topics like the scientific basis of polygraph exams and examiner accuracy for future threads." But you sidestepped the questions I posed that are directly to this point:

  • Absent an admission from the subject that he/she used countermeasures, how can a polygraph examiner "confirm" that any of the various countermeasures described in The Lie Behind the Lie Detector were employed? (Again, the answer "I know, but I cannot tell you" is not convincing.)
  • What would you say to the earnest employee or applicant for employment who wants a straightforward answer to this simple question: what will the polygrapher do if I admit to him/her that I understand "the lie behind the lie detector?"


Anonymous also asked questions that demand an straightforward answer.
Back to top
 

George W. Maschke
E-mail: maschke@antipolygraph.org
PGP Public Key: 316A947C
Bitmessage: BM-GtK3fjwGHLLcdRRsYU9eHRdPGxGabbuL
Twitter: georgemaschke
Tel/SMS: 1-424-835-1225
SIP: georgemaschke@ostel.co
Encrypted voice and text chat (XMPP via Jitsi): georgemaschke@jit.si
Postal mail: Van Trigtstraat 53, 2597 VX The Hague, The Netherlands
Personal Statement: "Too Hot of a Potato"

A great deal of intelligence can be invested in ignorance when the need for illusion is deep. -- Saul Bellow
WWW George W. Maschke  
IP Logged
 
Paste User Name in Quick Reply Box G Scalabr
Global Moderator
*****
Offline



Posts: 358
Re: Countermeasure considerations for the innocent
Reply #9 - May 6th, 2001 at 9:05am
Mark & Quote Quote 
Gordon,

First off, let me say that I, for one, appreciate your participation in this forum.  I feel that informed debate will benefit all who are interested in polygraph policy.  Fruitful debate cannot take place unless the pro-polygraph point of view is represented.

A vast majority of academics have refused to accept polygraphy as valid for the simple reason that no exclusive relationship between attempts at deception and increases in blood volume and perspiration, and changes in breathing patterns, has ever been proven.  In claiming polygraphers have an ability to detect countermeasures on polygraph charts, you are claiming that polygraphers have the ability to distinguish between physiological reactions caused by attempts at deception and those created by pain, muscle contractions, and even stressful thoughts.  Furthermore, if you are claiming that mental countermeasures can be reliably detected, you are essentially saying that polygraphers have the ability to read examinees’ minds.  I find this amazing, especially with 1930s technology.

Since the topic of countermeasures is classified when it comes to polygraph training for federal government examiners, our debate is not likely to make much progress here.  You are bound by your obligations, and many on this board (including myself) will not accept “It works, but I can’t tell you how or prove it to you.”  

Instead, I suggest that we discuss this issue with respect to the scores of polygraph examiners operating outside of federal government employ.  A vast majority of private examiners and those working for local, county, and state governments presumably do not have access to DoDPI’s secret information on detecting countermeasures (for the sake of argument, we will assume that useful information actually exists).  Furthermore, I assume that DoDPI trained examiners who move to positions outside the federal government should not be employing classified techniques to score charts and detect countermeasures.  Still, you are confident that at least some police and private examiners are very experienced at detecting countermeasures. No classification issue exists here.  Tell us how they do it.

Considering polygraphy’s track record, if polygraphers are routinely accusing some examinees of using countermeasures, I am willing to bet anything that a new problem has been created:  false positive accusations of countermeasures.   Forget about peer-reviewed studies done under field conditions—have any studies been conducted that show polygraphers having an ability to reliably detect sophisticated countermeasures?  If so, please bring these to my attention.  If not, until this happens, the public should rightfully have no respect for the truth-finding abilities of any polygrapher who has not attended the countermeasures course at DoDPI.

