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Author Topic: Thoughts on this Relevant question:
clambrecht
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posted 07-12-2012 11:02 AM Click Here to See the Profile for clambrecht Click Here to Email clambrecht Edit/Delete Message
Did you receive sexual gratification when you touched that child's vagina?

_____________________________________

Real case here at the PD: A child discloses an adult family member touched her, under her diaper, when alone with her, on her bed. The suspect admits to the behavior, but claimed he was checking to see if she wet herself. My response was exactly what we have been discussing: I cannot test intent and this seems like an open and shut case with no need for polygraph. However, the DA suggested a polygraph....

Another examiner offered the above question making an interesting argument that "receiving sexual gratification" is a physical behavior being tested (hormones being released, heart pounding, and all of the ofther biological processes of sexual gratification)

Thoughts? Does it vicariously test for intent by focusing on the suspect's physical behavior?

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rnelson
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posted 07-12-2012 12:18 PM Click Here to See the Profile for rnelson Click Here to Email rnelson Edit/Delete Message
APA PCSOT Model Policy 7.1.2.G
quote:

f ree of references to mental state or motivational terminology except
to the extent that memory or sexual motivation may be the subject of
an examination following an admission of behavior.

I had this conversation with another police examiner a couple of months ago.

There seems to be no actual standard at APA or AAPP or ASTM prohibiting the testing of intent. Unless I missed it. Despite the absence of a standard prohibition, we seem to accurately repeat the correct principle that we test behavior not intend or state of mind.

The problem, in PCSOT, is that sex offenders are slippery creatures who often try to hide their sexual and violent behavior under non-sexual and non-violent descriptions of their behavior. So they play this game a lot.

If we actually say we can't do it, in a professional standard, then we cannot do it. Then we cannot do our jobs and be helpful to the referring professionals when the need arises to do just this.

When there is no actual standard to address a particular professional practice issue it is acceptable to look around for related standards for guidance as to the best thing to do. An example of this in psychology is that before the development and validation of an adolescent version of the MMPI psychologists might actually use the adult MMPI with a teenaged youth. This would be documented in the psych report, along with a cautionary statement around the need to use the test results cautiously. This was done because we know that diagnostic work is more accurate when we use more information (incremental validity) even if the test is imperfect. It was accepted practice. Today, with the availability of normed adolescent version of the MMPI it would be viewed as inappropriate to use the adult MMPI with a juvenile.

So, in the absence of any standard that directly applies to pre-conviction criminal investigations in which an alleged child sex offender admits to the behavioral act of touching a child's sex organs, but denies sexual intent or arousal - I suggest that it is acceptable to borrow some professional practice guidance from the APA PCSOT Model Policy section 7.1.2.G. and do the test.

1) Did you ever sexually touch your daughter X's vagina?

2) Did you every touch your daughter X's vagina for a sexual reason?

I know there is controversy and different opinion about the inclusion of the child's name. In my experience, submitting a truthful test (or reviewing a truthful test) without the name is viewed as weak. Our job is to stimulate the target issue with behaviorally descriptive questions, then measure the response. Our job is not to psychologize and mind-read whether the person will respond too much. He knows what he is accused of. So, I suggest we just stimulate the issue as directly and assertively as possible.

Another controversy is the use of sex comparison questions. We know that sex offenders do not get caught for their first offenses, or their most deviant offense, or their most violent offense, or their most invasive offense. They get caught for their most careless and reckless and thoughtless offense. On average they are offending for 10 years before they are caught. So - we are looking at the tip of the iceberg if the person is guilty. Use of sex comparisons loads all the potentially more deviant/violent/invasive past sexual offenses into the CQ for the guilty person - possibly increasing the potential for a FN error (so the hypothesis goes). A conservative approach would be to avoid sex comparisons and use general lie and hurt/harm comparisons.

As always,

.02

r

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


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Poly761
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posted 07-12-2012 12:53 PM Click Here to See the Profile for Poly761 Click Here to Email Poly761 Edit/Delete Message
The intent of this reported "touching" is exactly what is being examined by the question.

Aside from the suspect admitting he touched the vagina/buttocks of the victim (not illegal if accidental while checking the status of the diaper), I don't agree with the open and shut comment as it is not confirmed (why) this touching occurred. I suspect this is the reason the DA asked for a test.

Was the vaginal/buttocks area touched or only as you state " - touched her, under her diaper -." What behavior did the suspect admit? Touching front or back; once or more than once; and how much time was involved?

As Bill2E stated in another post regarding RQ's, the pretest is "the heart of the examination." No need to complicate the issue. In this case, during my pretest I would tell the examinee all I want to know is (why) they touched the (area reported by the victim). Work through the legitimate possibilities for touching and then discuss why there is a concern the touching in this specific case was done for some form of gratification they received, sexual or otherwise. I would also ensure during pretest, learning the diaper was not wet/soiled is not a form of gratification I am inquiring about, i.e., they were gratified to learn the diaper wasn't dirty or wet.

I'd rather test a homicide suspect than a suspect accused of a sex crime, especially if the victim is a child. The issue is very sensitive and a "hot topic" that will have even an innocent suspect hyped up before you reach them.

END.....

