1. #1
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    Unhappy FireFighter Employment

    I was just wondering what to expect from a polygraph test. I have one coming up and i'm just trying to get an idea of what to expect. If anyone has any insight please reply

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    They will expect you to tell the truth.

    The polygraph is an instrument that meaures changes in involuntary reactions in your body; galvanic skin response, respiration rate, heart rate and blood pressure. The polygraph produces a polygram, which is read and interpreted by the operator to determine patterns of responses that are indicative of deception. There are control questions and a pre-test in order to allow the operator to accurately guage the responses.

    Despite folklore and non-scientific writings to the contrary, there is no way to beat the polygraph (although I'm sure Cap'n Bobby probably has a way). The accuracy of the polygraph examination, which is one tool in the hiring process, is based solely on the competency and the experience of the operator.

    George Wendt CFI's theory on why fire fighters get in trouble: Most fire fighters do not get into trouble for what they do, they get in trouble for lying about it later.

    Tell the truth. The truth is ALWAYS better than lying.

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    One of the big misconceptions is that the machine and/or operator can read your mind.

    It takes more training to be a barber that it does to be a polygrapher/polygraphist. In my opinion, it's more art than science which leads me to question its validity. The American Polygraph Association even openly states: "While the polygraph technique is not infallible, research clearly indicates that when administered by a competent examiner, the polygraph test is one of the most accurate means available to determine truth and deception."

    While it is true that the machine measures involuntary responses, it is not true that being deceiptful will ALWAYS generate measurable changes in said responses. So it sure does suck when you're one of the few "anomalies" in the APA data... someone who is telling the truth but either failing or getting inconclusive results.

    Similar questions are rephrased and asked several times to gauge consistency. When inconsitencies are noted, the examiner will zero in on them.

    ABOVE ALL...
    Be open, honest, and upfront. And be CONSISTENTLY open, honest, and upfront. Otherwise you are SURE to run into problems.

    Your answers to all questions can be compared to the rest of the information gleaned from your hiring process and background check after the polygraph... so never think that what you say in the room stays in the room.
    Last edited by Resq14; 02-24-2005 at 12:01 AM.
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    What kind of questions are asked?

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    First of all let me state two things. First, I believe in the polygraph as a TOOL. It is a valuable interrogation aid.

    Secondly, I have used the polygrpah dozens of times in my investigations. It has gotten mconfessions as many times as it has cleared someone I thought was a lock for the arson.

    That said. Many of you are under some grand disillusion regarding the polygraph. The issue of training is one of those disillusions. Polygraphers undergo rigorous training. The schools that I am famiiar with involve at least 6 weeks/ 6 days per week of basic training. There is then a significant period of time that their polygrpahs are monitored for accuracy. It is my recollection that one of the schools requires about 300 monitored polygraphs before that school will endorse that operator as a full fledged polygraphist.

    The second topic is the operation of the polygraph. That website that was listed details two PROPERLY EXECUTED polygraphs. I suppose that none of you considered the possibility that the author of the website is a friggin' liar. Thee is no benefit to a law enforcement agency (or fire department for that matter) to turn down qualified applicants for the fun of it. The purpose of it is to weed out potential problem children. It is extremely unlikely that two independent polygraphers, years apart, would come erroneously to the same conclusion. Unless of course, you want to think that there is some sort of secret federal database of applicants who have failed applicant polygraphs.

    Ever polygraph that I was involved with included the applicant developing the questions with the polygrapher. That way, the subject feels comfortable with the way the question is presented and can answer it honestly.

    As far as the barren "interrogatyion" room. There is a perfectly good reason for that. There is no decoration or fixtures inorder to provide for zero distractions of the subject. He needs to 100% concentrate on the test and the questions.

    The polygrapmachine itself is infallible. It can only measure the involuntary reactions the subject puts out. The questions come up with the polygraphers interpretation of those polygrams. Of course there is art to the administration and interpretation of a polygraph exam. Any field in which there is a subjective analysis of data requires art. Do you think there is no art in medicine?

    Take the test. Speak honestly. If you have used drugs in the past, tell them so. My theory on why people get into trouble is that half of them get in trouble for what they do, half of them get in trouble for lying about it.

    If you plan on lying, don't take the test.

    Have any of you experts ever taken a polygraph?

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    If they do a backround check and then an oral interview, they wont ask a question that they dont already know the answer too.
    I dont suffer from insanity, I enjoy every minute of it.

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    Yes.

