PDD Courses

NCCA courses are available to federal personnel. These courses are also offered to state and local law enforcement personnel on a space available and cost reimbursable basis. Individuals not meeting these criteria should visit the American Polygraph Association (APA) home page. The APA homepage has information regarding private schools.

Course Listing

Course # Title Credits
PHY 501 PHYSIOLOGY OF PDD 4 credits
PSY 501 PSYCHOLOGY OF PDD 3 credits
PDD 501 INTERVIEW TECHNIQUES 4 credits
PDD 502 PDD ANALYSIS I 2 credits
PDD 503 PDD ANALYSIS II 2 credits
PDD 504 PDD METHODS I 2 credits
PDD 505 PDD METHODS II 2 credits
PDD 506 PDD LABORATORY 3 credits
PDD 507 FIELD FAMILIARIZATION LAB 2 credits
LAW 501 LEGAL AND ETHICAL ASPECTS OF PDD 1 credit
RES 501 RESEARCH THEORIES AND ISSUES IN PDD 1 credit
PDD 600 PDD INTERNSHIP 3 credits

Core Requirements

26 Semester Hours

Course Descriptions

PHY 501 PHYSIOLOGY OF PDD

This course integrates an in-depth knowledge and understanding of the major human physiological systems as they pertain to the clinical applications of PDD. Emphasis is placed on the integrated functions of the nervous, cardiovascular, respiratory, and integument systems, with some attention given to the skeletal and muscular systems. Special attention is placed on the physiology of the neuron resting and action potentials, synaptic transmission, sensory and motor pathways, brain lateralization, and autonomic nervous system modulation. Cardiovascular and respiratory system dynamics are described with an emphasis on neural integration. Eccrine gland dynamics and its innervations is the focal point of the integument system. The physiological dynamics of this systemic approach to human body function are described with respect to PDD assessment. Computerized CDs, PowerPoint, videos and handouts are used extensively in the lecture presentations as learning aids.

PSY 501 PSYCHOLOGY OF PDD

The psychological theories and processes underlying human behavior and its relationship to PDD are examined. Topics include sensation, perception, human learning, memory, cognition, motivation, emotion, stress, personality, psychological disorders, social processes, and social psychology. All topics covered will be developed specifically with respect to their relevance to the PDD process. In addition, topics of relevance will be developed in relation to causes and explanations for criminal behavior. Finally, psychological concepts relevant to extraction and retention of information of criminal incidents as perceived by eyewitnesses will be covered.

Recommended Prerequisite: Introduction to Psychology

PDD 501 INTERVIEW TECHNIQUES

Interviewing skills facilitate and complement the PDD process from the pre-test development of suitable test questions to the post-test discussion of the examination results. Through class lecture and live exercises, this course provides the student examiner with a foundation for building rapport with examinees, preparing them for testing. Dependent on the testing format utilized, students are taught how to encourage self-report of behaviors relevant to the test issues. Students learn to become sensitive to nonverbal cues, tailoring their approach according to individual characteristics, and consider cultural aspects that may pertain to an examinee. Several methods of pre-test and post-test interviews are presented to students, who practice them under field-like conditions in mock crime scenarios.

Prerequisite: PSY 501

PDD 502 PDD ANALYSIS

Constructing proper test interrogatives is an important and integral part of the PDD examination process. If inappropriate or improper interrogatives are used, it could have a significant impact on the outcome of a PDD examination. This course studies the theory and formulation of PDD interrogatives based upon case investigative analysis. The students are acquainted with the use and purpose of all types of interrogatives utilized in specific issue and expanded counterintelligence (CI) screening PDD examinations. The various types of relevant questions utilized in specific issue and expanded CI examinations are discussed in detail. The students are acquainted with the various categories of comparison questions authorized for most major crime specific issue and expanded CI examinations. They will then learn how to formulate the most appropriate comparison questions based upon an examinee’s personal history and tested relevant issue for all NCCA specific issue PDD formats. From a discussion of the basic principles of psycholinguistics, the students will apply these attributes in developing specific issue and expanded CI examination interrogatives. For investigative matters having multiple relevant issues, the students will utilize the concepts of relevant target selection in determining the primary issue for initial testing. Through a review of investigative mock-crime scenarios, the students will learn how to construct the most appropriate relevant and comparison interrogatives for selected specific issue major crimes and CI matters.

