Terms Relating to Lie Detectors Explained – Letter M
Maintenance ExaminationA form of Post-Conviction Sex Offender Testing (PCSOT) that is requestedby a treatment provider, and looks at treatment-type issues; i.e., weekly reportlogs, masturbation habits, boredom tapes etc. See: Cooley-Towel, Pasini-Hill, &Patrick (2000); English, Pullen, & Jones (1996); Heil, Ahlmeyer, McCullar, &McKee (2000).Manual ModeSetting for the electrodermal activity channel in conventional andcomputerized PDD instruments in which filtering is not applied to the signal.All modern polygraphs manufactured in the U.S., both analog andcomputerized, have this feature. As opposed to automatic mode.Marston, WilliamPsychologist, inventor of the discontinuous blood pressure methoddeception test, and author of the 1938 book The Lie Detector Test. Marston wasthe first to attempt to have instrumental deception test evidence entered intoevidence in court, for which resulted the Frye decision of 1923. Marston’s testentailed the use of a conventional blood pressure cuff and sphygmomanometerwith which he manually plotted the examinees blood pressure duringquestioning at several points during the interview. He taught his technique tothe U.S. Army, and he used his method to resolve espionage cases duringWorld War I. Marston had several interests, and he was also the co-creator ofthe Wonder Woman comic book character. Both William Marston and his wife,Elizabeth, were lawyers and worked together to perform deception testing. Seediscontinuous blood pressure method.Math QuestionStimulus irrelevant question used in at least one type of RI screeningformat, and involves the unrehearsed presentation of a simple arithmeticproblem. The math question is used when an examinee has not reacted duringtesting to the relevant issues, and the examiner wants to ensure that theexaminee was capable of responding.Matte Polygraph Chart TemplateChart overlay for analog polygraph charts that corrects for curvilineartracings, developed by James A. Matte in 1975 and marketed by StoeltingInstruments. See: Matte (1996).MeanThe average. The most common, the arithmetic mean, is the sum ofvalues divided by the number of values. If five subjects in a PDD study were ages 19, 23, 28, 22, and 29, the mean age of this group would be(19+23+28+22+29) / 5 = 24.2 years.Mean Blood PressureThe value of the pressure during the entire cardiac cycle. Anapproximation of the value of the mean blood pressure can be derived byaveraging the systolic and diastolic values, or by summing of the diastolicpressure and one-third of the pulse pressure.MedianThe middle score. The median value is one where one-half of the scoresare above and one-half are below this value. It is in the middle of thedistribution, but only in terms of order. Medians are useful when evaluatinghighly skewed distributions, such as national housing prices, because they arenot affected by extreme scores. Medians are not as frequently reported in PDDresearch, but may have application such as when examinee pools havecharacteristics that are not normally distributed.Medulla OblongataA part of the brain stem responsible for automatic control of respiratoryand cardiovascular activity. The medulla oblongata is closely associated withphysiological events relating to polygraph test data analysis.Mental CountermeasuresA class of countermeasures in which the examinee attempts to affect thepolygraph recordings through self-manipulation of attention, memory, emotion,cognition, semantics, or arousal. See: Krapohl (1996).MicrotremorLow-frequency oscillation of the human voice in the range of 8 to 12hertz, and the component used to infer deception with the Psychological StressEvaluator and the Computer Voice Stress Analyzer. It is claimed by themanufacturers of these devices that there is an inverse relationship betweenstress and the microtremor. Independent research has not yet found anyspectral component of human voice a reliable predictor of deception. Researchsummaries can be found at www.voicestress.org.Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory (MMPI)One of the most common personality inventories employed in psychologyand psychiatry. It uses a series of questions to make diagnoses according tostandard psychiatric clinical criteria. Among the most cited scales reported inthe PDD literature are psychopathy and social introversion-extroversion scales,both of which have been shown to influence physiologic arousal levels,particularly in the electrodermal response. Evaluation and interpretation ofthe MMPI is generally based on profiles resulting from individual scales. Testretestvalidity for the MMPI averages above 70%, though the validity of theindividual personality scales has not been conclusively demonstrated.Mixed Question TestA Reid polygraph test in which the straight-through (ST) test questionsare changed in order, and some of them are repeated. When the MixedQuestion Test is used, it is always conducted after the ST.Mixed Issue TestAny polygraph test technique in which each there is little or no overlapin the coverage among the relevant questions. Sometimes called a multipleissuetest.ModeThe most commonly occurring value in a distribution.Model PolicyNon-binding standard that outlines best practices in a given area. TheAmerican Polygraph Association uses model policies to help agencies andclients know what good polygraph practices are, and thereby provide acompetitive advantage for examiners who adopt these best practices. Amongthe current APA Model Policies are those for police applicant screening, PostConviction Sex Offender Testing, and paired testing.Modified Relevant Irrelevant (MRI) techniqueSpecific-issue PDD format based on the Keeler RI format, but it usessituational comparison questions. Users of the MRI discuss all tested issueswith the examinee during the pretest interview, but prefer not to review therelevant questions word for word. The prohibition against relevant questionreview is not an absolute, however. Results from the MRI are based onextrapolygraphic information, and 3- and 7-position scoring. Reported by PaulMinor (1985) but seldom used in the field.Monitoring ExaminationA form of Post-Conviction Sex Offender Testing (PCSOT) that is requestedby a probation or parole officer to ensure compliance with the conditions of theoffender’s release from prison; i.e., alcohol or drug issues, computer violations,contact with children etc. See: Cooley-Towel, Pasini-Hill, & Patrick (2000);Dutton, (2000); English, Pullen, & Jones (1996); Heil, Ahlmeyer, McCullar, &McKee (2000).Monte Carlo methodA statistical tool which is based on repeated random sampling of data,and has been applied to the problem of estimating polygraph decisionaccuracy. The expression was coined by scientists at the Los Alamos NationalLaboratory in the 1940s for their approach to estimating radiation shielding.Mosso, AngeloStudent of Cesare Lombroso, who in 1896 developed the scientificcradle, a device for recording bodily responses to fear.Motivation The multidimensional forces acting on an individual to initiate, direct,and maintain the intensity of that individual’s responses. Plainly, motivationrefers to an individual’s desire to achieve a specific outcome.Motor NervesNeurons that carry nerve impulses from the central nervous system tothe effector organ or muscles. Also called efferent nerves.Movement SensorMechanical sensor that detects covert movements. The movementsensor is used to detect certain types of physical countermeasures.Multiple-Facet TestTest format in which the relevant questions are targeted toward differentelements of the same crime. For example, in a counterfeiting case, the PDDexaminer might use three relevant test questions with a suspect. One couldcover printing the bills, the second passing the bills, and the third knowingwhere the printing equipment is. In such a test the spot scores woulddetermine whether a diagnosis of deception is made, as opposed to the overallscore. The Zone “exploratory,” the Air Force Modified General Question Test,and criminal RI are three possible formats for this approach.Multiple-Issue ExaminationTest typically used in screening, it allows the PDD examiner todetermine which of several areas should be followed up with furtherquestioning. It is somewhat uncommon to make decisions of truthfulness ordeception in these types of tests. Such decisions are generally made aftersubsequent testing on the isolated issue in a single-issue test format. Amongthe more common multiple issue test formats are the Relevant/Irrelevantscreening test and the Test for Espionage and Sabotage. See: Barland, Honts,& Barger (1989).Munsterberg, HugoChairman of the Psychology Department at Harvard who, in his 1908book On the Witness Stand, suggested the possibility of devising deception testsusing blood pressure, respiration, and electrodermal activity. In his bookMunsterberg also described the Concealed Information Test. He had as astudent William Marston, who later went on to develop the discontinuous bloodpressure method deception test.
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