A study of the admissions made during pre-employment polygraph examinations (1964-1975) and their significance to the business community



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Purpose: The objectives of this study were to determine the increases or decreases in applicant admissions to deviant behavior and provide a descriptive profile of the current job applicant in Houston, Texas. Methods: The methods in this study were: (1) the collection of data by reviewing 2000 applicant’s pre-employment data files; (2) recording these admissions on a check list; (3) totaling admissions by sections for each year; and (4) computing percentages by section using the number of files reviewed in each year as a base. All percentages were rounded to the nearest whole number. Findings: 1. The study indicates that there has been an increase in the number of admissions to the following categories of deviant behavior: (1) theft of merchandise by employees from employers; (2) the theft of money under non-job related circumstances; (3) theft of money by employees from employers; (4) shoplifting; (5) aiding other to steal in non-job related circumstances; (6) marijuana usage; (7) barbiturate usage; (8) amphetamine usage; (9) hard drug usage; (10) illegal drug sale; (11)drug usage by needle; (12) usage of other non-specified illegal drugs; (13) alcohol consumption on the job; and (14) failure to meet monthly financial obligations. 2. The study indicates that there have been decreases in the number of admissions to the following categories of deviant behavior: (1) the theft of merchandise for resale; (2) aiding other to steal job related circumstances; and (3) bad debts or credit. 3. The study indicates that each applicant has held an average three (3) jobs in five (5) years previous to the examination. 4. The study indicates that applicant’s average age is twenty-nine (29) years old. 5. The study indicates that each applicant has completed an average eleven (11) years of formal schooling. 6. The study indicates that forty (40) applicants from each one hundred (100) examined had a prior polygraph examination. 7. The study indicates that the applicant was recommended for hiring by the examiner 57 per cent of the time and not recommended 43 per cent of the time.



Employment interviewing--Texas--Houston., Lie detectors and detection., Privacy, Right of.