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Doug Williams book

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Author Topic: Doug Williams book
Gordon H. Barland
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posted 05-28-2012 02:00 AM Click Here to See the Profile for Gordon H. Barland Edit/Delete Message
Just a heads-up...
The day before yesterday Doug Williams published a book "exposing" the polygraph. It is available as a Kindle book from Amazon. The price is $9.95. You can read a description of it at http://www.amazon.com/Fighting-Dangerous-Myth-Detection-ebook/dp/B00867JDHA/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1338184216&sr=8-1.

Gordon

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rnelson
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posted 05-28-2012 07:16 AM Click Here to See the Profile for rnelson Click Here to Email rnelson Edit/Delete Message
Thanks Gordon,

I testified opposite Doug Williams a few months ago, and was allowed to sit in the room while he was on the stand He talks a strong game, and looks good on paper in some ways - former polygraph examiner who testified before congress. He told the court that polygraph is nothing more than a great psychological billy-club to get information and has absolutely no scientific validity.

On cross examination we asked him, and he admitted he had never read the NRC report, nor the page on which they state that event specific polygraphs can differentiate truthtelling from deception at rate significantly greater than chance. The negotiated outcome of that Oklahoma employee relations case was that examiner could exclude an employee representative from the pretest interview but would have to communicate the relevant questions before beginning the pretest (which is part of the examination).

I'd like to do it, but it bugs me to give Doug 10 bucks.

r


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"Gentlemen, you can't fight in here. This is the war room."
--(Stanley Kubrick/Peter Sellers - Dr. Strangelove, 1964)


[This message has been edited by rnelson (edited 05-28-2012).]

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Dan Mangan
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posted 05-28-2012 11:06 AM Click Here to See the Profile for Dan Mangan Edit/Delete Message
>>>>I told the court that polygraph is nothing more than a great psychological billy-club to get information and has absolutely no scientific validity.<<<

Did you make a Freudian slip there, Ray?

Speaking of the NRC, when you testified -- telling the whole truth and all of that business -- did you mention any of these points?

o The vast majority of the studies included by the NRC were from folks deeply rooted to self-serving polygraph trade groups.

o The NRC's deep concern over the quality of the studies.

o The NRC's similar concern over the effects of countermeasures.

o The NRC's concern over false results caused by anxiety-related reactions of the innocent that mimic those of deceptive test-takers.

There were more "concerns," but you get the point.

Back to your sworn testimony... Did you paint the big NRC picture for the court, or did you simply stick to the sunshine and rainbows the polygraph industry is famous for highlighting?

Dan

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rnelson
Member
posted 05-28-2012 11:41 AM Click Here to See the Profile for rnelson Click Here to Email rnelson Edit/Delete Message
Correction:

Doug told the court...

lucky for me I don't believe too much in Freudian psychobable.

I clarified for the court what the NRC report is and said, and also discussed the Executive Summary and results of the recent meta-analysis - both of which illustrate the validity of the test.

r

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"Gentlemen, you can't fight in here. This is the war room."
--(Stanley Kubrick/Peter Sellers - Dr. Strangelove, 1964)


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Dan Mangan
Member
posted 05-28-2012 12:14 PM Click Here to See the Profile for Dan Mangan Edit/Delete Message
Ray,

The recent meta-analysis is basically NRC redux, and it suffers from many of the same problems.

What you "clarified" for the court was your interpretation of the studies' results -- most likely convincingly made with a razzle-dazzle display of statistical alchemy liberally peppered with geekspeak.

But, you did your job, and it was one for the win column.

Dan

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clambrecht
Member
posted 05-28-2012 11:46 PM Click Here to See the Profile for clambrecht Click Here to Email clambrecht Edit/Delete Message
Am curious, what protocols do examiners follow when an examinee requests to have an attorney or union rep with them during any part of the exam?

Also, wouldn't the use of DLCs instead of PLCs allow an examiner to provide an attorney/union rep with everything up front-avoiding all appearances of impropriety? We could virtually give them a script of the pretest upfront. I plan on using DLCs more and more now that I finally am fully licensed and "on my own".

[This message has been edited by clambrecht (edited 05-28-2012).]

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rnelson
Member
posted 05-29-2012 06:49 AM Click Here to See the Profile for rnelson Click Here to Email rnelson Edit/Delete Message
In this case there were two legal cases, one between the city and the fraternal order of police, and another between the city and the public employee relations board.