    And I spoke with the examiner after the fact, and on numerous occasions thereafter. I do not believe in any polygraph conspiracies. I think someone can disagree on this topic without being placed in some type of conspiracist category.

    I put little faith in the operator's ability to measure truthfulness. It all starts with the cheezy "playing card calibration" gag that is very typical in pre-employment polygraphy. If anyone believes that the machine and operator can figure out what kind of playing card you selected based on a couple of questions, I have a bridge in Brooklyn to sell you.

    Of course there is art to medicine and law. But this is WAY more subjective than either of those. It's not even a close comparison. Again, the machine will accurately and reliably read the "involuntary responses" it is designed to measure. BUT, and this is a HUGE but, to say that deception will always produce measurable involuntary responses (which can be masked, let there be no doubt) is not correct. There is no "specific lie response." The polygraph merely records general emotional arousal, and can't distinguish between responses from anxiety, indignation, guilt.

    Also in my opinion, the polygraph is only used as a tool to convince people to spill their guts, OR, to see if they are not going to be upfront about activity that the administration already knows about from the background check, or might learn at a later point in the hiring process. This is where agencies see the value in a polygraph. It's a step in the process that's not likely to disappear. It's sometimes scary to hear what comes up in pre-employment polygraphs... stuff that otherwise might've been missed.

    Anyway, as far as the machine and operator being able to detect deception... I think it's junk science. Just my opinion. I respect yours GW. Its probably the more common and accepted position.

    I agree 100% with your advice, GW, because that is what it will all come down to: being honest, or getting caught in lies.
    Last edited by Resq14; 02-24-2005 at 04:39 PM.
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    Couple of points

    1. The word "always" never appeared in my posts

    2. The calibration "gag" is not a gag at all. How do you think the operator picks the card out? Are they marked? Are they all the same? What about when there is no card but he asks another question? The fact of the matter is that he can tell because of the physiological changes on the polygram. It is also psychological. If the subject belives the machine works, he will be even MORE anxious when he is being deceptive.

    3. There is no specific "lie response" and I never said that there was. But if a specific question provokes a change in the physiological responses, it was caused by something. The operator will not call the subject a liar, but he will further explore the situation surrounding the question.

    4. The objective of an interviewer/interrogator/polygrpaher is to get a person to tell the truth. If the detection of a deceptive response causes a person to admit that he was deceptive THERE IS NOTHING WRONG WITH THAT! THAT IS THE POINT!

    5. I never said you were a conspiracy theorist.

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    Polygraph

    I believe in preparing for every step in the hiring process, before you get there.

    Some departments use polygraphs as part of the hiring process. More than one background investigator will ask candidates if they will submit to a polygraph to verify their information. You can agree at that time to move along the process; but understand they cannot and will not give you a polygraph if it wasnít stated on the job announcement.

    If polygraphs are so great why arenít the results admissible in court cases? Criminologists say lie detector tests pass 10 percent of the liars and fail 20 percent of the truth-tellers.

    If there is a polygraph in your future hiring, check out this web site: www.polygraph.com and www.passapolygraph.com

    There seems to be a pattern of the examiner hammering candidates in one or more areas during a polygraph to try and get them to admit to something that supposedly shows a suspected reaction to a question. How come they can lie and you're only supposed to tell the truth? If it is not true, stick to your guns; even if it is questionable.

    I know of candidates who have failed a polygraph when they swore they were telling the truth, have educated themselves how to get through a polygraph and passed the next. Othersí have claimed they purchased programs on the Internet and successfully passed the polygraph.

    If you donít think there is something going on with the polygraph, consider this:

    A candidate contacted me after he showed up for his polygraph. The evaluator asked him several questions before he hooked him up. One of the questions he was asked was had he gone to any web sites that offer information how to prepare for a polygraph? Those sites canít help you anyway said the evaluator. The candidate said no (even though he had).

    In his background he had admitted to using pot twice. One of the questions he was asked when he was hooked up was had he smoked pot more than twice. He answered no. The evaluator asked him the same question two more times because he said had he was getting a reaction. While preparing for the polygraph, this candidate knew some evaluators use this ploy to get you to change your answer.

    There was probably no reaction. He replied no each time. Which was the truth. When the evaluator asked him why he thought there was a reaction each time, the candidate told him he couldnít believe he had to try pot a second time to realize he did not like how he felt when he did. The interview was over.

    Often, candidates get in trouble by what they will say before and after they are wired up for the test. Understand if you admit to something that you answered no on your application, you are automatically eliminated from the hiring process.

