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The Polygraph and Lie Detection
at academic or other research institutions without operational polygraph programs.
Of the laboratory datasets, 37 described comparison question tests, 13 described concealed information tests, 1 described the relevant-irrelevant test, and 1 described another procedure; among field studies, 6 described comparison question tests and 1 a peak-of-tension concealed information procedure. Questioning referred to specific incidents in all cases but one. The electrodermal measure was skin conductance for 23 datasets (22 laboratory, 1 field), skin resistance for 22 (18 laboratory, 4 field), and could not be determined for 14 datasets (12 laboratory, 2 field). For 36 datasets (33 laboratory, 3 field), both committee reviewers agreed that the studies were silent as to whether examiners or scorers (or both) were masked to the base rate of deception in the examinee pool, and reviewers of 3 others (2 laboratory, 1 field) agreed that the base rate was known by examiners and scorers. For only 3 of the remaining datasets did the reviewers agree as to nature of masking. Twenty-two datasets (21 laboratory, 1 field) reported on computer scoring, 5 alone (all laboratory) and 16 (15 laboratory, 1 field) in conjunction with human scoring. Of the 54 datasets (47 laboratory, 7 field) that reported on human scoring, 28 (23 laboratory, 5 field) presented results of multiple scorers with information on inter-rater variability, while 26 (24 laboratory, 2 field) either reported only on single scorers or used multiple human scorers but did not report on inter-rater variability.
Our documentation categories of detailed and clear, adequate, and minimal were assigned respective scores of 0, 1, and 2. Study scores averaged 1.2 of 2, with 26, 21, and 10 studies respectively scoring above, at, and below 1.0. The average analytic quality rating scores similarly averaged 1.0, with 14, 29, and 14 studies above, equal to, and below 1.0, respectively. On a five-point scale (best score 1.0), internal validity scores averaged 3.04 (median = 3.0), with 10 studies at 2.0 or better, 25 studies 2.0+ to 3.0 inclusive, 20 studies 3.0+ to 4.0 inclusive, and 2 studies scored 4.5. On the same scale, salience scores averaged 3.3 (median = 3.5), with 5 studies at 2.0 or better, 19 studies at 2.0+ to 3.0 inclusive, 26 studies 3.0+ to 4.0 inclusive, and 7 studies 4.0+ to 5.0 inclusive. Scores for laboratory and field studies were generally similar, with laboratory studies faring about half a point better on internal validity, and field studies having a modestly smaller advantage on salience. Field studies also were rated slightly better than laboratory studies on documentation and data analysis. The quality scores for protocol documentation, data analysis, internal validity, and salience were correlated as might be anticipated. With signs adjusted so that positive correlations represent agreement in quality, correlations of salience score with protocol documentation score, data analysis score, and internal validity score were respectively 0.33, 0.42, and 0.49.