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Polygraph?

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Late_night_max50

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Posted over 7 years ago

 

I am applying for multiple police positions and most require a polygraph. I have nothing to hide but i've heard that even the most honest can fail. I've heard they aren't even accurate and offer no scientific reliability. Anyone know anything about this subject and what to look for?

Thanks

05_max50

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Rated +1 | Posted over 7 years ago

 

One of my instructors from school is a 20+ year veteran detective and currently runs the BI's on people. He says that even though the polygraph test is not held against you, what it does do is direct the investigator to check out more in depth in specific areas of your life. For example, you get caught lying about a previous job, maybe why you were let go from the job. The investigator uses this"lie" to dig alittle deeper into that perticular previous employer to find out what happened. Or maybe you lied about your drug usage, he may then be more apt to question your friends you hang out with and family members. Am I making sense??

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Rate This | Posted over 7 years ago

 

They ask you simple little questions, with yes or no answers.

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Rate This | Posted over 7 years ago

 

Its nothing to get worked up over. Stay calm and answer truthfully. The people giving the test know that it could be inaccurate and understand if you are nervous. From what I know, most applicants pass this if they haven't committed a major crime or other act in their life.

Fluffy_max50

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Rate This | Posted over 7 years ago

 

I don't know if I'd necessarily agree with Super. Here's an example: we had a physical assessment before the polygraph and there were over 300 people. We had a physical assessment after the polygraph and there were less than 125. That's more than half of the group being DQ'd simply off of their polygraph. It plays a very important role in the hiring process, as it's key function is to let background investigators know whether they can trust you or not. In my case (I've taken three polygraphs, passed all of them) the exact same or fairly similar questions were asked. They understand that you'll be nervous, but the machine is calibrated for that. For example, if you're plugged in and your heartrate is at 155 (because you're nervous) that's going to be your baseline (they'll watch it for a little bit to make sure it stays pretty even) and from there ask the questions. If it spiked up to 172 on one question, but then went back down to the 155 area, they know they've hit a point where you're not telling the truth because the only time your heartrate will jump, your fingers will sweat, and your bloodpressure will rise is if you're not telling the truth. You tell the truth on the question and your body has no reason to react in a negative way.

Yes they're not scientifically reliable (not admissable in court) but that's because there's a relatively small margine of error. And that margin of error normally comes when someone is extremely stressed (like if they're being asked if they murdered someone). I've talked to quite a few people who have been DQ'd on the poly, and all of them said that at one point or another they lied during a question. Be honest, tell the truth, and feel free to be nervous. Just TELL THE TRUTH and you'll pass. Look at all the officers out there...most, if not at, went through a poly...so will you, and you'll be fine.

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Rate This | Posted over 7 years ago

 

well its different with the dept's standards. What i and Adam said are both right, but he has been through it, I have not. In one dept in my area, they hired very few officers and had one physical test and one polygraph test. All the applicants passed both... so it depends ont he circumstances of the situation. Again, DeputyAdam has experience, I do not.

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Rate This | Posted over 7 years ago

 

Just so you know, the polygraph CANNOT determine if you are telling the truth or not. It can only determine if you react to a question. This is the primary reason they are inadmissible in court. It effectively gives a near infinite margin of error; to make matters worse (from an evidentiary perspective) the results are entirely subjective in their interpretation. However, most government polygraphs are just used to gauge your general reactions to subjects and as to how much thinking you are doing (for the more advanced Polys anyway)

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Rate This | Posted over 7 years ago

 

i have a very simple answer for you. Rent and watch the movie High Crimes with Morgan Freeman in it. Its not only a great movie but in the extras in the DVD it has a section on the polygraph. I wish I would have watched it before I had done it; I mean I passed but I was like you - NERVOUS! I said the same thing "I have nothing to hide" but still there's questions that run through your head regardless. Anyways, yeah just watch that and all answers will be answered and also it will make you a little less nervous. You'll most likely love the movie too its a good one. Good luck and I hope this helped you and anyone else looking for information on it. Like everyone else said and I heard it a million times - "Just tell the truth"

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Rate This | Posted over 7 years ago

 

I hope I was clear with that. When the movie starts and goes to the movie menu go to the Special Features and its in there. It's called "Liar Liar: How to Beat a Polygraph". i wouldn't advise trying to beat one just tell the truth but it still gives you facts and everything else.

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Rated +1 | Posted over 7 years ago

 

Most of the police pre-employment polygraph questions are guided by the answers that someone has listed on their initial police application and other paperwork. They will ask you the usual "control" questions that they already know the correct answers to, such as : is your name John Smith?, were you born on 1/1/1971?, is your mothers maiden name Jones?, and etc. This gives them the normal "baseline" responses for the person when they know they are telling the truth. Then they will interject "specific issue" questions such as: have you ever committed a crime that you haven't been caught or convicted of?, have you ever used illegal drugs?, have you EVER stolen anything?, is eveyrthing on your application true?, are you lying now? The polygraph is not intended to be the ONLY deception detector in the examination. It is usually used to solicit you to contradict yourself. For instance, in the question Have you EVER stolen anything, if you answered No, it would probably show that you were being deceptive. The interviewer would then pause the test and say: do you mean that you NEVER took a piece of candy when you were a child? Or, you mean that you never went home from work and found a pen or paperclip in your pocket that belonged to the company that you didn't return? (just about everyone has at one point or another). When you say "well, I guess I probably have done something minor like that". It's at that point that you've contradicted yourself, and admitted to stealing, however minor, or innocent it may have been. Then they will "zero in " on that area. And, Oops, a failing (or inconclusive) polygraph results. Most departments are using 3 consecutive polygraph tests on the same applicant and kind of "averaging" out the results. During the pre-testing Q&A session it is usually a good idea to "clarify" the childhood candy or workplace pen/paperclip types of things just so they won't "fluster" you on the actual test.