    I thought the best way to gain more experience for the polygraph is to include information from those that have gone through the process. The following information has not been verified. Take what you want and leave the rest.

    These postings were gathered from the Internet bulletin boards. Here we go:

    Hey bud, Iím not an expert but I have just recently passed my first oral and failed my first background process thanks to the polygraph. I told some information in my background that probably would have never been found out but being the stupid honest guy thinking I would be praised for telling the truth. It actually nipped me in the ***.

    My background was approved and at the polygraph I again was too honest about something and the ex-sheriff apparently had me depicted as GUILTY as soon as I explained. Needless to say he interrogated me and made me so angry stating that every time I was asked this particular question it was ďbothering meĒ and stating ďare you sure youíre telling everything.Ē I showed a response to this question every time apparently.

    A week later I got my letter that my conditional offer of employment had been revoked, but thanks for applying and have a grrrrrrreat day! I know three buddies who pasted their polys and are nowhere near being a saint.

    Two of them spent $50 on some document they got off of the Internet on ďhow to guarantee and pass the polygraph.Ē I donít know if this would of helped me but if I could do it all over again I would have taken my buddies advice and that is tell em what they want to hear and donít offer any info!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    GOOD LUCK BROTHER, YOU CAN DO IT.

    More: Iím currently employed by a Fire Dept in the LA area. My opinion/advice towards the Poly and Background check is very simple:
    Poly: there is no way in which a machine could read if you are lying or not. What this machine does is read your heartbeat, breathing, and your sweat glands by attaching two strips of Velcro with cables to 2 fingers.

    My opinion about this machine is that the only thing they use this for is to have the examiner drill you on something (drug use, sex life, temper, etc). While they are conducting the exam, they pick something to drill you on. Once they chose something, they drill you constantly until you confess.

    Example: John Doe lied on his application about the one time he smoked pot. He writes down that he has never used pot. When he goes to take his poly, the examiner tells him the machine is making a funny reading when he is asked about his drug use (the machine is not actually reading anything funny). John Doe gets drilled and drilled until John finally confesses. Because of this John gets disqualified. If John would have stuck to his story he would have never been disqualified.

    As for backgrounds, they tell you to be honest. But sometimes being honest can bite you in the ***. When a background is being conducted the only obvious things they could find out are things like your driving, criminal record and credit history. Donít be stupid and write down references that hate you. Iíve known some good people that should be fireman/cops, but get disqualified for being too honest.

    Example: I know a guy who when he was young was playing basketball one day after school. After the game he and a buddy were walking by a classroom, they saw a window open and stole some stuff. They went home and never got caught. This dummy was too honest and got disqualified. There is no way in which anyone would ever find out.
    Finally, I am not a background investigator, nor a polygraph examiner. I do however know a lot about this because I have a lot of friends who are cops and firefighters.

    While processing to get our jobs we went through all this. We share stories and actually talk to these people. When I was in college I did a report on the polygraph. Hey, if O.J. Simpson passed his poly anybody can. As for you b/ground: if its not written down on record anywhere donít tell them. They will never find out unless you tell them.

    The reason Iím responding to this is because too many good people get disqualified for stupid things. If you are currently using drugs, they will find out at your medical, if you are weak, you wonít pass your PAT, if you are crazy the, psychiatrist will find out.

    Still more: This is the part of the test that worries me too . . . I have actually taken one before and failed it, though I know that while being tested I was being entirely honest and open about my answers. The test I took did not want you to have a clean slate so I answered the questions accurately.

    After they told me I had failed, they then drilled me to make sure there was not ďsomething I did not tell themĒ, over and over - ďare you sure, there must be something in your head you are not letting out.Ē It was the most frustrating thing to have someone look you in the face and based off a machine tell you are lying when you are not.

    Now any polygraph I go to I will inevitably be freaked and wonder if I will fail on that fear alone. I do not have any answers for you, but based on the above, O.J. and my story it seems as though you simply cannot predict just what will happen.
    GOOD LUCK!

    Another one: I just took my polygraph and passed it. There was one question that the print out showed the lines going clear off the page.

    Supposedly showing that I was lying. This proctor drilled me on it. He almost turned militant, and somewhat hostile trying to get me to confess. The question he asked was, ďhave you ever been fired or asked to resign from a job.Ē I never have. I think the best advice I can give from my experience is to stick to your guns and do not let them back you into a corner.

    If you know you are telling the truth, this stupid machine isnít going to be able to tell the difference. The only reason the line went clear off the page was because I took a deep breath. Not a very dependable reading if you ask me.

    See any patterns here? Like every step in the hiring process, you donít want to go into a polygraph without being prepared. Educate yourself!

    Captain Bobby

    www.eatstress.com
    Last edited by CaptBob; 02-24-2005 at 07:44 PM.

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    Ya know, the first draft of my first response included a comment about how Cap'n Bobby would probably come on here in a few posts and state there are ways to beat the polygraph. I took it out when I figured one of you would berate me for calling Cap'n Bobby out.

    Son of a gun if I wasn't right. Notice that there are links to two posts on how to beat a polygraph, numerous comments about how the polygraph is an evil thing and you need to learn how to beat it and on and on.

    THERE IS NOT ONE SINGLE COMMENT ABOUT HOW AN APPLICANT SHOULD TELL THE TRUTH EVERY TIME!

    Zero credibility loser.

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    Default Hmmmmmmmmmm

    George, Norm who ever you are, your life must be difficult to live when you see yourself as a hammer and everything else looks like a nail.

    Are Polygraph Tests Lying to Us?

    This article is from the Baltimore Sun. It should give you an insight to the polygraph delimma:

    Tests: Mixed reading of Lee's nuclear secret data, federal
    employee opposition to taking lie detectors 'reignite'
    80-year-old controversy.

    By Michael Stroh
    Sun Staff


    When physicist Wen Ho Lee first denied
    leaking U.S. nuclear secrets to the Chinese, authorities from
    the Department of Energy in 1998 wired him to a polygraph
    to see if he was lying.

    The Los Alamos National Laboratory scientist passed.

    But when a polygraph expert from the FBI looked at the
    same test results later, he concluded that Lee had not told
    the truth.

    How could the same lie detector test lead investigators to
    exactly opposite conclusions?

    The case of Lee, who eventually pleaded guilty to one
    felony count of mishandling classified information, has left
    law enforcement experts trying to answer the same
    fundamental questions that have existed since the invention
    of the lie detector 80 years ago: Does the polygraph
    actually work? And is it fair?

    "It's reignited this smoldering controversy," says Steven
    Aftergood, a senior research analyst with the Federation of
    American Scientists in Washington. In an essay being
    published today in the journal Science, Aftergood argues
    that a new federal policy requiring nearly 20,000
    employees of the national nuclear weapons laboratories to
    take lie detector tests is having undesirable effects.

    The policy has lowered morale, Aftergood writes, and
    caused some of the nation's most gifted scientists to leave,
    and made it harder for the labs to recruit talented young
    researchers for the weapons programs. The use of the
    polygraph, he writes, "symbolizes the defeat of reason by
    the national security state."

    Despite such criticisms, the use of the polygraph test is on
    the rise.

    Congress banned private industry's use of lie detectors as a
    condition of employment in 1988, but they are routinely
    used for employee screening at the FBI, Central Intelligence
    Agency, National Security Agency and local police
    departments around the country. The percentage of law
    enforcement agencies using polygraphs for this purpose
    rose from 16 percent in 1962 to 62 percent in 1999,
    according to a survey by Michigan State University's
    School of Criminal Justice.

    There's also a growing market for polygraphs outside law
    enforcement. The American Polygraph Association, the
    largest polygraph accrediting and licensing organization in
    the country, reports that its membership has risen past 2,000
    and is continuing to grow.

    Private polygraph examiners handle everything from fishing
    tournaments to divorce cases. Winners of the annual Big
    Rock Blue Marlin Tournament in Morehead City, N.C., for
    example, must submit to a polygraph before collecting any
    prize money (to make sure they haven't stuffed rocks in the
    gut of their prize catch).

    Lie detectors aren't designed to detect lies as much as the
    subtle physical changes that may occur when a person tells
    a lie. The word "polygraph" means "many writings," and
    that is what the polygraph machine produces: lots of
    squiggly lines on a scrolling piece of paper.

    The test works like this: A subject is seated in a chair. Two
    rubber belts are wrapped around his chest and stomach to
    measure breathing patterns. A blood pressure cuff is
    wrapped around an arm. A metal plate attached to the
    fingers measures sweat gland activity.

    The polygraph examiner then asks the person a series of
    questions. Some of the queries are "control" questions
    unrelated to the matter under investigation but establish a
    base line of the person's blood pressure, respiration and
    perspiration. Other questions directly address the actions
    under scrutiny.

