posted 08-24-2007 10:46 AM
APA opened with a great presentation on professional ethics, by Chase Foster of the FBI/DACA.
Sessions proceeded, and the coffee and other forms of caffeine flowed much more freely than last year in Las Vegas.
By then end of Wednesday afternoon the APA membership had elected Mr. Dutton as APA President, and Mike Gougler as President Elect. The new Board was sworn in or installed on Thursday.
As to prima nacht, I think the more modern term it “first right of refusal,” and it seems to apply to things like committee chairmanship.
In the time between the early conference days and the first (1st) meeting of the new APA Board (Saturday), we are busily engaged in a meeting and greeting and glad-handing - along with all of the usual and unfortunate back-channel problem solving (or shanking and deal-making - depending on how cynical one is).
There are lots of rumblings about the PCSOT committee and we are told the committee would be reformulated to pick up where the recent committee left off. It remains to be seen how the leadership and membership of that committee will be selected.
Mr. Sosnowski probably wished he had worn his teflon suit when presenting to a crowd of displeased polygraph examiners at the PCSOT model policy review session on Monday morning. The way Mr. Sosnowski explained it to me after the fray, the difficulty completing a more satisfactory product rested primarily with participation of folks from the ASTM PCSOT committees. I asked, but never got a clear answer or sense of whom or what were the specifics of that particular problem.
stat could not be present, but Elizabeth Freitas (from Hawaii) and others were active in articulating concerns. Mr. Eric Holden, from Texas, pulled no punches about his concern that we lack a definition of what is a sex history or maintenance polygraph. (I'm not sure I'd agree with that completely - we probably have more than one definition – so to me we have a disagreement about definition, but not an absence of definition.) Mr. Holden and I had few brief comments of support and agreement about PCSOT concerns. I also had some conversation with Elizabeth, Mr. Sosnowski and Mr. Dutton about the need to improve the communication and effectiveness of the PCSOT committee if it is re-formulated. I encouraged Elizabeth, Dan and Mr. Dutton about the wisdom of possibly appointing co-chair persons to that committee to ensure against the potential for bully-pulpit experiences and potential communication bottlenecks. More on that later. I also encouraged better use of technological resources to improve communication among the committee members. Mr. Dutton seemed most receptive to those ideas. Mr. Sosnowski may or may not remain as the general chair of the ongoing PCSOT committee, but the board has not yet met and, as always... it ain't over until its over.
The playground, as its been explained to me by several, including Mr. Dutton, is divided into two or more primary factions. That of Mr. Holden and that of Mr. Lundell; there are others as well. Mr. Lundell was not present for the conference. Mr. Holden is remarkable in his ability to articulate and emphasize his message - and punctuate it with that tough-as-texas persona of his. (That man is tough. He stands tough and talks tough. Wide and low stance – I'm wait'in to see a round-house or spinning wheel kick at any moment. So, I wonder, who'd win Eric Holden or Chuck Norris?) In the ring, with Holden and Lundell, I'd bet on Holden, but strength of conviction and assertiveness of personality is not the same as data-driven principles, and certainly no-one could discount or disparage the important contributions of either of those gentlemen. At any rate, it was also announced that Mr. Lundell has published a book on containment practices.
Of course, each of our experience in PCSOT is influenced by our local juridiction and local judicial attitudes. My concerns about the ongoing PCSOT committee are that without better structure and a more completely documented and democratic process we are at risk for remaining similarly unresolved, after another year, around this politics-filled chasm in PCSOT standards and PCSOT training.
I did my best to communicate and meet people. Barry Cushman, whom I had never met, and whose sound commentary I always look forward to, was present and presented on the Marin paired-testing protocol. It was absolutely great to finally meet Mark Hander, with whom I have spent countless (daily) hours on the telephone for almost an entire year. Jamie McCloughan, whom I met once previously when he was in Colorado, provided training on the CIT. Donna Taylor was present and I met David Gillespi, from Honolulu. There are lots of others.
Barry won an award from the APA for his contribution to the polygraph profession.
Shawn Edwards from Stoelting was present and we talked about the possibility of including OSS-3 into the Stoelting system. All of the instrument manufacturers were present, including Chris Fawcett from Lafayette, along with Bruce White and Sue Lutrell from Axciton. Chris Fawcett tells me that he expects to have OSS-3 integrated into the Lafayette system by late September. Of course, Jaimie Brown, Tyler Buttle, and Megan were present, along with a fully integrated and working OSS-3 algorithm in their current software version.
One of the highlights for me personally was to meet the almost mythical creator of the Polyscore algorithm, John Harris (he's a real person - approachable and interesting), with whom I had a few moments of personally electrifying conversation about statistical things, scoring algorithms, and validation studies.