Are you aware of any objective criteria by which polygraphers make a determination that countermeasures have been employed?  Is there a new scoring system in use by private/police examiners that objectively allows the polygrapher to make a determination that countermeasures have been employed?  Or, are these polygraphers who are supposedly detecting countermeasures making arbitrary accusations on gut feelings?  For some reason, I suspect that many of these examiners “experienced” at detecting countermeasures are experienced all right—experienced at using the “I thought he was guilty the second he walked in, but he produced a chart with strong passing scores, so he must have used countermeasures” technqiue.

Polygraphers, like Elmer Criswell of Polygraph Place.com have made numerous statements to the effect of “even the most inexperienced polygraph examiner can easily see that the examinee is attempting countermeasures.”  Do you think that he and other private polygraphers who make these statements are overestimating their abilities?  Is it easy for even the most inexperienced polygraph examiner to see that an examinee is attempting sophisticated countermeasures.  

I think that both of us can agree on one thing-- that there has been a great deal of proliferation as of late with regard to access to polygraph countermeasures.  

The polygraph has a less than impressive track record in determining truth from deception in mock games in a laboratory.  I, for one, would love to see some of these same laboratory studies repeated where a large number of those “programmed deceptive” are well trained in sophisticated polygraph countermeasures.  I bet that the numbers would be downright ugly—for both total percentage of correct determinations (truthful/deceptive/using countermeasures) and with respect to countermeasure detection.

Once again, thanks for participating.  I look forward to your responses.

Best,
Back to top
 
WWW  
IP Logged
 
Paste User Name in Quick Reply Box Anonymous
Guest


Show Me Proof
Reply #10 - May 6th, 2001 at 2:06pm
Mark & Quote Quote 
Gordon,

A number of issues/areas of concern about your views on innocent people using polygraph countermeasures have been raised. You have largely reiterated your unsupported beliefs without specifically answering the questions addressed to you. Perhaps you will...I suspect you will not. My best guess at the moment is that that which you say does not run completely true and is largely reflective of a shell game of pretend and bluff which only protects a weak and results-empty industry and in no way is in the best interest of those to whom you offer that advice (innocent polygraph examinees). Although the ball is currently in your court to provide some answers, I believe the antipolygraph community can do/offer a few ideas of its own. Let me suggest one for your and the polygraph community's (we know you're there Smiley, at least we hope so) consideration.

A number of years ago (mid 80s), CBS 60 Minutes with Diane Sawyer did a piece about polygraphy. The report dealt with the subject of examiner bias (transmitted to the featured polygraph examiners by clients seeking polygraph exams for crimes which had never actually been committed). The piece rather clearly, cleverly, and anecdotedly demonstrated that bias can affect polygraph practice and in the case of the exams conducted reduce its average accuracy to zero.

I suggest another polygraph-related subject for such a media project, i.e., that of polygraph susceptibility to countermeasures. I believe it would be possible to target both some of the best and well known of former federal polygraphers now in private practice (presumably those who know your alleged secrets) as well as the most celebrated polygraphers in the private community. The object would be to demonstrate that even the paragons of polygraph experience and wisdom are subject to chart manipulation, i.e., having a person known to be guilty of some matter demonstrating that he can successfully pass a test by creating responses to control questions and even to have an innocent subject to be found deceptive by having he/she artificially produce responses to relevant questions (admittedly of less practical significance but a demonstrated manipulation nevertheless).

This scenario has several benefits: (1) the efficacy of polygraph countermeasures could be demonstrated to a large audience, (2) because the targets of this plan would be the crème de la crème of the polygraph community, their credentials would not/could not be questioned by that community, i.e., as the community is generally prone to do, they could not simply claim error on the part of some errant and unskilled minority, and (3) by discussing this in advance of doing it, it would demonstrate (as opposed to the polygraph community's supposed counter-countermeasure capabilities) that prior knowledge of such would have no effect. That is, this would come under the category of "I can tell you I'm going to do it and there is nothing you can do to prevent it." I think a pretty powerful statement.........perhaps you might care to comment on how you would view such a demonstration and how you might view it if it were to go as I predict. Also, any refinements you might care to make in the general design would be welcomed...
Back to top
 
 
IP Logged
 
Paste User Name in Quick Reply Box Nate
User
**
Offline



Posts: 40
Gender: male
Re: Countermeasure considerations for the innocent
Reply #11 - May 7th, 2001 at 12:35pm
Mark & Quote Quote 
GORDON: They also claim there is no ethical problem because it's okay to "con the con man."  Whether you follow their advice is up to you, but you should be aware of the risks involved.