    The examiner interprets the person's physiological response
    to each of the questions, as recorded on scrolling paper, to
    judge whether the person is lying. And thus the uncertainty
    about polygraph results: they are a matter of judgment.
    "There's no red light or siren that comes on when the person
    lies," says Milton O. "Skip" Webb Jr., president of the
    American Polygraph Association.

    The roots of the modern lie detector stretch back to
    antiquity. Like modern methods, early techniques to ferret
    out lies often relied on the behavior exhibited by liars -
    sweaty palms, dry mouth, shifting gaze, racing pulse.

    In China, for example, suspected liars were fed a handful of
    dry rice. If they could spit it out, the thinking went, they
    were telling the truth. If the rice stuck to their tongue, they
    must have something to hide.

    The modern quest to detect liars using technology began
    with Cesare Lombroso, an Italian criminologist who in
    1895 published a book called "The Criminal Man" in which
    he described his efforts using an early instrument to
    measure changes in blood pressure to determine whether
    several criminal suspects had lied.

    In 1915, Harvard psychologist William Moulton Marston
    picked up on these early studies and devised a primitive lie
    detector based on blood pressure. According to
    psychologist and polygraph historian David Lykken, it was
    Marston, a colorful P.T. Barnum-like character, who was
    among the first to realize the lie detector's commercial
    possibilities.

    In 1938, Look magazine described how Marston sometimes
    used his lie detection techniques in marital counseling. He
    also showed up in full-page ads testfying to the close shave
    offered by Gillette razors: "New Facts about Shaving
    Revealed by Lie Detector!" (Using the pen name "Charles
    Moulton," Marston would also invent the comic strip
    character Wonder Woman, whose magic lasso could force
    those held to tell the truth. )

    But John A. Larson, a Berkeley, Calif., police officer, is the
    person generally credited with inventing the modern
    polygraph machine. In 1921, Larson, who eventually
    became a doctor, devised an instrument that could
    simultaneously record blood pressure, pulse and
    respiration. Later tinkerers improved upon Larson's design
    by adding sensors to measure perspiration.

    Over the years scientists have tried to determine whether
    the polygraph actually works. But accurate studies are hard
    to do. "The science is not solid," says Aftergood, in part
    because investigators can rarely learn independently
    whether a subject who passed a polygraph test was indeed
    telling the truth.

    In some studies, volunteers are recruited to be pretend
    criminals and then subjected to a lie detector test. But the
    results of such work, critics argue, don't mimic reality. "It's
    impossible to make the stakes as high in an experiment as
    they are in real life," says Aftergood.

    Still, proponents of the polygraph argue the device is
    accurate in better than 90 percent of cases, and note that it's
    not uncommon for other types of test results to be open to
    interpretation.

    "Your doctor can have you take a chest X-ray and say, 'I
    don't see anything.' Then he sends it over to a radiologist
    and the radiologist finds something the first doctor doesn't
    see," says Webb. "Happens all the time."

    But enough guilty people have slipped past the polygraph to
    have given law enforcement officials pause. Most federal
    and state courts do not allow polygraph results to be
    entered as evidence.

    CIA employee Aldrich Ames, for example, passed lie
    detector tests despite selling U.S. secrets to the Russians
    for more than eight years. There's also a mini-industry of
    Internet sites and books such as "Deception Detection:
    Winning the Polygraph Game" that purport to teach people
    how to beat the test.

    "College students with 15 minutes of explanation can beat
    the lie detector," says David Lykken, a retired psychologist
    from the University of Minnesota. "Anybody who is
    working as a spy has been taught how to beat the
    polygraph." The advertised techniques range from curling
    one's toes to biting one's tongue during control questions to
    mislead the examiner.

    Still, even critics of the polygraph acknowledge that it has
    led to admissions of guilt that they might not otherwise have
    gotten.

    "The polygraph itself functions as a prop more than anything
    else," says Aftergood. "Yet, there are cases every year in
    which the prop works."

    By Michael Stroh
    Sun Staff

    Absolutely nothing counts 'til you have the badge. Nothing!

    "Captain Bobby"

    www.eatstress.com
    Last edited by CaptBob; 02-25-2005 at 12:15 AM.

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    Originally posted by GeorgeWendtCFI
    If the subject belives the machine works, he will be even MORE anxious when he is being deceptive.
    There is no doubt in my mind that this is true.

    And I am not surprised that there isn't any support for "truth" by someone here.
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    Bobby (you don't deserve the title);

    What is different in the article than anything I said?

