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Short Report: Criterion Validity of the United States Air Force Modified General Question Technique and Iraqi Scorers

NCJ Number
Polygraph Volume: 41 Issue: 1 Dated: 2012 Pages: 18-28
Raymond Nelson; Mark Handler; Chip Morgan; Pat O'Burke
Date Published
11 pages
This study aimed to extend the knowledge-base regarding the criterion accuracy of the U.S. Air Force-Modified General Question Technique (USAF-MGQT).
The data obtained support the validity of the hypothesis that the USAF-MGQT can provide a high level of criterion accuracy and can differentiate truthful from deceptive examinees at rates that are statistically significantly greater than chance (p less than .01) using the seven-position, Empirical Scoring System (ESS) and OSS-3 test data analysis (TDA) models. The OSS-3 algorithm calculates statistical results without using integer scores or integer cutscores. Additional research is warranted regarding decision rules, normative data, and statistically optimal cutscores for manually scoring the USAF-MGQT. Continued interest in the ESS and seven-position models is also recommended in both research and field-practice settings. The authors also recommend continued interest in the USAF-MGQT as a field testing protocol. A cohort of three experienced Iraqi polygraph examiners from the National Information and Investigative Agency (NIIA) and Director General for Intelligence and Security Polygraph programs participated in the study. All examiners had been trained by certified instructors from the American Polygraph Association and the U.S. Department of Defense. Data for the study were a matched random sample of field examinations (n = 22) selected from the confirmed case archive at the Department of Defense. All examinations were conducted using the USAF-MGQT, which exists in two closely related variants, each capable of including two to four distinct investigation targets. Three of the cases included four relevant questions, and nine cases each had three and two relevant questions. Each participant worked independently and scored all 22 cases, providing numerical scores only. 6 tables, 3 figures, and 32 references


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