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Dan Mangan
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posted 07-12-2012 04:53 PM Click Here to See the Profile for Dan Mangan Edit/Delete Message
quote:
I'd rather test a homicide suspect than a suspect accused of a sex crime, especially if the victim is a child. The issue is very sensitive and a "hot topic" that will have even an innocent suspect hyped up before you reach them.

This is precisely why Stan Abrams advocated statement tests in these kind of situations.

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Barry C
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posted 07-12-2012 10:49 PM Click Here to See the Profile for Barry C Click Here to Email Barry C Edit/Delete Message
Why not completely standardize the CQT and only run statement tests from here on out? We could all write brief statements from the examinee's story, and then always ask the same RQ, which would be some version of "Did you lie in that statement?" Add three standard lie CQs and we'd be golden.

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Dan Mangan
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posted 07-13-2012 09:21 AM Click Here to See the Profile for Dan Mangan Edit/Delete Message
Barry's making fun of me, but that's OK.

Back to the OP...

quote:
A child discloses an adult family member touched her, under her diaper, when alone with her, on her bed. The suspect admits to the behavior, but claimed he was checking to see if she wet herself.

Taking a statement-test approach, I would have the examinee write - in his own hand -- on the quasi-official EVIDENCE FORM as described by Stan Abrams, the following:

The only reason I touched Jane Doe under her diaper that time was to check for the presence of urine.

I would run a Quadri-Track test.

R33: Regarding that evidence form you signed today, is your statement true and accurate?

R35: Is your statement on that evidence form you signed today accurate and true?

R24: Are you hoping an error will be made on this test regarding your statement on that evidence form?

About the Quadri-Track... Some of you may have heard of it. It's the test that uses "fancy" questions, "complex" scoring rules, and is practiced only by a "cloistered" few. (Right, Ray?)

Dan

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rnelson
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posted 07-13-2012 02:10 PM Click Here to See the Profile for rnelson Click Here to Email rnelson Edit/Delete Message
nuked.

[This message has been edited by rnelson (edited 07-13-2012).]

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Barry C
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posted 07-13-2012 03:06 PM Click Here to See the Profile for Barry C Click Here to Email Barry C Edit/Delete Message
I wasn't making fun of you, Dan. I was making a point. If it's good, then use it every time. You won't find anybody to go for that though, which raises the question (note: it doesn't "beg" the question), Why not?

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Dan Mangan
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posted 07-13-2012 06:27 PM Click Here to See the Profile for Dan Mangan Edit/Delete Message
quote:
If it's good, then use it every time. You won't find anybody to go for that though, which raises the question (note: it doesn't "beg" the question), Why not?

Cannot the same logic be applied to the throwback R/I test? You preach and teach the R/I for pre-employment all over the country. If it's good, why not use it all the time? Why bother with the CQT at all?

Again, if statement tests are bogus, why is the method taught at APA events? If statement tests don't work, why not ban them altogether?

If a hypersensitive child molest suspect flunked your direct-question police CQT test but passed my attorney-sponsored MQTZCT statement test, you'd discredit my test...why? Isn't the presence of an emotionally provocative question, coupled with the prospect of spending decades in prison -- not to mention being branded a social pariah -- a formula for an innocent's FP result?

[This message has been edited by Dan Mangan (edited 07-13-2012).]

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dkrapohl
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posted 07-13-2012 09:25 PM Click Here to See the Profile for dkrapohl Click Here to Email dkrapohl Edit/Delete Message
Dan:
Maybe the difficulty is that nothing remotely like a statement test has ever been subject to any published research. Might work, might not. There may not even be a large body of professional experience to call upon, the second best thing after good research. That is one sound reason not to expand its use beyond very specific conditions. The statement test appears to be useful in special emotionally laden cases, such as testing victims, but not suspects. I'm going to venture off the reservation for a moment to offer an explanation, with the acknowledgement that it is only an untested hypothesis, unlike a lot of other claims in our field.....

First, the disclaimer. The views are those of the author, and do not necessarily represent those of the APA, the US government, the citizens of South Carolina, etc.

Now, I'll start with a very solid foundation: The polygraph is not a lie detector. I'll repeat that while some of you catch your breath. The polygraph is not a lie detector. It is helpful to remember that, since assumptions based on the alternative will only get you into trouble. The polygraph is a specialized physiological recorder which, when combined with a very structured protocol, allows for a fairly robust estimate regarding veracity. So far, so good.

So, what exactly do the protocol and instrumentation detect. In a (dirty) word -- salience. Not lies, not "psychological set", not outside issues, not the psychic abilities of infrahumans. It imperfectly detects salience. I can see some of you starting to feel uncomfortable now, but stay with me.

Salience has many definitions, but in our world we simplify it to a cognitive response to stimulus content that is self-referent and has personal significance associated with it. Lying is not necessary. Test it for yourself if you don't believe it. Run a POT with your next examinee with his name being the key, and have him answer "yes" each time. The test will point to his name despite the fact it would be the only item to which he is telling the truth. Lies are not what we detect.

Physiological responding normally has three external triggers, environmental factors notwithstanding. Those three triggers are: changes in stimulus intensity, stimulus novelty, and stimulus salience. In polygraphy we try to present the questions with the same tone and level of voice (evening the stimulus intensity), and we review the questions in advance (reducing novelty) and with the remaining physiological responding taking place we hope to be able to assess recognition or deception from what's left: salience.