NATE: Before I begin Gordon, read my past experience with the polygraph in the "share your experience" part of this message board.  As you read, I did not attempt to use counter-measures on my third test despite the fact that I had previously had a false positive.  My basis was not on the fact that I could not use them.  If I did use counter-measures they would have been ones that would have been undetectable, hence psychological.  I think anyone is justified and ethical to lie to someone in self-defense just as it is moral and ethical to kill in self-defense. The reason why I personally didn't use counter-measures was different from these two reasons. I believe law enforcement "should be" honest and the most pure of all society.  Therefor, I felt unethical trying to "trick" a police department in order to get on.  In other words, I don't want to work for a police department in which you have to trick in order to get on, and more importantly disqualifies qualified HONEST applicants.  I want to work for a police department knowing that my honesty and "purity" is what made me get the job, not trickery.  Although the logically fallacy in the statement could be "then why work a police department that uses the polygraph machine seeing that it based on trickery?"  The answer that helps me most is the one in which I try to believe that the police department truly believes in the machine and tries to be ethical in its usage, although I must say this is hard for me to swallow.

Gordon, you can waive your doctorates degree around all you want, but the reality is that most examiners do not even have masters.  I have simple example for you referring pre-employment testing:

1) If an examinee fails a test do you tell him?
2) Do talk to the examinee if a question shows a reaction?
3) Do you perform post-test interrogation upon the examinee failing a polygraph test?
4) If an examinee fails a test, do you sometimes ask for a re-test on another day?

Gordon if you answered yes to any of these questions then I just proved that the polygraph exam in biased and not consistent with all exams.  In my one false positive the answer to all of the above questions was no.  Not all exams are like the ones you do.

GORDON: So that you may judge where I'm coming from, I'll tell you up front that I've been a polygraph examiner for thirty years.  Both my Master's and doctoral degrees involved research on the accuracy of the polygraph.  

NATE: As you can see, what you say is nice and dandy, but the majority of applicants are not being tested by unbiased polygraph examiners with doctorates degrees, they are being tested by municipal police departments and by examiners that have a  " I do this on the side" mentality.

GORDON:Each Federal agency has a quality control office which reviews every examination.  

NATE: What are you saying? That in order for an exam to be accurate, fair, and unbiased that you need a "quality control office"?  If this is so, then what about the small police departments that don't have these, seeing that the majority of pre-employment exams are not for federal but for local agencies.  Does this mean that all the local applicants are not a getting a fair and unbiased exam?  My we use you as our witness in a lawsuit against a local police department?

PS: How does someone pass a polygraph test, then fail one, then pass another one all with the exact same answers to the questions?  How reliable is that?  Based on this information, it looks like its 66.6% accurate.
Cry
Back to top
« Last Edit: May 11th, 2001 at 4:37pm by Nate »  

“Whoever undertakes to set himself up as judge in the field of truth and knowledge is shipwrecked by the laughter of the Gods" &&&&-Albert Einstein &&
WWW  
IP Logged
 
Paste User Name in Quick Reply Box Mark Mallah
Very Senior User
****
Offline



Posts: 131
Gender: male
Re: Countermeasure considerations for the innocent
Reply #12 - May 7th, 2001 at 3:18pm
Mark & Quote Quote 
Gordon,

I am very pleased to have your participation in this forum.  I think it's important that you directly address the questions posed.  Since you and Ray Latimer appear to be the only "posters" from the polygraph community, and we know you to be qualified to speak on these issues, your silence on the issues you have not addressed will justifiably be interpreted as you having no credible answer.