This kind of thing seems most likely to happen in the case of an internal investigation.

What I learned was that employees may have the right to legal counsel and a Weingarten representative.

Weingarten regulations state that an employee has a right to have his representative present during an interview prior to testing. This was the complication. There was an attempt to interpret the concept of "pre polygraph interview" (not part of the polygraph test) as the "pretest interview" (part of the polygraph test that affects the test accuracy and effectiveness). So the city was accused of engaging in improper proceedures by denying the presence of the representative during the pretest.

The solution, as I understand it, was that relevant questions would have to be disclosed to the examinee and representative during the pre-polygraph phase - possibly a pre-polygraph interveiw - and that the integrity of the test would be maintained by conducting the exam without the representative in the room.

Perhaps this could affect the salience of the test stimuli, but we actually conduct a lot of exams for which the examinee most likely know the investigation targets prior to testing. And the test still works.

It would make sense to me to think about making use of DLCs in these internal cases, because some of the ethical controversy and legal challenges involve the use of PLCs that are intrusive beyond the defined scope of the investigation. DLCs seem to be effective and are not intrusive beyond the scope of the investigation - meaning the police officers subject to internal investigation and polygraph testing would feel less compromised and less pressured to make admissions that could be viewed as additionally damaging.

Protocols would be a local or regional or agency thing. Regardless of the lack of official protocols, there is a lot of value in paying attention to relevant legal experience and engaging a discussion about best practices.

.02

r

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"Gentlemen, you can't fight in here. This is the war room."
--(Stanley Kubrick/Peter Sellers - Dr. Strangelove, 1964)


[This message has been edited by rnelson (edited 05-29-2012).]

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Dan Mangan
Member
posted 05-29-2012 07:06 AM Click Here to See the Profile for Dan Mangan Edit/Delete Message
>>>PLCs seem to be effective and are not intrusive beyond the scope of the investigation - meaning the police officers subject to internal investigation and polygraph testing would feel less compromised and less pressured to make admissions that could be viewed as additionally damaging.<<<

PLCs? You mean DLCs.

Ray,

Is it your position that having a third party present sacrifices the "integrity" of the test?

Dan

Dan

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rnelson
Member
posted 05-29-2012 07:25 AM Click Here to See the Profile for rnelson Click Here to Email rnelson Edit/Delete Message
Right Dan. DLCs. Corrected.

This is unusually tough editing while I'm sick.

I think my position would have to reflect the recently approved model policy for polygraph records, which goes a little beyond the score of record in stating this:

quote:
No one other than the examiner and examinee should be permitted in the examination room except in circumstances in which an examinee requires an interpreter to communicate effectively during the examination.

10. Referring professionals and attorneys should be permitted to observe the examination through a video monitor, or review the recording at a later time. In order to minimize distraction and outside influence, no interaction should occur between the examinee and observing professionals after the onset of the pretest interview. However, the examination may be
terminated at any time.

11. Due to the sensitive nature of the information discussed during the polygraph examination, family members should not be allowed to observe the examination as it occurs, unless required by law, local practice regulation, agency policy, or court order.


Best practice would seem to be that only the examiner and examinee are in the room.

Bottom line is that there are circumstances in which having someone in the room is unavoidable. In some cities juveniles cannot be tested without their parent or guardian present.

Having a position that contradicts, prohibits or indicts an unavoidable field practice situation would accomplish nothing but to make field examiners more vulnerable. The challenge is to try to clarify what is the best thing to do, and what are the limits of acceptable practice. I think we have begun to accomplish this.

Ultimately, hypothesis about the "integrity" (wrong term) or validity of the test are matters for research. We should always remember that most hypothesis from the smartest people seem to not work out - or the rate of knowledge acquisition at universtities would be astounding. Therefore, when we don't know the best scientific answer , the best thing to do is not to etch our opinions in permanent stone - unless we need to provide structure around some chaotic issue that destabilizes the safety or effectiveness of the community, nation, agency, or individual. In other words, we should only make rules when we know the correct answer, and when we really need.

For example making a rule about absolutely nobody in the exam room would limit some people's ability to do their job - and we don't yet know the real answer to the question about how it affects validity.

Still, it doesn't seem like a good thing to endorse. If we were to say OK, it makes not difference, parents, friends, anyone who is interested could attend the polygraph for emotional support. Like when going to the dentist for drilling and filling. It seems like a potential problem for a polygraph test.

.02

r

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