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General News

The polygraph as applied: Are we focusing on technology at the expense of everything else that works?

[sajrt.blogspot.com – 8/22/18]

By David S. Prescott, LICSW, Kieran McCartan, Ph.D., &Alissa Ackerman, Ph.D.

Nothing divides the professional and academic community that works in the field of sexual abuse quite like the polygraph. It is a debate that has went on internationally for decades. A fascinating wrinkle in policy and the law recently came to the authors’ attention. In at least one state, there is a policy holding that people on probation cannot be sent back to prison for failing a polygraph examination. This makes sense given the current status of the research around the polygraph and its admissibility in court. However, in this state, the same people can be sent back to prison if the examiner believes they have deliberately manipulated the results of the test. This has resulted in at least one examiner expressing certainty that many of his examinees have tried to influence the results, with many of them becoming incarcerated as a result of the examiner’s belief. While highlights the main issue that the polygraph faces, there are a multitude of different audiences (public, judiciary, professionals, academics, etc) all with different attitudes, experiences, evidence bases and strongly held views.

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Join the discussion

  1. Dustin

    “… at least one examiner expressing certainty that many of his examinees have tried to influence the results, with many of them becoming incarcerated as a result of the examiner’s belief.” In other words, the polygrapher didn’t get the response he wanted/expected to particular questions so the subject “failed” despite not having whatever reaction constitutes “passing.” And yet, polygraphers and their proponents claim results cannot be manipulated or predetermined. Wonder how long it took these 2 PhDs and LICSW (whatever that is; LICensed Social Worker, maybe?) to figure that out.

    • AO

      Yup. Our rehab manager told us about another counselor who used to work in the area, who, when administering the peeter-meter test, would pull out actual porn magazines and other such media to illicit a reaction when the patient wouldn’t react “appropriately” to the test specific imagery and sound.

    • Anonymous

      So the individual was incarcerated on the sole word of his accuser without due process.

      Maybe once the nation is divided into prisoners and politicians, folks will dig deep and find an ounce of compassion and courage.

      It’ll be far too late by then, of course.

  2. Scam-99R

    Here is my ode to the Sharper Future-like “treatment” scams. We can thank corrupt entities such as SARATSO and CASOMB for this crap:

    “Adam Ruins Everything – Why Lie Detectors Don’t Detect Lies”

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nyDMoGjKvNk

  3. Robert Curtis

    Get the book called: The Tremor in the Blood…It speaks on how the polygraph is NOT science but a tool of interrogation. Now it makes perfect sense to me. I never ever passed the polygraph even while completely telling the truth… hmmm.

  4. Timothy Lawver

    Our government is enamored with the electronic devices, and electronic device vendors are thick as fleas on a mutt dog upon our capitols, both state and FED. Seems everyone has a better mouse trap to sell, but at what cost.
    CONSIDER THIS FOOLS!
    Would Russian or other foreign hacking groups be an issue at all in our election process if the people (congresses) hadn’t opted for electronic voting tabulation in the first place? NO!

    Back in Gore V Bush we had the hanging chad saga. Who’d bet that fiasco wasn’t really about firms wanting to sell electronic vote tabulators?

    SELL, SELL, SELL, SELL!

    • CR

      Electronic voting had nothing to do with Russian interference in the election process.

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