Additionally, Gino raises an excellent point- the new "false positive" will be a false accusation of countermeasures.  This actually happened to me already.  The interrogation already several hours old, me getting increasingly agitated and apprehensive about the Kafkaesque experience unfolding, surprise, surprise, my breathing patterns changed.  The examiner then accused me of countermeasures and demanded that I change the way I breathe.
Back to top
 
WWW  
IP Logged
 
Paste User Name in Quick Reply Box Raymond J. Latimer
Guest


Re: Countermeasure considerations for the innocent
Reply #13 - May 7th, 2001 at 6:27pm
Mark & Quote Quote 
Hello Mark
I appreciate the fact that you allow and welcome polygraphists to participate in this very interesting forum.  However please do not mistake my silence as acquiescence.  Sometimes I do not respond because it would be like beating a dead horse.  I do not wish to appear inimical.  Not being from  the world of academia I guess that I am just too diffident to do justice to some of the topics raised by some of your obviously pedantic (sometimes boringly so)writers.  I find it best sometimes to take advise from the "famous" booklet, and just "BITE MY TONGUE".  I enjoy the give and take and I accept it as little more than tendentious exercises by two or more people with different views.  I especially enjoy reading George's responses.  Believe me, if in the future I read something that I feel I can elucidate on I will.  But it seems to me that no matter what I write, I will not be able to convince the non-believers.  By the way---- ahhh!! forget it!
Ray Latimer   Wink
Back to top
 
 
IP Logged
 
Paste User Name in Quick Reply Box G Scalabr
Global Moderator
*****
Offline



Posts: 358
Re: Countermeasure considerations for the innocent
Reply #14 - May 8th, 2001 at 6:31am
Mark & Quote Quote 
Quote:
The examiner then accused me of countermeasures and demanded that I change the way I breathe.


Mark, yours is a good point in and of itself.  We constantly hear of polygraphers telling examinees that they are "breathing too slowly."  If the polygraph is an accurate, valid, and reliable technique for determining truth from deception, why do polygraphers constantly order examinees to change their breathing patterns?  

One would think that this would not be necessary if the technique were reliable.  Also, it seems kind of hard to accept that results are not skewed when an examiner essentially orders the person taking the "test" to manipulate one of the three channels on the instrument.  

"Anonymous" hit the nail on the head when he/she analogized the polygraph industry to a  house of cards ready to collapse.  I will extend the comparison further.  We at AntiPolygraph.org take pride in playing the role of "The Big Bad (actually good) Wolf" against these "little pigs."  All I have to say is that we plan to "huff, puff, and blow their house down."

Speaking of blowing the house down, anonymous' idea of doing another sting operation--this time to show the efficacy of countermeasures--is a great idea.  I especially love the part about  "even [having] an innocent subject to be found deceptive by having he/she artificially produce responses to relevant questions."  Furthermore, if this is done using some of the luminaries in the polygraph field, those who wish to bring up the oft heard "you just ran into a bad/inexperienced examiner" will need themselves a new argument.  We at AntiPolygraph.org will be discussing this idea among ourselves and with some of our media contacts.  Thank you, anonymous, whoever you are.  Once again, this is a great idea, and I promise that we will follow up and look into it.
Back to top
 
WWW  
IP Logged
 
Pages: 1 2 3 
Reply Add Poll Send Topic Print
Countermeasure considerations for the innocent
Open Live Preview Live Preview


You can resize the message area by dragging the right- or bottom border.
                       
Max 200000 characters. Remaining characters:
Text size: pt
Collapse additional features Collapse/Expand additional features
Attachments More Attachments Allowed file types: txt doc docx psd pdf bmp jpe jpg jpeg gif png swf zip rar tar gz 7z odt ods mp3 mp4 wav avi mov 3gp html maff
Maximum Attachment size: 500000 KB
Attachment 1: