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Polygraph tests

garmentmerchant

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If a job asked you to take a polygraph would you do it? What if you know your going to fail? Telling the truth would be incriminating and lieing would be just as bad. I have a friend who has had a shady past, never convicted or arrested of anything and is living the straight and narrow for many years, but is facing a lie detector to get into a law enforcement position Hes really sweating it. Whats everyones thaughts on this.
 

acidboy

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I wouldn't agree to anything that has no upside for me.
 

whodini

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Your friend just might be screwed. "Have you ever done anything illegal" followed by "Have you ever been convicted of a crime" will be interesting. In all likelihood they'll pick up on that as polygraphs work best on reward/punishment system which would appear to weigh pretty heavy for your friend.
 

andrewwang

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No. There's a reason polygraph tests arnt admissible as evidence in court. He might appear to be lying even if its only a related topic hes being asked questions about, etc.
 

Milhouse

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It depends. For an actual security clearance, e.g. secret or top secret clearance, yes I'd take a poly. They are more concerned that you will admit these things than they are about what you've actually done.

For anything else, I don't see an upside other than getting the job, so I'd likely refuse unless I was desperate.
 

crazyquik

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From what I understand, the person giving the test should be thought of as an interrogator. The easiest way for them is to get you to give confessions, or contradict something you've already said or written. They just hook you to a machine to freak you out. Sure the machine can tell when your pulse or breathing rates change, but they are really hoping you will spill the beans out of fear the machine is going to get you. They also use two way mirrors and all that fun stuff.

If you're trying to get a fed.gov job, and you fail the test, that will go in your FBI file. And that's bad for future government job searching.

The person is not your friend, no matter how nice they act. Or mean they act. Or they might play good cop/bad cop with you. They are merely trying to get information.

They will ask you questions that they know the answer to.
"Have you ever stolen anything?" they know everyone has stolen something
- "ok, well other than as a child, have you ever stolen anything?"
-- "well, other than things under $100, have you ever stolen anything? What about recently, in the last 5 years?" etc, etc etc. Drip, drip, drip, they add on extra clauses and tease information out of you.

"have you ever done drugs"
"have you ever taken a prescription drug after the 'script expired?"
"well other than MJ a few times, have you ever done serious drugs?"
"well how many is a few? More or less than 10 times?"

If you admit to using alcohol, they will probably ask you if you've ever used a car after drinking. And if you don't admit to using alcohol, and the job involves interviews with references and former employers, they may ask them if you drink, trying to catch you in a lie.

Sometimes, for fed.gov jobs, they will tell you it didn't work and ask you to come back later. Then they will run you threw the paces again. I have read the Secret Service and NSA put you through up-to 3 polygraphs. Also, many times they will start in the morning and go past lunch, with no break.

There is a lot more to 'taking a polygraph' than sitting there answering questions. Its a total mind-fuck, and everything about you is being critiqued and evaluated.

There are some sophisticated online sites to help with polygraph taking. Some of them include multi-chapter, free, downloadable books.

Polygraphs are a shady deal.

Got to go, someone's knocking at the door
 

tiecollector

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If it's for a job then you have to take it and I'd look up tricks on how to pass it.

If it were for trouble I was in, I would not take one because if you pass, nobody will care, and if you fail it will look bad.
 

CutCleanQuick

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If he's going into law enforcement he should be able to control his emotions to the extent it takes to pass a polygraph or I doubt he has enough control for the job. Emotional control is really all it takes to pass. Same as with a Psychological Evaluation, which is exceedingly more difficult to transverse and makes a polygraph test feel like amateur hour. The Psych test for a gov job I applied for was cake compared to the one done for my divorce. Thankfully my ex exhibited her full rainbow of colorful emotions during hers.

Being a sociopath works, too.
 

acidboy

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One thing that would be interesting is bringing a polygraph machine to a party and strap your friends in and ask the juicy questions.
 

tiecollector

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There are voice stress analyzers you can get for that. I think skype even has a plugin.
 

bbaquiran

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Isn't there a game show where they hook the contestants up to a lie detector and ask them embarassing questions?
 

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