Prerequisite: PSY 501

PDD 503 PDD ANALYSIS II

This course teaches the student the Three- and Seven-Position Numerical Evaluation Scoring System. It prepares the student examiner to recognize and evaluate each of the recording channels and associated physiological phenomena, or diagnostic features, of interest in PDD. The decision rules for various PDD testing formats are presented and the means for rending a diagnostic opinion are taught. Using the knowledge gained in Physiology of PDD and Psychology of PDD, the student examiner gains a greater understanding and appreciation for the inter-relationship between physiology, psychology, and PDD.

Prerequisites: PSY 501 and PHY 501

PDD 504 PDD METHODS I

This course provides the student with the historical aspects of PDD beginning with the methods of detecting deception during the Inquisition to the modern approaches of the present day. The student examiner is acquainted with the early pioneers of PDD who had a tremendous influence in the development of physiological research leading to the development of modern-day sensors and instrumentation. They also become familiar with significant personalities who had an impact on the development of the various PDD testing formats. Beginning with the early 1900s and leading up to present day the student is presented with information about significant and high profile cases having a profound effect on modern day PDD practices.

The student is exposed to various forms of instrumentation, ranging from the traditional analog polygraphs to the various modern computerized polygraph systems and associated software programs. The student is taught: acquaintance test protocols (ACQT); selected intelligence and screening PDD formats (TES, LEPET, and R/I Screening); Specific Issue R/I PDD format and usage, and; associated operational methodologies currently taught at NCCA.

Prerequisites: PSY 501 and PHY 501

PDD 505 PDD METHODS I

This course acquaints the student with the various specific-issue PDD testing formats utilized within the Federal Government. It also introduces the student examiner to the various types of mental, physical, and pharmacological countermeasures that might be encountered in PDD testing and provides counter-countermeasures an examiner might utilize to neutralize these countermeasures. The course provides insight into the utilization of interpreters in conducting PDD examinations of an examinee whose primary language capability is something other than what the examiner possesses. Additionally, the relationship is explored between the field examiner and quality control aspects of their work to ensure that adequate standards and controls are maintained at all times.

Prerequisite: PDD 504

PDD 506 PDD LABORATORY

Students are introduced to state-of-the-art instrumentation available to PDD examiners. Hands-on experience with examinees enables students to apply the principles, theory, and methodology gleaned from their studies of PDD to simulated law enforcement and counterintelligence scenarios. Students will be graded on their ability to utilize, interpret, analyze, and evaluate specific PDD methods of investigation.

PDD 507 FIELD FAMILIARIZATION LAB

This course familiarizes the student examiner with field applications of PDD formats and testing techniques. Under the supervision of NCCA faculty, student examiners conduct PDD examinations and evaluations utilizing their agency’s PDD formats and procedures under the auspices of a representative from the students’ parent organization.

LAW 501 LEGAL AND ETHICAL ASPECTS OF PDD

This course acquaints the student examiner with ethical and legal issues affecting PDD. During the ethics portion, students are furnished information and practical dilemmas in an effort to expose them to situations they may be confronted with in the field. Students also complete relevant readings and may be required to research an ethical issue from a contemporary PDD case. During the legal aspects of the course, students are provided PDD case law and are acquainted with the Federal court systems including the first attempt to enter PDD evidence into court evidence in 1923. Additionally, the student examiner is provided the legal and technical foundations involved in qualifying as an expert witness for PDD issues the courts have established through various decisions.

RES 501 RESEARCH THEORIES AND ISSUES IN PDD

This course exposes the student examiner to the various research theories and issues of PDD. Students are acquainted with scientific research terminology and the procedures for conducting laboratory and field PDD research. They are provided with information on the relative merits of the different types of PDD research. Through assigned readings and individual research, students are expected to recognize and articulate differences between scientific and unscientific PDD research.

PDD 600 PDD INTERNSHIP

This internship gives the student supervised practical application of previously studied PDD knowledge, tools, skills, and experiences. The student can synthesize in-class learning while gaining meaningful professional work experience. The student works with his or her academic advisor throughout this internship period. This course is open to students working with criminal justice, intelligence, counterintelligence or security agencies only.

Prerequisite: Certificate of Graduate Study in the Psychophysiological Detection of Deception from DoD NCCA.

 

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