Recall that in the CQT, the RQs are perceived as self-referent to the guilty only (except for innocent examinees who may have experienced an interrogation just prior to the polygraph exam). The CQs are self-referent to both innocent and guilty. Because of the context in which the exam is given, the guilty inescapably find the RQs more evocative than the CQs. The RQs hold some salience to the innocent, else why would the subject be in the test chair, but they do not hold the self-referent qualities of the CQs. The marginal salience of RQs to the innocent would predict lower test accuracy for the innocent than the guilty, unless decision rules are adjusted. The research concurs with this trend.

Now on to why statement tests of victims might make sense. Repeat after me: "The polygraph is not a lie detector. The polygraph is a salience detector." To a victim, especially one subject to a traumatic event, RQs are salient in a big way, and not necessarily because the victim is lying. They bring up a recollection of the event. The RQs for truthful victims can be as evocative as they are for deceptive suspects. In both cases, the examinee can recall an experience that is freighted with strong emotion, with fear, with guilt, with shame, or any of a number of memories with negative valence. And these can cause physiological responding.

Now, why not use statement tests with suspects, too? Salience (you saw that coming, didn't you?) The CQs would remain self-referent, but the statement RQs might lose some of its self-referent qualities. The bad thing the suspect did is now reduced to a test about something he wrote, not something he did, while the CQs still cover something bad he did. Based on these albeit theoretical considerations, it would be reasonable to conclude that statement tests are a remedy for a very specific set of circumstances, as are the Yes Test and the RI, but not a first choice otherwise. They probably make sense for victims of violence, if that, but going the next step to more broad use would probably call for fundamental changes to our testing protocol. And then the necessary research to defend the practice. You know, starting over.......

Great topic.

Don

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Dan Mangan
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posted 07-13-2012 09:49 PM Click Here to See the Profile for Dan Mangan Edit/Delete Message
Don,

We agree on one thing: It's a great discussion.

But, other than your untested hypothesis, you got nuthin' solid that says statement tests don't work on suspects. Is that right?

Dan

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Ted Todd
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posted 07-13-2012 10:33 PM Click Here to See the Profile for Ted Todd Edit/Delete Message
Don,

Could you post the current ASTM definition of "salience". I know this is one definition that you and I have already discussed when the wording changed/improved a few months ago.

And just my two cents on the statement test. When you ask the RQ: "Does the statement you wrote today contain even one known lie?", you are not asking him about what he wrote, You are asking him if he lied in what he wrote.IE: Did you just engage in the ACT of lying? I think this would give us the salience we need. Thoughts?

Ted

[This message has been edited by Ted Todd (edited 07-13-2012).]

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dkrapohl
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posted 07-14-2012 03:47 PM Click Here to See the Profile for dkrapohl Click Here to Email dkrapohl Edit/Delete Message
Dan:
The onus is not on others to show that statement tests aren't valid. Not only is it impossible to prove a negative, such a demand turns the entire scientific process on its head. If one wants to use a statement test and claim the test is valid, it is up to the user to show evidence that they do work. Consider my lecture from a couple years ago about the technique I "invented": the Backster/Arther/Reid/Federal/Matte/Utah protocol, or BARFMUP for short. It had 19 test questions, and was scored using 631 features. I borrowed every technical question from every technique ever invented, every tracing feature ever thought of, and so my BARFMUP is definitely the most accurate. As silly as my technique is, can I practice it on an unsuspecting public just because someone else can't prove it doesn't work? The answer should be obvious. This is the crux of the problem one may have with statement tests. No evidence, not even a body of best practices to cling to. There is nothing to defend it. I recognize this factor is not as important to everyone, but from a vantage of enlightened self-interest it is clear that we all run the risk of having our cases scrutinized by someone else, and the use of unresearched methods when researched methods are available can cause the examiner to have a pretty bad day if the media or lawyers catch on. If you can defend your use of statement tests with more than what I've seen on this post, you might have a chance. No one is going to tell you that you can't use them, but you will need to search fairly far to find anyone who would agree they should be used routinely.

Ted: ASTM definitions are copyrighted, so I can't post them without risking my kids' already paltry inheritance. I'd invite interested persons to contact ASTM. On your second point about statement test going directly to the test issue, follow me through a thought experiment and see if my perspective has any merit. Suppose an examiner is going to test an examinee regarding whether he sexually touched a neighbor's kid. The suspect claims that he knows the child, that she had been in his home, that he had once put sunblock on her legs as a favor to her parents, but nothing he had done could be construed as being sexual. So the examiner has the examinee write out his statement claiming he had never sexually touched a child. The examiner could have tested the matter directly, but owing to personal preferences he went with the statement test. Let's take this exercise a step further, and say the examiner had the suspect write out a second statement that claims his first statement is completely true and accurate about his claim never to have sexually touched the child. At this point is it reasonable to believe that testing on this second statement further removes the suspect's salience to the relevant issue than would testing on the first written statement? If your answer is yes, as I suspect many people would agree, then is it not also reasonable that the first statement lacks some degree of essential salience compared to a direct question about whether the suspect had done the deed? Again, this conclusion is not much of a stretch. The case that a statement test taps the suspect's memory of his bad act as much as does a direct question is pretty hard to make. Maybe it does, but the effect is counterintuitive, and I would need to hear a lot more about why it should be true.

