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Reid Method: Developing Probable Lie Comparison Questions

NCJ Number
Polygraph Volume: 41 Issue: 2 Dated: 2012 Pages: 65-76
Robert Peters
Date Published
12 pages
This article discusses the development of probable lie comparison questions for use in polygraph testing.
This article analyzes the difference between using probable lie comparison questions and directed lie comparison questions in polygraph testing. The probable lie comparison (PLC) question, known as the Reid Examination Technique, was developed by John Reid in 1947 and is considered to be one of the most significant developments in polygraph testing. The PLC is "a question regarding a past act of wrongdoing of the same general nature as the relevant incident under investigation, to which the subject will probably lie or be doubtful as to accuracy of the answer." The author examines how PLCs are developed and how they should be structured based on the type of crime that is being investigated. The author also discusses the ways that an examiner will compile information on the suspect in order to determine which pieces of information can be used to develop potential PLC topics for use in the polygraph interview. Much of the information used by the examiner is compiled by police investigators working on the criminal case. The author notes that examiners who use the Reid Examination Technique must have exceptional analytical, interviewing, listening, and discernment skills in order to successfully assess the truth or deception behind the answers to the PLC questions. A sample of a polygraph session using PLC questions is included in the article. References