    Have you ever used the polygraph in an investigation as a tool?

    Have you ever taken a polygraph?

    Do you ever counsel your loyal subjects to tell the truth?

    "College students with 15 minutes of explanation can beat
    the lie detector," says David Lykken, a retired psychologist
    from the University of Minnesota. "Anybody who is
    working as a spy has been taught how to beat the
    polygraph." The advertised techniques range from curling
    one's toes to biting one's tongue during control questions to
    mislead the examiner.
    This is crap. Every polygraph examiner is trained to look for these and all the other "tricks" some genius thought up. If a polygraph examiner detects that a person is attempting to beat the polygraph, that test is scored as deceptive.

    This ain't no hammer. This is someone who refuses, absolutely refuses, to allow you to spew your crap anymore.
    Last edited by GeorgeWendtCFI; 02-25-2005 at 08:45 AM.

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    Hey George,
    I simply posted that link to elevate and bring a new perspective into the conversation. Itís quite obvious that you have a passion for this but seriouslyÖ..calm down and play nice with BobÖ

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    I haven't taken or given a test, but here is one of the nations best authorities on the subject.

    Opening Statement of Dr. Drew C. Richardson, FBI Laboratory, before the United States Senate, Committee on the Judiciary, Washington, D.C. 20510 on the 29th day of September 1997.

    My name is Dr. Drew Campbell Richardson. I am a Supervisory Special Agent of the Federal Bureau of investigation. I have spent the vast majority of my professional career as a scientist within the FBI Laboratory. In that capacity I have worked in the areas of chemistry, toxicology, polygraph research, and hazardous materials response. Although willing to address matters of concern in any of these areas through your questions, it is on polygraph issues that my opening statement will focus.

    Polygraph, as practiced by the FBI and others, is generally used for two purposes: (1) criminal specific-issue testing, and (2) Applicant and/or personnel screening. It is the latter practice that I will largely address. Before I do, I have just a few comments about the former application.
    I question aspects of the validity and ethical practice of Bureau polygraph examinations as applied to criminal tests, but it is truly the area of personnel screening that I find without any merit at all. Polygraph screening is used by the Bureau to screen employee applicants in the areas of counterintelligence matters (espionage) and life-style issues (drug usage, etc.). With regard to polygraph screening, I submit the following to you:
    1. It is completely without any theoretical foundation and has absolutely no validity. Although there is disagreement amongst scientists about the use of polygraph testing in criminal matters, there is almost universal agreement that polygraph screening is completely invalid and should be stopped. As one of my colleagues frequently says, the diagnostic value of this type of testing is no more than that of astrology or tea-leaf reading.
    2. If this test had any validity (which it does not), both my own experience, and published scientific research has proven, that anyone can be taught to beat this type of polygraph exam in a few minutes.
    3. Because of the nature of this type of examination, it would normally be expected to produce large numbers of false positive results (falsely accusing an examinee of lying about some issue). As a result of the great consequences of doing this with large numbers of law enforcement and intelligence community officers, the test has now been manipulated to reduce false positive results, but consequently has no power to detect deception in espionage and other national security matters. Thus, I believe that there is virtually no probability of catching a spy with the use of polygraph screening techniques. I think a careful examination of the Aldrich Ames case will reveal that any shortcomings in the use of the polygraph were not simply errors on the part of the polygraph examiners involved, and would not have been eliminated if FBI instead of CIA polygraphers had conducted these examinations. Instead I believe this is largely a reflection of the complete lack of validity of this methodology. To the extent that we place any confidence in the results of polygraph screening, and as a consequence shortchange traditional security vetting techniques, I think our national security is severely jeopardized.
    4. Because of the theoretical considerations involving false positive results and because of anecdotal stories told to me by self-alleged victims of polygraph screening, I believe that the Bureau is routinely falsely accusing job applicants of drug usage or drug dealing. Not only is this result irreparably harming these individuals, but it is likely denying the Bureau access to qualified and capable employees. Although these individuals do not have an inalienable right to Federal Government employment, they do have an inalienable right to just treatment by their government.
    5. I believe that claims of cost effectiveness, and the utility of polygraph screening are altogether wrong, reflect misplaced priorities, and lead to activities that are damaging to individuals and this country.
    I think the aforementioned problems with polygraph continue to exist within the Bureau and elsewhere for the following reasons:
    The fact that the human physiology is marvelously wonderful and complex, that polygraph methods have been able to accurately record this physiology for most of this century and beyond, and the fact that computerized acquisition and evaluation of this data is now available, in no way compensates for the vast shortcomings of polygraph applications and questioning formats. State of the art technology utilized on faulty applications amounts to nothing more than garbage in, garbage out.
    In conclusion and because of all these considerations, I would recommend that the Bureau administratively abandon polygraph screening, support meaningful research related to criminal-specific testing, and would call upon this body, either through immediate legislation or through further hearings dealing specifically with polygraph matters, to begin the process of producing A Comprehensive Polygraph Protection Act. Such an act could protect employees and applicants for Federal jobs from the abuses that this Senate has previously protected other Americans from.
    Thank you very much for the opportunity to address this body, and I look forward to entertaining any questions you might have.