Let's take this exercise to the absurd now, for the sake of further exploration. How about if we have the examinee write a statement for every test question? Then we just test them on their statements. That's right, statements not just on the RQs, but statements on all test questions to create a level playing field across all questions. A Federal ZCT might then look something like this:

1. Is your statement about today being Monday completely true?

2. Is your statement true in which you wrote that you understood that I would have no surprise questions on this test?

3. Is your statement true in which you wrote you intend to be completely truthful to every question on the test about the sexual touching of Joannie?

4. Are there any lies in your statement about never having done anything sexually embarrassing before the age of 22?

And so on.

Getting back to my original point, statement tests may offer a solution in some very select instances, but they come with their own bag of deep set problems. Ray Weir, an early President of the APA, once wrote something like this: in polygraph techniques there are no unmixed blessings. I think from Mr. Weir's words we can take a lesson. There are no perfect test techniques, and it is the professional who knows which ones to use on which cases.

I'd really like to hear from others who have a different view on statement tests. I'd also like to hear if someone knows of any research on them, published or otherwise. Always open to data.


Don

PS: APA elections start Sunday, July 15th and run until the 21st. Get out there and vote.

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clambrecht
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posted 07-14-2012 05:14 PM Click Here to See the Profile for clambrecht Click Here to Email clambrecht Edit/Delete Message
This thread has given me much to consider, so thanks to all. As far as statement tests, we run them at the PD on every pre-employment test. R5: Did you falsify your polygraph certification form you completed today? The form contains 10 statements, recapping their history.
I was taught the DLST and have been discussing with the supervision to switch to it.

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Dan Mangan
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posted 07-14-2012 09:45 PM Click Here to See the Profile for Dan Mangan Edit/Delete Message
quote:
As far as statement tests, we run them at the PD on every pre-employment test. R5: Did you falsify your polygraph certification form you completed today? The form contains 10 statements, recapping their history.

clambrecht:

What? You're using a tenfold "embedded statement" component in your (already) multiple-issue pre-employment tests? To paraphrase Don, woe betide you should the media and lawyers "catch on."

You might want to be careful of DLSTs, as the directed-lie component greenlights the examinee to hammer the CQs, paving the way for FN results.

Dan

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Dan Mangan
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posted 07-15-2012 10:10 AM Click Here to See the Profile for Dan Mangan Edit/Delete Message
quote:
Consider my lecture from a couple years ago about the technique I "invented": the Backster/Arther/Reid/Federal/Matte/Utah protocol, or BARFMUP for short. It had 19 test questions, and was scored using 631 features. I borrowed every technical question from every technique ever invented, every tracing feature ever thought of, and so my BARFMUP is definitely the most accurate.

Don,

Your theoretical mix-master BARFMUP technique is a trite and obliquely deprecating stunt. BARFMUP was designed to serve as a clever foil for your seemingly reasoned pitch for dumbing down the polygraph technique. Unfortunately, this element of your medicine show takes a real slap at some of the innovators who have worked tirelessly to advance polygraph.

That's not good box office.

You continually endeavor to connect the dots between polygraph and science, but it's like writing with invisible ink: the lines of argument simply don't endure. That's because polygraph is much more art than it is science.

Ever since the curtain was drawn -- most notably by the Internet -- on how the polygraph "works," those who are heavily invested in it have been scrambling to bolster the science argument. And what entity is most heavily invested in polygraph? That would be Uncle Sugar himself. Dozens of agencies, employing hundreds of examiners, use polygraph. Thousands of tests are run every year. Total expenditures must easily run into the millions of dollars.

But then there are the intangibles, the victims of false-positive results. Tell us... in the totality of gummint polygraph programs, since inception, how many FPs would you say there have been? Can't begin to guess? OK then, how about taking a stab at the percentage of FPs over the years? My guess is that it's pretty high.

You can't just affect peoples' lives willy-nilly without science on your side, right?

Hence the big push to scientifically legitimize polygraph. A fool's errand if ever there was one.

In the polygraph field, it is universally accepted that the key to success is the pre-test. Without this painstakingly scripted and torturously choreographed rain dance, chances of an effective outcome are fatally compromised. Are you pronouncing the rain dance as scientific in its own right as a standalone component of the process? If so, what qualitative measures are you using? If not, what you're saying is that the "science" of polygraph depends on the "art" of the pre-test.

That's a pretty shaky foundation, although it just might support a house of cards...

And then there are the other subjective variables: selection of the CQs, personality of the examinee, underlying psychological and physiological anomalies, just to name a few.

And you call this science?

Despite you untested hypothesis, protestations of an inverted scientific community, and chicken-little warnings of grim-faced lawyers and media types demanding scientific justification to the written-statement variation of the government-endorsed Magic 8 Ball game, I think examiners who opt for this route needn't worry too much.

Statement tests are already in wide use as an embedded component of LEPET and similar polygraph test applications.

From your own write-up on how to conduct a LEPET test:

RQ: Did you deliberately falsify or omit any information from your applicant forms?

Not only is it a form of statement test, the word "deliberately" makes it a state-of-mind statement test. Oh my.

The polygraph process is so littered with subjective elements, reducing things to writing is unlikely to cause a jury to lose faith in a technique that itself survives chiefly by the devotion of its own worshipers.

