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Polygraph Subjects' Perceptions of Examiner Competence and Personal Attributes and Their Relationship to the Outcomes of Polygraph Examinations

NCJ Number
Polygraph Volume: 11 Issue: 2 Dated: (June 1982) Pages: 143-151
A Suzuki; F Horvath
Date Published
9 pages
In this Japanese experiment, subjects perceived more experienced polygraph examiners as being more professionally competent than their less experienced colleagues.
The study selected 17 of the 87 polygraph examiners certified by the Japanese Police Agency as subjects. Each examiner was given 15 questionnaires, consisting of 2 sections. The examiner was asked to record data relevant to polygraph outcomes, including his judgment of a subject's truthfulness in the first section. In the second section, polygraph subjects were asked to indicate on a 25-item paired adjective checklist perceptions of the examiner's personality attributes. All 255 subjects who participated were suspected of violations of the Japanese criminal code. The mean factor scores for the professional competence and open personality factors for the subjects who were examined by experienced examiners were compared to those who were examined by inexperienced examiners. To compare further the subject's perceptions of their examiner's attributes on the two factors, the mean factor scores for those subjects whose guilt or innocence could be confirmed and whose polygraphic data were rated as definitely guilty or truthful were determined. Data also suggest that those perceptions of competence may be related to outcomes in polygraph examinations. Those subjects whose deception was confirmed tended to evaluate their examiners as being more professionally competent and having more open personalities than did those subjects whose truthfulness was verified. Two checklists, 3 figures, and 13 references are included.


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