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    Originally posted by GeorgeWendtCFI
    THERE IS NOT ONE SINGLE COMMENT ABOUT HOW AN APPLICANT SHOULD TELL THE TRUTH EVERY TIME!
    While there may not be any comment about how an applicant should tell the truth, there is also no comment about how an applicant should outright lie.

    From reading the post, I gathered it was more about how lie detectors are ineffective, and as such, honest candidates could be weeded out of the hiring process.

    And, as a result, honest candidates should research information about the polygraph and how it works in order to pass it, since there is a good chance they could fail it anyway, even if telling the truth.

    That's what I gathered.

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    Default Yep

    And, as a result, honest candidates should research information about the polygraph and how it works in order to pass it, since there is a good chance they could fail it anyway, even if telling the truth. That's what I gathered.
    Amen! That's the point. Educate yourself on every step of the hiring process before you get there.

    Captain Bob

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    Amen! That's the point. Educate yourself on every step of the hiring process before you get there.
    I did. I did not lie. Passed the test. Amazing how that works.
    IACOJ, Flatlander Division

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    Default Re: Yep

    Originally posted by CaptBob


    Amen! That's the point. Educate yourself on every step of the hiring process before you get there.

    Captain Bob
    C'mon. Humor me. Let me see you emphatically state that an applicant should always answer a question truthfully, never embellish their credentials and always be honest during the hiring process.

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    have any questions

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    C'mon. Humor me.
    Humor me? I'm not sure you know what that means George?

    After you have jumped through all the flaming hoops you donít want to be caught flat-footed for the remaining steps in the hiring process. Itís 3rd down and 2 yards to go for the badge. You want to convert. You want to convert every step of this process the first time through the line, or you could be thrown for a loss, thrown in the penalty box, out of the game, and trying to fight your way back in.

    You can spin this anyway you want. But ask yourself if you would you show up without preparing for the written? Not in shape for the physical agility? Have you discovered you just canít wing the oral? Then, why doesnít it make since to prepare for the remaining portions of the hiring process, the background, psych, poly and medical? That's all I'm talking about here to prepare before you show up.

    Donít be so naive to believe by the 4 inches between your ears you have an explanation that everything in your past will be overlooked, especially if itís something you werenít required to reveal in the first place. If you do, you might still believe in the Easter Bunny and the Tooth Fairy. Come on in said the spider to the fly. Donít take the bait! Itís not the department but the background investigators, poly and the psychologist that could take you out. These people are not your friends. They are experts being paid to eliminate you from the process. The deck is stacked against you before you show up.

    I get the calls when the background has not gone right for too many candidates. The first words out of their mouth when I pick up the phone is usually, "What do I do now?" I ask them two questions. Did you volunteer information that you were not required to give to a fault leaving not rock unturned? They usually answer yes. Than thatís probably why you failed. The defense rests.

    A candidate just called and said the background investigator told him a poly would be given to verify his information. My first question, ďWas it listed on the job announcement that there was going to be a poly? No. If it was not included in the job announcement and or they are going to give a poly to everyone else, thatís BS. Itís not uncommon for a background investigator or psychologist to say, ďWill you submit to a poly to verify your answers? Or, a poly could or will be given at the end of the process.Ē Are they lying? Yep. Wait a minute, I thought everyone was suppose to tell the truth here?

    As of today, Iím not aware of any test where the candidates were held hostage with the threat of a poly being given, when it was not included with the job announcement, and they had to take one. I know of candidates who were turned down and wanted to take a poly to prove they were telling the truth and they couldnít get one because they would have to give it to everyone else.

