Guiding Principles and Benchmarks for The Conduct of Validity Studies of Psychophysiological Veracity Examinations Using the Polygraph


This thesis sets forth guiding principles and benchmarks for the conduct of validity studies of psychophysiological veracity (PV) examinations using the polygraph, some of which challenge research methods traditionally accepted by the academic and scientific community. The use of field studies is deemed mandatory for validating PV examinations such as Zone Comparison Techniques which have been classified as lie tests. Laboratory studies are limited to recognition tests such as the Concealed Information Test. The argument for this division in the use of field versus laboratory studies is based on published research that identifies autonomic responses from field studies as defensive responses due to the fear of detection by the guilty, fear of error by the innocent and anger by either examinee. Whereas responses elicited from role playing examinees in a mock crime paradigm used in laboratory studies are identified as orienting non-emotional responses due to their lack of aforementioned fears and serious consequences for failure. The results of laboratory studies are based on responses caused by a set of stimuli that are significantly different from those set of stimuli present in field studies. The authors challenge the traditional view that inconclusive results are errors inasmuch as it is based on insufficient physiological data from which a positive or negative decision can be made. A criterion for establishing ground truth is set forth that includes confessions, confirmed judicial convictions and confirmed judicial acquittals. Rules are established for the selection of confirmed PV examinations used in validity studies.

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The full thesis was published in European Polygraph, Journal of Andrze Frycz Modrzewski Krakow University, Poland, Volume 4, Number 4(14), 2010.
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