Dan


[This message has been edited by Dan Mangan (edited 07-15-2012).]

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dkrapohl
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posted 07-15-2012 11:35 AM Click Here to See the Profile for dkrapohl Click Here to Email dkrapohl Edit/Delete Message
Dan:
I seem to have accidentally struck a nerve. My point is that we now know a lot more about good testing than we used to, and if one chooses to go off and ignore what has been confirmed, he does so at his own peril and without support. I used my old lecture material to drive home a point that responsible polygraph professionals simply don't experiment on the public. Many of our forefathers profited from that approach (some still try), and even made some decent contributions to our understanding, but those days are gone. Trial and error on our fellow citizens is just plain bad policy. If you saw more in my message than that, it was not intentional.

My second point is simply an aside. Though you raise some reasonable counter-arguments, your reliance on attacks against institutions and groups is not to be confused with informed debate. If you have data, if you have better ideas, historical information, maybe a testable theory, something informative, your contribution would be more clear. You're a smart guy, and it would be easier to see if you came without the chip. We get it: you don't like APA, the government, the NCCA, individuals working to isolate best practices, scientists, and others I may have missed. It's hard to tell whether you really like polygraphy. Okay, we accept that. Now, what can we do to help our colleagues solve a problem in the field? Where are the landmines, and let's let everyone know. Let's move the profession forward by working these things out together. That is what keeps everyone coming back, to share our best knowledge.

Off the soapbox now. As John Schwartz is fond of saying: We can disagree without being disagreeable. Smart guy, that John.

Don

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Ted Todd
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posted 07-15-2012 11:54 AM Click Here to See the Profile for Ted Todd Edit/Delete Message
Dan,

Below is a quote from one of your earlier posts:

"I hasten to add that Delmer is very much a progressive when it comes to polygraph. He embraced the scientific model early on and is committed to bringing polygraph to a higher level. Delmer has continually expanded his polygraph horizons, not just via his own professional growth, but through rapid advancement in his regional polygraph association. "

Can you tell us how to "embrace the scientific model"?

I find the debates on this site to be of great value but I agree with Don. I feel that value would increase exponentially if the bashing was toned down a bit.

Keep up the good work and the thought provoking posts!

Ted

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Bill2E
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posted 07-15-2012 12:42 PM Click Here to See the Profile for Bill2E Click Here to Email Bill2E Edit/Delete Message
R5: Did you falsify your polygraph certification form you completed today?

Yes this is a statement question, and it is used by many law enforcement agencies. If there are significant responses we then do a breakout test to find which portion of the form may have been incorrect. Again there is a very thorough pre test on the form content and we generally find the area the subject is concerned about and get a full explanation from the test subject, then narrow the question down and retest.

We are not accepting the premises that the subject is deceptive based on the statement question, we are doing the breakout to find if the subject is in fact being untruthful. Many tines I have found the subject is not being deceptive, he/she is just not totally sure that all the information is 100% correct. The breakout then narrows the conversation to that form in the pre test and the ensuing discussion may reveal what the subject is concerned about, allow clarification on the matter and facilitate a retest which many times shows the subject is being truthful. Those break out tests take us away from making a decision on the "statement question".

I have looked at the research available going back to 1978 and have found no scientific research studies on statement tests. I recall several lectures on statement testing at various seminars, but no scientific research was proffered.

Don, do you have any research on the LEPT/LEPT1 dealing with that one question? I'm sure you and the people at NCCA have some figures or calculations on this, otherwise the question would not have been included. Maybe you can shed some light for us. (I am not against NCCA, I find the research by NCCA to be excellent).

[This message has been edited by Bill2E (edited 07-15-2012).]

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Dan Mangan
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posted 07-15-2012 12:51 PM Click Here to See the Profile for Dan Mangan Edit/Delete Message
quote:
Can you tell us how to "embrace the scientific model"?

Ted,

I merely reported, that, like other once-new grads, Mr. Gross embraced the scientific model during his personal quest to expand his own polygraph horizons. In other words, Delmer did not remain indefinitely enslaved by the dogma of his original polygraph school.

I know the guy. Delmer is a critical thinker, and that's just one reason he'd make a great VP-LE. (Please vote early and often.)

Speaking for myself now, I believe there is a modicum of legitimate science that indeed applies to polygraph, but mainly in the scoring department.

However, the general scientific underpinnings of polygraph theory are so pathetically weak, it barely qualifies as pseudoscience and seems much more akin, in practice, to voodoo science.

In my opinion, the artistic and scientific elements of polygraph can -- and should -- be reconciled. But the current crop of policy wonks seem bonded to their own "either/or rule" in that regard, sailing their good and righteous ship -- the S.S. Empirica -- straight into an iceberg.

As far as the bashing goes, I'll put my Dale Carnegie hat on for a while, even though it gives me a headache. Meanwhile, perhaps the perceived bash victims can put an ice pack on their wounds -- and grow a thicker skin.

After all, they need something to do while they ponder diplomatic responses to my unanswered questions...