    They often say, I didnít think what I told them was any big deal, but some of those little things that I really didnít have to talk about amounted to causing me big problems in the process. As one candidate said, "Hey, Iím not a bad guy. But I volunteered a little something here and then there. By the time they got done with me, they made me look like Charles Manson! "

    Those who are critical about what we are saying here probably donít have a clue what we do. I want candidates to be prepared for each step of the hiring process, where the land mines are and understand the ramifications of the information they present in the process.

    You have spent all this time gaining education, experience and training to get this job. You finally get a shot at the badge. You get a conditional job offer. Youíre ecstatic. You call family and friends. You meet with the background investigator. You think heís your pal. You go for your poly and psych. No big deal right? Then a letter arrives from the department withdrawing their job offer. Youíre stunned! There has to be a mistake. You want to talk to someone. You had the explanation you knew they would accept. No one will talk to you. Youíre out of the process. The reason? You walked in flat-footed not prepared for the remaining segments of the hiring process.

    As one candidate wrote: As for Backgrounds; they tell you to be honest. But sometimes being honest can bite you in the ***. When a Background is being conducted the only obvious things they could find out are things like your driving, criminal and credit history. Don't be stupid and write down references that hate you. I've know some good people that should be fireman/cops but get disqualified for being to honest.

    Youíre a free agent. Make sure you prepare for the hiring process in a way that will best put you in a position for a badge.

    Captain Bob

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    Last edited by CaptBob; 02-25-2005 at 05:43 PM.

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    George said :

    ďDespite folklore and non-scientific writings to the contrary, there is no way to beat the polygraph (although I'm sure Cap'n Bobby probably has a way). The accuracy of the polygraph examination, which is one tool in the hiring process, is based solely on the competency and the experience of the operator.Ē
    then he said:
    This is crap. Every polygraph examiner is trained to look for these and all the other "tricks" some genius thought up. If a polygraph examiner detects that a person is attempting to beat the polygraph, that test is scored as deceptive.Ē
    The head of the National Crime lab, Dr Richardson, said:
    the test has now been manipulated to reduce false positive results, but consequently has no power to detect deception in espionage and other national security matters. Thus, I believe that there is virtually no probability of catching a spy with the use of polygraph screening techniques. I think a careful examination of the Aldrich Ames case will reveal that any shortcomings in the use of the polygraph were not simply errors on the part of the polygraph examiners involved, and would not have been eliminated if FBI instead of CIA polygraphers had conducted these examinations. Instead I believe this is largely a reflection of the complete lack of validity of this methodology. To the extent that we place any confidence in the results of polygraph screening, and as a consequence shortchange traditional security vetting techniques, I think our national security is severely jeopardizedĒ
    I guess george will have to start calling him Dr richie.

    How on earth could telling someone to learn about a part of the test be a bad thing? The kid asked what to expect. Everyone gives his or her opinion, and then George is accusing Capt Bob of telling people to lie. Again Iíll say it, George I donít think you are trying to help anybody, you just want to hear yourself speak and no one can express a different point of view without you jumping down their throat. Why should Capt Bob state anything to humor you. You seem like a humorless person with an axe to grind. I read all of the posts and didnít see anybody tell anyone to lie.

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    You seem like a humorless person with an axe to grind. I read all of the posts and didnít see anybody tell anyone to lie.
    Boy you really know me!

    If you read all the posts, as you claim, then you would know that I never accused Bobby of telling people to lie. I called him on the fact that he doesn't tell people to tell the truth.

    Couple more...

    I will not say that Dr. Richardson is wrong. I simply disagree with his opinion. The difference in my stance towards him is that he has credibility.

    There are literally hundreds of thousands of FF who passed their backgrounds and are currently working. Did they all lie? Did they all dodge the boogie man background checker monster? No. The overwhelming majority went in and told the truth and were rewarded.

    Once again I will tell the young guys on here. Stay away from Bobby's crap. His endorsemtnof being less than honest on a background exam will be far more likely to lose you the job than to land it for you.

    But sometimes being honest can bite you in the ***.
    The State rests.

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    I see that the 21 year old candidate that smoked a joint at 15 or 16 as the only blemish in his record as no big deal. When he sits in front of me and lies about it, it'll get him bounced out of contention about as fast as he can leave the office. The incident at 16 years old was a mistake borne of youth; the lie was a conscious and intentional attempt to bull**** me.

    It would be interesting to see the ratio of persons eliminated for doing something judgementally questionable versus those eliminated for lying about them.
    Steve Gallagher
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    "I don't apologize for anything. When I make a mistake, I take the blame and go on from there." - Woody Hayes

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