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Thread: Ever failed a polygraph? I just did.

  1. #1
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    Ever failed a polygraph? I just did.

    I just failed a polygraph after telling the truth (you'll have to take my word for it). Passed two others only to be DQ'd on this one. I know it isn't an exact science and this experience proves it. Anyway, has anyone ever contested an unfavorable result? You are allowed to.

    Thanks Everybody.

    FYI - I'm already a commisioned police officer with time on the job. Also, the examiner was going to ask his superiors if I could take the test again.
    Last edited by BoZarth; 08-22-2007 at 09:54 PM. Reason: spelling

  2. #2
    angela1434
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    A few weeks back I took a poly and showed discomfort with some of the questions so they retested me, this time I failed it. After talking to some people here who knows about this type of thing, I realized that they possibly didnt do the test right, so its being investigated as we speak.
    I told the dept. I was testing for about this, and they say they would retest me if wrongdoing is found in the investigation.
    I am also a police officer and cant understand why I would fail this test, I have passed polygraphs in the past with no problem.
    I know how you feel.

    Angela

  3. #3
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    ... Im starting to believe that polygraphs, cvsas, ect are all used just to slim down alarge applicant pool- I dont like them, I always amwilling to take them of course- but I think,just do to how many people fail them (forexample, FHPstates about half of thier apps (about 2,000 out of 4,000 a year) fail it- I just think such a high fail rate dont fit right- I cant imagine 2,000 people a year out of 4,000 actually lying on it when they dont even really care what the truth is (unless you like murdered someone)- But some how I dont think we got 2,000 murderes, rapists, crack dealers a year applying to the FHP. -Im starting to wonder is a polygraph isjust a "your all about the same, but we cant hire that many people, so .. we got to get rid of some of you somehow" thing.... Im sure that is NOT the case- just saying what it sometimes feels/seems like,
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    I have never been a fan. Todate I have passed 3 in my life so I guess I am just lucky. I do mean lucky by the way becasue I in no way shape or form have any faith in that "magic boix" being any more accurate than the flip of a coin.

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    Please don't be too quick to judge polygraph as inaccurate. Actually screening examinations are the least accurate of the testing procedures used. That is why you are given a sepcific in most cases, if you have problems with the screening examination (multiple issue test). You also have recourse through the state licensing board in your state and the professional associations the examiner is a member of.
    Honesty Pays, Dishonesty Costs, ARE YOU IN DEBT

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    LOL I knew you would key up on this one AZ! Does a buzzer go off on your belt every time someone makes a post anti poly? LOL

  7. #7
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    For anyone who has told the truth and still failed a polygraph, please use your own judgment in deciding the worth of the polygraph.

    Polygraph supporters claim it is accurate, but you just failed after telling the truth. What does your own experience tell you?

    I failed three and passed a fourth while giving all the same truthful answers in each test.

    In 2001 the National Academy of Sciences conducted a research study and concluded that the accuracy of the polygraph in non-specific issue testing (such as pre-employment testing) is roughly the same as random chance.

    Polygraph supporters will tell you the NAS study ignored important, pro-polygraph research. I might be willing to believe them if I hadn't had three separate polygraph examiners look me in the eye and tell me they knew I was lying, even though I was telling the truth.

    What does your own experience tell you?
    Cogito ergo summopere periculosus.

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    poly

    how long after you took the poly did you find out you failed it? Do they tell you soon, or make you wait forever?

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    The examiner informed me almost immediately that I failed. I told him I was shocked - that I told the truth. He said he would file his report and the powers that be would decide my fate. I called two days later and am waiting to hear back from the Commander.

    As far as what does this experience tell me? It tells me not to trust the polygraph. I understand the examiner must go with his judgement. I have no problem with his efforts.

    Bottom line: the lie-detector doesn't work all the time folks. And when it happens to you it's a tough pill to swallow.

    If necessary, I'll appeal.

    Thanks for the feedback!

  10. #10
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    You can't use polygraphs for employment purposes in Minnesota. Personally, I would think that an in-depth background investigation would be more productive than hooking someone up to a machine.
    No, you've got the wrong number. This is 9-1....2.
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  11. #11
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    Sam,

    Your questions are good. The examination for pre employment is related to your background packet totally. There are no new issues. A Background has already been conducted on you the examiner looks to see if you are honest and if anything has been missed in the background investigation.

    Suspects are taking specific issue examinations, highest in reliability. Applicants are taking screening examinations, less reliable. Therefore a completed background is conducted prior to the examination and this is verified by polygraph.

    Questions such as "Have you committed any serious undetected crimes?" are common in backgrounds.
    Honesty Pays, Dishonesty Costs, ARE YOU IN DEBT

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    Was it the voice stress analyzer or the polygraph machine that was invented by a supposed "Doctor" and it turned out he wasn't a doctor at all?

  13. #13
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    ok i failed my first polygraph, trust me i was nervous as a hard attack. Well he asked me have i done any undetected crimes, by the way he explained to me that an undetected crime is stealing anything that doesnt belong to me anything bad that i have done that was undetected, money, clothes etc. I passed, he asked me have u stolen anything above 50 dollars and i said no, and i failed. Mind u those are the same questions. Now he asked have i watched child porno and i said no. I mean i like watching porn, i am 25 i and i am very attracted to older people, but i have never watched child porn in my life, God is my witness. Never very discusting. I told him i watched the rkelly sexy tape that was all over the internet that was as close, just to see if she was young and to see if it was really the artist.
    I told the truth about those two things but they still said i lied. I couldnt believe it i started laughing at the polygrapher, he asked what was funny i said everything i told u was the truth and its just funny to see how the machine works. The department did a post polygraph session where they ask u most of the things that u failed on. I told them there is really nothing to explain that i havent said to the polygrapher. I devulged everything at the begining.