Dan


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Bill2E
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posted 07-15-2012 12:55 PM Click Here to See the Profile for Bill2E Click Here to Email Bill2E Edit/Delete Message
clambrecht,

My suggestion is to review with the subject every aspect of his actions when checking the diaper to see if it is soiled. Having three children of my own, I found it is not necessary to touch the child to discover a soiled diaper. If your subject did touch the child on her vagina, why was that necessary? If he touched her buttocks, why was that necessary. As Ray has stated, sex offenders have the ability to give you 20 reasons why the touching was necessary, and why it is not sexual. You can test on this portion of actions rather than doing a "statement" test. Did you touch X on her vagina or Did you touch X on her sexual parts. Again the pretest is so important when asking these questions. And I agree with Ray, you should not use sexually oriented questions as controls, use lie questions.

[This message has been edited by Bill2E (edited 07-15-2012).]

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Dan Mangan
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posted 07-15-2012 01:06 PM Click Here to See the Profile for Dan Mangan Edit/Delete Message
Bill2E,

The LEPET Series 1 test, as written up by Don, contains three "breakdown" tests (drugs, crimes, application).

The crux of the breakdown test for the falsification/omission component is essentially "OTWYTM, did you intentionally falsify or omit...on your applicant forms?"

So, when used in the prescribed manner, it's basically a single-issue statement test (but still about multiple issues, those being the remaining myriad of statements contained in the application forms), right?

Dan


[This message has been edited by Dan Mangan (edited 07-15-2012).]

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Bill2E
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posted 07-15-2012 04:39 PM Click Here to See the Profile for Bill2E Click Here to Email Bill2E Edit/Delete Message
Dan,

A breakdown test as I'm addressing it would be to go over the question after you see significant responses, then pull out the specific area of concern in the question and make it a single issue test. Not OTWYTM question. I believe this would narrow the scope of the question. The examinee will know what is of concern to him/her.

You are incorrect regarding what NCCA has suggested regarding the break down test. I would suggest doing it different, and there is no research regarding changing the breakdown test. You may even want to do a POT to determine the area of concern. We are talking about a more involved process, however it may be an answer to what you suggest is a weakness.

Anyone else have suggestions or comments on how to do the breakdown on this type question? I'm not easily offended so jump in and comment. These are suggestions and maybe we should explore alternatives to the established methods and investigate them.

Another question, Do we want to get this involved with an applicant? We are trying to find "truth" and lessen the possibility of a FP/FN. Is the additional time and effort worth the gain?

[This message has been edited by Bill2E (edited 07-15-2012).]

[This message has been edited by Bill2E (edited 07-15-2012).]

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Dan Mangan
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posted 07-15-2012 04:49 PM Click Here to See the Profile for Dan Mangan Edit/Delete Message
OK Bill, I follow you, but using that approach means you have to rerun the original test to capture the overall issue. Otherwise, how do you know the examinee isn't falsifying/omitting other elements of his app?

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Bill2E
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posted 07-15-2012 05:12 PM Click Here to See the Profile for Bill2E Click Here to Email Bill2E Edit/Delete Message
The actual questions suggested by NCCA are as follows for the breakdown test:

4. Did you falsify any information on your application forms?

6. Are you omitting any information from your application forms?

So NCCA suggests covering what you are concerned about. (how do you know the examinee isn't falsifying/omitting other elements of his app?) This is the recommended method according to the training I received on conducting the LEPT/LEPTI.


[This message has been edited by Bill2E (edited 07-15-2012).]

[This message has been edited by Bill2E (edited 07-15-2012).]

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Dan Mangan
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posted 07-15-2012 06:16 PM Click Here to See the Profile for Dan Mangan Edit/Delete Message
Right you are, Bill2E. So the breakdown test, being multiple issue in its own right, is a screening test of a screening test -- about statements! Oh man...

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Bill2E
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posted 07-15-2012 06:28 PM Click Here to See the Profile for Bill2E Click Here to Email Bill2E Edit/Delete Message
And we are off topic on statement tests. I think we sucked each other into this off topic conversation, so let it return to statement tests and leave this for another thread.

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dkrapohl
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posted 07-16-2012 01:09 PM Click Here to See the Profile for dkrapohl Click Here to Email dkrapohl Edit/Delete Message
Bill2E:
To my knowledge there is no published research on the test question regarding an applicant's truthfulness on his application. As a general rule, researchers of polygraph screening have given little attention to issues at that level. It's pretty hard to get one's arms around the possibilities and permutations of screening questions. However, you can take a glance at my paper on the RI from a few years ago to see that memory and salience seem to be implicated even with direct questions. Those findings would not bode well for indirect questions, such as statement tests or overall questions about applications. More generally, we have precious little research on screening itself.

What may help guide our practices on test question development is a good theory. In one man's view, I think Stu Senter et al's notion about differential salience is a step in that direction, but it will have to be tested before we know for sure. Though it fits nicer than the prevailing hypothesis within mainstream science, and especially as regards DLC tests, we don't want a new hypothesis to become popular before the science checks it out. We just know that the current hypothesis about psychological set is at least incomplete. If differential salience survives close scrutiny it will give us a framework for lots of things, including question scoping and formulation. Stay tuned for updates.

Back to testing applicants about their job applications, some federal agencies actually review the applicant's job application with him as part of the pretest interview. It is the time for the applicant to offer any updates, amendments, or clarifications. In this way, there may be more certainty in the mind of the applicant regarding his accuracy to that document. Whether this is the best way to conduct a pretest or not, it has come to fill an important role in the security process. It is standardized, and subject to oversight and layers of QC. No one can say at this moment, though, whether accurate test results come out of the process.

