Terms Relating to Lie Detectors Explained – Letter F
False KeyA term coined by Arther (1970) for the deliberate placement of a falsedistracter item among other items on a Peak of Tension test that the examinerhas hinted is the correct item. Arther reported it to be a useful diversion ofattention of the innocent examinee who does not know the true key or criticalitem. The false key is the most plausible item in a list for the naive examinee,though it is by design the incorrect item. The false key is used exclusively inKnown Solution Peak of Tension tests. No published research is available onthe use of the false key.F3See: Fight, Flight and Freeze.False NegativeThe failure to detect the presence of a particular event or item. A falsenegative in PDD refers to the incorrect decision that deception was notpracticed by the examinee. Also called a Type-2 error.False PositiveThe false detection of something that is not actually present. In PDD, itis the incorrect decision that deception was practiced by the examinee. Alsocalled a Type-1 error.Fear of Detection ModelOne of several theoretical explanations for the psychophysiologicalmechanisms underlying arousal during deception. According to this ‘concern-based’ model, examinees physiologically respond to test questions to whichthey are lying out of concern that their deceptions will be detected and adverseconsequences will follow. The greater the fear, the greater will be the response.While incomplete and unproven, this remains a prevailing theory taught toPDD practitioners because it appears to have some face-validity. Unfortunatelyit ignores the large body of scientific literature dealing with cognition, emotionand behavioral conditioning. One obvious exception relates to those instanceswhere the PDD test continues to be effective even when there are no or trivialconsequences for detection, or when directed-lie comparison questions areused.Fear of ErrorConcept forwarded by James Matte to account for a portion of falsepositive errors in polygraphy. According to the theory, the innocent examineeis inclined to physiologically react to relevant questions if he is excessivelyconcerned about a polygraph error. To correct this confound, Matte advocatesthe insertion of an “inside track” pair of questions among the test questions.Empirical support for the inside track is not yet available. See: Matte (1996);Nelson & Cushman (2011).FeatureIn polygraphy, the term refers to a specific aspect of a waveform, patternor measurement in a tracing. Features are the fundamental components ofchart interpretation on which scoring and decision rules depend. Currentlythere are 12 individually validated manual scoring features. In the respirationchannel they are: apnea, baseline increase, suppression, increase in theinhalation/exhalation ratio, and increase in cycle time (slowing). For theelectrodermal channel they are peak amplitude, complexity, and duration. Inthe cardiograph, the features are amplitude and duration. The fingerplethysmograph relies on the duration and magnitude of the constriction of thepulse amplitude. Other features are sometimes taught as part of scoringsystems, though their validity is disproven or absent. See: Kircher & Raskin(1988); Bell, Raskin, Honts & Kircher (1999).Field ResearchScientific investigation using actual PDD cases conducted by practicingexaminers on suspects, witnesses, and victims. In contrast to laboratoryresearch.Fight, Flight, FreezeThree stereotypic behavioral responses to threat, sometimes simplycalled F3. The physiological responses concomitant to these behaviors are thesame, namely mobilizing bodily resources for an expenditure of energy, andnarrowing attentional focus to the features of the threat. This preparationactivity of the body has been used as a rudimentary explanation for the patternof arousal responses that are recorded during PDD. Handler and Honts (2007;2008) offered an alternative based on the Behavioral Inhibition System theoryproposed by Gray and Mc Naughton (2003).Finger of DeathSomewhat whimsical informal expression for a tracing patternsometimes found in the electrodermal channel that is putatively associatedwith deception. It is the sudden plunging of the electrodermal tracing shortlyafter the presentation of a relevant question followed by a normal return tobaseline, creating the visual impression of a “finger.” The sudden drop andrecovery may or may not have been preceded by a phasic response. Somewriters have attributed the phenomenon to a loss of contact between thesensors and the skin, such as when certain types of physical countermeasuresare practiced. The cause of the phenomenon is not well understood, and it hasnot been scientifically established as a reliable indicator of deception.Sometimes called the devil’s finger.Finger Pulse Amplitude (FPA)Cardiographic measure of the pulse wave recorded by plethysmograph(both occlusion and photo type) at the finger. Constrictions in amplitude areassociated with sympathetic nervous system arousal. See: Handler & Krapohl,(2007); Kircher & Raskin (1988).Fleiss’ kappaStatistical measure for the degree of agreement among multiple ratersfor their classifications of items. In PDD, it provides a metric for the reliabilityof decisions among different scorers interpreting the same test charts, and isthe preferred method for gauging inter-rater agreement. See: Fleiss (1971).FoilAn irrelevant item in a Concealed Information Test. Sometimes calledpadding, buffer, control, or non-critical item.forensic psychophysiological detection of deception examinationA process that encompasses all activities that take place between aforensic psychophysiologist and an examinee during a specific series ofinteractions. These interactions include the pretest interview; the use of thepolygraph to collect physiological data from the examinee while presenting aseries of tests; the diagnostic phase, which includes the analysis ofphysiological data in correlation with the questions asked during each test tosupport a diagnostic decision; and the posttest phase, which may or may notinclude interrogation of the examinee. See: Yankee (1995).Forensic PsychophysiologistProposed alternate title for polygraph examiner. It is a person who hassuccessfully completed an academic program in Forensic Psychophysiology,including the appropriate internship, which has been inspected and accreditedby the American Polygraph Association.Forensic PsychophysiologyDefined by Dr. William J. Yankee in 1992 as the science that deals withthe relationship and applications of PDD tests to the legal system. It is theacademic discipline that provides the student, the practitioner, and the researcher with the theoretical and applied psychological, physiological, andpsychophysiological fundamentals for a thorough understanding of PDD tests,and the skills and qualifications for conducting PDD examinations. Themodifier “forensic” delineates and delimits this discipline from the broaderdiscipline of psychophysiology. See: Yankee (1992).FormatA particular order of question presentations, or rules that govern theorder, along with the types of questions. “Format” is sometimes incorrectlyused interchangeably with “technique,” a broader term that encompasses notonly the format, but all practices in the pretest and test phase.Frame of ReferenceThe circumstances or facts (crime report, criminal complaint, victimallegation, etc.) presented to the polygraph examiner which form the basis forthe PDD examination. See: Holden (2000).“Friendly Polygrapher” hypothesisA hypothesis proposed by Martin Orne that a deceptive examinee wouldnot be as detectible by an examiner who conducts a polygraph examination onbehalf of the examinee’s attorney because the examinee has no fear of adverseconsequences. There are no studies supporting this hypothesis with the CQT,and all field studies that have investigated it have failed to find the effect. See:Honts (1997); Ishida & Sevilla (1981); Matte & Reuss (1990); Orne (1973);Raskin (1976).Functional Magnetic Resonance Image (fMRI)An image of the brain processes created from the metabolism ofneurons. There are three types of fMRI imaging, which use blood flow, bloodvolume and blood oxygenation level-dependent (BOLD) signals. The BOLDmethod is the most common method used as it has the highest functionalcontrast. As the brain regions are engaged in a task they require more blood.The fMRI is an image of changes in blood flow based on task demands. ThefMRI is one tool being researched to find central nervous system indicators ofdeception. See: Kozel, Johnson, Grenesko, Laken, Kose, Lu, Pollina, Ryan &George (2009); Pollina, Horvath, Denver, Dollins & Brown (2008).
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