  14. #14
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    Poly Feedback, Please

    Thankfully my guy was super cool. And with the first "spike" he explained it away for me. The second spike he said, "HHHmmmm for some reason you showed concern on that one." When I said I can't imagine why he said, "sometimes with number-of-time questions an examinee will go over the math in his head after the question...which can cause a reaction.....I can probably make that go away."

    HERE'S WHERE I WOULD LIKE INPUT

    Even with the two "spikes" my examiner did tell me that I did well and that he saw no reason hook me back up and belabor the "spikes". He then told me to start saving up for my Glock and getting in shape for the academy.

    I realize he wasn't guaranteeing I would be hired. But that was a very comforting way to end a nerve-racking 2 hour "strip search." He wouldn't blow smoke up my rear, would he? I mean, if he said I did well.....then I can take some comfort there, right?
    -----------------------------------------------

    Jefferson County Sheriff's Dept:
    Application Screening- PASSED
    Written Test - PASSED
    Oral Interview Board - PASSED
    Physical Fitness Test - PASSED
    Polygraph - did "Well" according to examiner (submission of report pending)
    Psychological Test - Pending conditional offer of employment
    Physical Examination - Pending conditional offer of employment
    Background Investigation - under way
    Last edited by Robmeister; 10-15-2007 at 12:23 PM.

  15. #15
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    TEEGRAY, I was dizzy after reading your post...

    Robmeister, in my experience, the examiner will tell you right away if you did well. If you didn't, you'll get the "we'll let you know." I'd say your chances are good. Of course, the ultimate decision rests with the hiring authority.

    For what it's worth, here is my advice to anyone who has to take a polygraph: First, before you even step into the office, DECIDE that you are going to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
    Second, in the pre-interview, tell the examiner EVERYTHING that comes to mind. Even if it's something that is probably no big deal, if you thought of it, it might bother you in the test. So just tell the examiner about it! My examiners have gotten annoyed sometimes because of all the inane stuff that I mentioned, but I passed!

    Also, I've failed one polygraph even after telling only truth. Sometimes it just goes that way... don't be discouraged.
    Jimmy_Le likes this.
    "Well I'd lock him up for what we know he did, and then throw in a few extra years for what he probably did." ~Hank Hill

    "Why do you need to carry a gun? There aren't any bad people in this town..."

  16. #16
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    10-32

    Great Advice. Follow that advice and you will pass your polygraph in most cases. Remember we do have some (Very Few) unqualified examiners that really make others look bad. We are not. Professionals do the very best to get you through the process.

    Sorry I have been away for a couple of weeks due to training and a seminar.
    Honesty Pays, Dishonesty Costs, ARE YOU IN DEBT

  17. #17
    shook'n cats, ringn bells

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    i am not an LEO, so forgive me if i shouldnt be posting here. However, i do have some things to add, as well as a follow-up question.

    first of all, i was told that my first poly was inconclusive. the agency would not retest me and i was DQ'd.

    I have gone on to pass 3 polys, since. the 3 that i have passed, i did so without so much of a question/doubt coming from the polygrapher.

    to DetectorAZ, i have been told that many people fail their first polygraph, due to psychological reasons that have nothing to do with lying/holding back information. is this an accurate statement?

  18. #18
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    That is not normal. Most persons can pass on the first exam, some get an inconclusive call which mandates another exam to clarify whatever the issue is or was on the first exam. Glad you made it through the next three with truthful outcomes.
    Honesty Pays, Dishonesty Costs, ARE YOU IN DEBT

  19. #19
    Living with my inner nerd
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    Polygraphs are crap. I can't believe it's legal to use them during a hiring phase. Luckily I never had them in Michigan. I'm sure I would pass, I've got nothing to hide, but then crap happens like happens to some of you folks. You tell the darn truth and it still goes off.

    Complete waste of time and money.
    Invisible cows control my mind.

  20. #20
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    I've had 4 polys. I've never lied. I also know for a fact that I passed the first 3 of them.

    The last polygraph I took was horrible. After the first set of questions, the polgrapher made me wisper answers "to get a better result"... so I wispered.

    Then he asked me to close my eyes, and we did another set or questions.

    Then he flipped the finger sensors from the bottom of my fingers to the top, and we went through again.

    After this, he changed the structure and I had to answer silently, in my head, and close my eyes.


    Then he changed up the questions, modified them, and kept grilling me.

    He was always professional, and never accusatory. However, near the end of the process I started falling asleep between questions because I was sitting silent, motionless, with my eyes closed for so long. Finally, when the test had ended, I observed that the timer read 2 hours and 44 minutes of hooked-up interrogation time. I don't know whether I passed or failed that poly. It's a moot point anyway, since a PD that had tested me prior wound up hiring me.

    I was a little irritated, since the typical poly exam (for me) had only been 15-20 minutes of actual hooked-up time.

    My hypothesis is that this operator wanted desperately to find something that the other 3 PD's had overlooked. Nearly 3 hours of actual interrogation time is too long IMO, especially when I'd previously had 3 polys and never so much as a hiccup. I never received word on whether I passed or failed the 4th test.

  21. #21
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    DaisyCutter,

    Sounds like you had a jerk for a polygraph examiner to me. All that he did is not the proper manner in which testing should be done. Sorry for your experience and good luck with your current department. My apologies for the trouble one examiner caused you, and think about how that makes good examiners appear. We do try to police our own, some cannot be policed.
    Honesty Pays, Dishonesty Costs, ARE YOU IN DEBT

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