But then, what can anyone say about the accuracy of a background investigation, either?

Don

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Barry C
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posted 07-16-2012 02:45 PM Click Here to See the Profile for Barry C Click Here to Email Barry C Edit/Delete Message
There is a difference between the examiner making himself the stimulus and creating the "bad act" rather than letting the examinee decide if he or she is going to commit a bad act. (That's why some argue random assignment to a programmed innocent or guilty group is a problem and prefer to allow participants to decide whether they want to engage in the mock crime.)

A person is told, usually many times, that lying on the form is grounds for rejection. It is after knowing that information that the person must make a choice to answer truthfully or falsify the form. Falsifying it is the bad act. The person has a memory of an event in the past for which he chose to do something he knew he shouldn't have done and thus we predict the question would be salient.

When somebody presents for a test on a known issue and we then switch channels and make ourselves the test administrator and the test stimulus is problematic on a couple levels. We're now asking if a current statement about an act we're not naming is a lie and comparing that to questions for which the person presumably has a memory of a bad act (the CQs). In what sense are they equal? They aren't like the screening test in which a person made a decision (usually one that involves a mental struggle - based on what I've heard from examinees, especially since a BI also questioned the person...) to do something in advance that he or she knew was wrong. In other words, one has all the features we look for in a good RQ, and the other is one we manufactured.

I'd argue we have good reason to have more faith in one over the other. There are still problems with screening exams, but that's another conversation.

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Bill2E
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posted 07-17-2012 02:10 AM Click Here to See the Profile for Bill2E Click Here to Email Bill2E Edit/Delete Message
Don and Barry,

Thank you for your information. I do have some studying to do on Don's research and analysis. I understand the difference you are talking about on salience of questions. There are many things we need to understand more fully, I'm older but willing to learn. Thank both of you for your hard work and please continue to research and report.

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rnelson
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posted 07-17-2012 06:50 AM Click Here to See the Profile for rnelson Click Here to Email rnelson Edit/Delete Message
Some things to consider about the application question in the LEPET.

LEPET is simply an MGQT with LE screening questions (and a neutral jammed in the middle). There seems to be no published research on the LEPET, but the research on the MGQT tells us what to expect - assuming the targets are adequate.

The application is an explicit and exact document that requests factual information. It is not a subjective, qualitative, interpretive, or personal narrative regarding an incident.

Providing false information on a government document of this type is itself a serious offense with potential consequences. Same with falsly reporting crimes to police agencies.

We would be wise to never ever assume the examinee has reported everything, that the examinee has reported every detail, that we know everything, or that we know every detail. Its just silly.

There is always more, unless the examinee has falsified the information, or has exaggerated the information - both of which are interpreted by scientific-minded opponents of the polygraph as false confessions.

Consider this: how would one explain and justify to a court and opposing counsel the choice to use unproven and un-studied methods (statement test questions) in a situation that would allow the use of well studied and well-provien alternatives in the form of direct behaviorally descriptive questions?

Sure, not every test goes to court. But we should conduct every test as if it might. Otherwise we conduct some tests as if they matter and others as if they don't matter.

Try explaining to someone (or their counsel and the court) why their test matters so little that it is acceptable to use experimental methods instead of the available methods that are supported by published and replicated evidence.

.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)


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Dan Mangan
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posted 07-17-2012 08:18 AM Click Here to See the Profile for Dan Mangan Edit/Delete Message
quote:
The application is an explicit and exact document that requests factual information. It is not a subjective, qualitative, interpretive, or personal narrative regarding an incident.

Really, Ray? Try these on for size...

If hired, is it your intent to pursue a career with the [agency/organization]?

Have you ever had any serious conflicts with a supervisor?

Have you ever had any serious conflicts with a fellow worker?

Would you resent working under the supervision of someone younger than yourself?

Would you resent working under the supervision of someone of the opposite sex?

Would you resent working under the supervision of someone of another race?

Are you capable and willing to work anywhere in the state of ___________?

Has a person you arrested ever required medical aid?

What is your present financial condition? (good fair poor)

Did you intentionally misrepresent your financial condition on your application?

Do you consider yourself to be honest?

Do you consider yourself to be of good moral character?

Do you have any friends or associates of questionable character?

Would any of your friendships or associations affect your ability to enforce the laws in the state of _______?

Are you loyal to the U.S. Government?

There are others, but you get the idea.

Dan


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rnelson
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posted 07-17-2012 08:40 AM Click Here to See the Profile for rnelson Click Here to Email rnelson Edit/Delete Message
Dan:

My statements were regarding the application document itself.

I don't know where you got those questions?

Some of them look like potential CQs.

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
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posted 07-17-2012 09:28 AM Click Here to See the Profile for Dan Mangan Edit/Delete Message
Ray,

The questions were taken verbatim from an actual "pre-polygraph questionnaire" that is typical of what LEPET tests are largely based upon. In this case, the source was the State of Alaska.

Here's another gem of a question -- not verbatim, but close -- from a NH pre-poly questionnaire:

What is the greatest emotional hurt you ever caused someone?

The "police pre-employment pre-polygraph questionnaire" is arguably analogous to the sexual history form that a sexual offender would fill out prior to his sexual history polygraph.

