How I tricked a polygraph

Recently, an article on how people came out of joy from acquaintance with such a "great invention of mankind" as a polygraph, also known as a "lie detector", was posted on the gyktime. And although the article began with completely “denim” drafts such as “accuracy up to 98%”, “they produce equipment for 50 years” and other advertising nonsense, nevertheless it can be considered a kind of FAQ for beginners who have never heard of printing studies. If any exist.
And now for the more serious things. As usually happens on Habré and Geek, the comments turned out to be more interesting than the article itself and some thoughts were expressed there that I want to cover in more detail. The fact is that from time to time I encounter the need to select personnel for “secret” projects, where security issues are put in the first place. For this reason, I myself went through polygraph studies several times and came across offices that run their employees through them. There is always one result - zero. Further, briefly:

1. The thesis that "the polygraph can reduce the likelihood of illegal actions after hiring."

The simplest example. A person is hired associated with access to a large amount of confidential information; he is determined to work honestly and fulfill his duties. Passes a check with a polygraph, all his reactions are normal. But the boss of this employee is, as it were, to put it mildly, a bad boss (or becomes such under the influence of family problems, for example). And gradually from a normal person, the candidate turns into an embittered indifference. Well, and how will the initial verification show just such a development of events?
Of course, the polygraph examiner can weed out most of the frankly inadequate candidates, but personally I can do this without any extra. research just talking with a person for 40-50 minutes. Actually, the same “focus” will be demonstrated by any experienced psychologist who knows what to look at and what reactions to notice.
When selecting personnel, it is necessary to monitor not only the reactions of candidates, but also the environment in which they have to work. This is much more important than questions about sexual preferences (I met checks with similar questions, yes). But reasoning on this topic is beyond the scope of this short note.

2. "The polygraph examiner does not blame"

As subscribers correctly noted, the question is what is considered a charge. If the polygraph examiner writes “the physiological reactions of the subject do not allow us to unequivocally establish his innocence in the event being interviewed,” then is this a charge or not? So I think that - how to interpret.

3. "Respectable companies are increasingly using the polygraph"

Complete nonsense. Reputable companies are increasingly using a full-time psychologist, hire competent security personnel and use a range of technical measures against leaks. A polygraph is a magician’s tool, magic, beautiful graphics, powdery brains for customers. Indeed, even in the same article mentioned above, the author admits that the interpretation of the testimony is important, and not the testimony itself. That is, the graphs can be any, it is important how to explain it. Then what's the point?

Well, the sweetest thing for dessert. How to fool a polygraph? Very simple. It is enough to rephrase the questions on a different plane and respond “honestly” to how you understood, and not how you asked. Simple examples:

- Do you drink?
(drink? drink? drink water, soda)
- Of course (the answer is completely honest)

- do you drink?
(Drinking? I saw those bukhariks, I'm not like that)
- No

- Do you use drugs?
(drugs? what are drugs? coffee, tea, antibiotics, some anti-inflammatory drugs - all these are drugs and I use them)
- Of course (the answer is completely honest, all reactions are normal)

- do you use drugs?
(Does he mean heavy ones? heroin, cocaine. And I just blew a couple of times. No, of course not)
- Not. (the answer is honest again, the reaction is within the normal range)

- Did you steal?
(pulled off a pen and two packs of paper)
- Of course

- They stole?
(stealing means taking someone else's, and I compensated for my losses)
- No, of course

There you have it, "98% accuracy." These examples can be continued long enough, only I did not set myself the goal of preparing a professional liar. I just showed that you can fool even a very experienced specialist. Of course, I do not urge anyone to cheat, I just want to convey a simple thought - a polygraph is really a useless thing. There are more effective measures to level the possibility of information leaks and company losses. Yes, and experienced opera somehow do without the technique of polygraphists, although the technology has been available for many decades. Why? Yes, because all these graphs are really fortunetelling on coffee grounds. And as a conclusion from this thought: those who rely on the data of the polygraph, as a rule, are little adequate people with whom it is better not to have serious business. Or vice versa - to have. If you decide to capitalize on their naivety. :)

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