Rebuttal to Objections by Iacono, Verschuere, et al.

by Daniel J. Mangan, Thomas E. Armitage and Gregory C. Adams


The arguments presented by Iacono and Verschuere et al. against the publication of the Mangan et al. field study of the Quadri-Track Zone Comparison Technique in Physiology & Behavior, are based largely on dated articles that examined control question polygraph techniques whose psychological test structures, physiological analyses, and scoring systems are significantly different than those of the Quadri-Track ZCT. Iacono and Verschuere et al. alleged that the Quadri-Track ZCT is biased against the innocent and can be defeated with the use of countermeasures without considering the technique's unique “remedial inside track” that quantifies the innocent examinee's fear of error—and the guilty examinee's hope of error—which are factored into the overall score, thus avoiding false positive and false negative errors. Their objection to the use of confessions as the criterion for ground truth presumes that the polygraph examinations conducted in this field study were conducted in a vacuum. They ignored the various methods of post-test confirmation and research studies that support the use of confessions as ground truth. Verschuere et al. cited the National Research Council's 2003 report to support their conviction that the accuracy of polygraph tests is well below perfection and errors often occur. However, they failed to mention that the accuracy range values of the seven field studies which met the National Research Council’s scientific criteria were from 0.711 to 0.999 with a median value of 0.89, and that the field study with the highest accuracy (0.999) was from a published 1989 field study on the Quadri-Track Zone Comparison Technique.

Click here to download the full article

The full study was published in Physiology & Behavior, Volume 95 (2008), 29-31.
Click the PDF icon to down load the full article.