Hmm... Isn't it frowned upon to question SOs about falsifying or omitting information from their pre-test questionnaire? Why is it unacceptable for SOs, but acceptable (in fact, a "standard") for applicants?

Let's call a spade a spade:
The LEPET polygraph is essentially a jumbled multi-issue, multi-dimensional statement test for which no research has been performed, and for which the accuracy is unknown.

This troublesome hurdle for applicants is a crap shoot.

Yet the LEPET is lauded as a great tool for "developing" disqualifying information, quite obviously -- given the absence of research data -- in a psych-out Q&A session during which the polygraph is used chiefly as an electronic rubber hose.

If you think otherwise, please provide the data to support your position.

Dan

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rnelson
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posted 07-17-2012 11:08 AM Click Here to See the Profile for rnelson Click Here to Email rnelson Edit/Delete Message
Dan,

The states of Alaska and New Hampshire are not the authoritave sources for the LEPET.

People do all kinds of creative things in the field, but that does not make it correct.

There are publications, but you are correct there is no research.

Field experience with the LEPET, in agencies outside the Federal programs, seems to have been frustrating to the point where modifications have been made.

Again, LEPET is simply an MGQT with defined quesitons for LE screening. As others have indicated, validation of topics and language is a a level at which we have not yet completed studies. Regardless, we can try to adhere to rules that are supported by available evidence for target and question formluation, or we can act as if anything goes.

It is a bit of a straw man argument to find the most varied and examples of departure from the technique and then criticize the technique.

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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Barry C
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posted 07-17-2012 11:38 AM Click Here to See the Profile for Barry C Click Here to Email Barry C Edit/Delete Message
Dan,

You raise a good point in that we are told to ask questions we probably have no business asking. However, those questions are for the purpose of an interview. In other words, they are freebies of little to no value. (I'd argue the answers are close to worthless, expect when somebody tells you the worst emotional experience caused - a question I don't ask - was when the person molested so and so.)

In the end, the question is still whether the person lied on the application or background form - something that comes before the polygraph interview questionnaire.

Nonetheless, you make a good point about those questions. I think they originate from the Canadian Police College's pre-employment test practices from some time ago. If you follow the news, the public got a little concerned when they discovered some of the questions being asked, and things have changed. It sounds like some others need to catch up.

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Dan Mangan
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posted 07-17-2012 11:40 AM Click Here to See the Profile for Dan Mangan Edit/Delete Message
quote:
Regardless, we can try to adhere to rules that are supported by available evidence for target and question formulation...

That's wonderful, but LEPET -- which is THE standard for pre-employment testing -- relies on the following key RQ:

Did you intentionally falsify or omit any information from your applicant forms?

Where is the evidence that says this "state-of-mind multi-issue multi-dimensional statement-test question" -- and a compound question that that -- is indeed a good question?

If there's no evidence to support it, then why is the question used? Why is the LEPET technique -- complete with the embedded statement-test question -- taught? Because it's "better than nothing?"

BTW, I doubt that the AK and NH examples are extreme variations of pre-polygraph LEPET questionnaires. I suspect there are countless others just like them.

Examiners who do pre-employment testing should chime in. I'd be surprised if the AK and NH examples are far afield from what is being used out there in the real world.

Dan

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Barry C
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posted 07-17-2012 11:44 AM Click Here to See the Profile for Barry C Click Here to Email Barry C Edit/Delete Message
quote:
Yet the LEPET is lauded as a great tool for "developing" disqualifying information, quite obviously -- given the absence of research data -- in a psych-out Q&A session during which the polygraph is used chiefly as an electronic rubber hose.

Where is the absence of research data? A few folks have looked at information developed during a polygraph. What we consistently see is that more information - apparently valuable to the agency - is gained during polygraph. How much information has been missed by interview alone? Some administrators don't care if polygraph is valid. They just want to know certain information. That is, if the bogus pipeline is the effect we see, they don't care. (I don't think it's the bogus pipeline, but my point is that our consumers don't care as long as the candidates come clean.)

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Dan Mangan
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posted 07-17-2012 12:04 PM Click Here to See the Profile for Dan Mangan Edit/Delete Message
Barry,

On that I agree with you 100%. By "research data" I meant the sensitivity and specificity of LEPET itself.

It appears the "psycho-physiological detection of deception" bogus pipeline is alive and well. Some things never change...

quote:
(I don't think it's the bogus pipeline, but my point is that our consumers don't care as long as the candidates come clean.)

[sigh] The customer is always right.

Dan

[This message has been edited by Dan Mangan (edited 07-17-2012).]

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skipwebb
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posted 07-17-2012 12:32 PM Click Here to See the Profile for skipwebb Click Here to Email skipwebb Edit/Delete Message
Man, you leave this forum for a few days and a subject goes completely off topic!
I believe the original question was:

A child discloses an adult family member touched her, under her diaper, when alone with her, on her bed. The suspect admits to the behavior, but claimed he was checking to see if she wet herself.

My answer:You-Phase

Are you now lying about why you put your hand in that child's diaper?

Pre-test the question to mean. "You said you put your hand in there to see if she was wet. If you put your hand in there to touch her vagina/anus for your own sexual gratification, then you lied about why you did it."

Can't see why that wouldn't be a good question??????

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