Converus EyeDetect Frequently Asked Questions

What is EyeDetect?

EyeDetect is the world’s first nonintrusive lie detection technology that accurately detects deception in 30 minutes by analyzing eye behavior. It’s also cost-effective, efficient and secure.

First conceived in 2002, it’s the first ocular-motor deception detection solution. The same scientists credited with computerizing the polygraph in 1991 developed EyeDetect. In September 2013 the technology was given the brand name EyeDetect. It’s a new way for organizations to manage risk and ensure workplace integrity, and for law enforcement agencies and governments to detect deception. Ultimately, it helps protect countries, corporations and communities from corruption, fraud and threats.

What’s the main usage of EyeDetect?

EyeDetect is used to pre-screen job candidates and conduct periodic evaluations of current employees. Tests measure participation in theft, fraud, money laundering, bribes, drug use, identity theft, violent crimes, and receipt of inappropriate benefits at work. EyeDetect can also be used by countries to screen refugees and visa applicants, especially for the purpose of identifying those with ties to terrorism. It can also be used for parolee and offender screening, as well as others that may pose a threat to communities.

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How accurate is EyeDetect?

EyeDetect boasts 86 percent accuracy when pre-screening candidates or periodically screening employees. In the mock crime study at the Tecnológico de Monterrey in Mexico, as well as in a study published in the Journal of Experimental Psychology: Applied (Sep. 2012), EyeDetect achieved 85 percent accuracy. But in more recent field studies, the science team has found a slighter higher rates of accuracy.

Each participant in an EyeDetect test answers questions while the technology monitors eye behavior, then each receives a Converus Credibility Score. Those who score in the 50 to 99.99 range are considered credible, while those who score below 50 are categorized as deceptive. For every 100 deceptive or 100 credible subjects tested, EyeDetect accurately classifies 85 people. It also means that EyeDetect inaccurately classifies 15 of 100 people.

The Converus Science Team will continue to look for ways to improve accuracy. Additional field studies will help the team optimize the technology to increase overall accuracy.

Who invented EyeDetect?

In 2002, John C. Kircher and his colleague, Doug Hacker, an educational psychologist with expertise in the psychology of reading, were driving to Seattle to climb Mt. Rainier. En route, they wondered if changes in eye movements and pupil size while reading and answering questions about a crime would reveal deception. They asked themselves, “Would changes in cognitive load affect the eye in such a way that we can capture those changes and be as accurate as the polygraph in predicting whether or not someone is being deceptive?” Thus the idea for an ocular-motor deception test (ODT) was born — later to be branded as EyeDetect.

In 2003, Professors Kircher and Hacker, along with cognitive scientists Anne Cook and Dan Woltz, formed the Converus Science Team. They began working together to produce and validate an ODT solution for deception detection. David C. Raskin joined this science team in 2009.

It should be noted Professors Kircher and Raskin are internationally-known and highly respected scientists in the polygraph community. They frequently consult and lecture on this subject, as well as provide guidance to the polygraph community, government agencies, legislatures, and the courts. They first published research on polygraph technology in the 1970s and then spent 10 years developing the software and hardware for the world’s first computerized polygraph system, which they marketed in 1991. They recognized the need to find new lie detection methods that could complement the polygraph because the polygraph measures emotional response, not concealed knowledge.

In April 2014, after more than 10 years fine-tuning this technology, these five dedicated scientist were finally able to see their years of work bear fruit when EyeDetect was released to the market.

Which studies validated the EyeDetect technology?

In 2006, after the Converus Science Team completed substantial testing of this concept of monitoring eye behavior to detect deception, a University of Utah psychology graduate student working with the science team published its findings. The Osher Dissertation documented the first lab study that demonstrated the effectiveness of an ocular-motor deception test (ODT). A second formal scientific study in 2008 confirmed the effectiveness of the ODT technology, and its results were published in the Webb Dissertation in August of that year. In 2012, field studies were conducted. The results were peer reviewed by other scientists and professors and published on April 30 of that year in the Journal of Experimental Psychology: Applied. Since the initial product launch, the Science Team has continued to carry out field studies in various languages. Results will be published in an ongoing manner.

What industries or type of companies are most likely to use EyeDetect?

In the U.S., EyeDetect can be used for screening or evaluating federal, state or local government employees. This includes law enforcement and national security agencies.

Outside the U.S., EyeDetect is used in all types of organizations to pre-screen job candidates and to conduct periodic evaluations of current employees. Tests measure an applicant’s or employee’s participation in theft, fraud, money laundering, bribes, drug use, identity theft, violent crimes, and receipt of inappropriate benefits at work.

What are some situations where EyeDetect would not be effective?

EyeDetect is not designed for an event-specific line of questioning, such as is used in a police interrogation. EyeDetect is designed to pre-screen job candidates and to conduct periodic evaluations of current employees in all types of organizations. Tests measure an applicant’s or employee’s participation in theft, fraud, money laundering, bribes, drug use, identity theft, violent crimes and receipt of inappropriate benefits at work.

What affect do drugs, alcohol, stimulants, etc. have on the outcome of an EyeDetect test?

Any substance or medication that affects reaction time, eye movement or pupil dilation in general will affect comprehension, eye behavior and cognitive load. Test results in an EyeDetect exam may be compromised in this situation.

What other substances or conditions affect the outcome of an EyeDetect test?

Conditions such as excessive eye makeup and some eye glasses (such as bifocals or trifocals) may affect the ability for a person to take an EyeDetect test. The examinee must first go through a simple calibration process to ensure the eye tracker can effectively track the examinee’s eyes. Poor calibration due to these conditions would disqualify a person from taking the test. In addition, examinees must have a minimal reading proficiency in order to be a candidate for testing. EyeDetect includes an optional reading and comprehension test to verify minimal reading proficiency.

There are numerous conditions in the body that could cause the eyes to dilate or constrict in a way that would affect the outcome of the test, including any disorder affecting the hypothalamus and brain stem, the spinal cord or the autonomic ganglia. Also, multiple system atrophy, Parkinson’s disease, diabetes mellitus, multiple sclerosis, brain or spinal injury, and conditions or diseases that can cause orthostatic hypotension would also affect test results.

From a physiological perspective, any condition that adversely affects the autonomic nervous system can affect the outcome of the EyeDetect test.

The autonomic nervous system has two main divisions: sympathetic and parasympathetic.

In spite of these potential challenges, EyeDetect has been used to successfully test examiners with ADHD, PTSD, and high functioning Asperger’s syndrome.

Dilating Conditions:
The sympathetic system of the body’s nervous system is activated in response to stress, exercise, exposure to heat or cold, low blood glucose, and other environmental challenges.

Constricting Conditions:
The parasympathetic system of the body’s nervous system is important for digesting and absorbing nutrients, slowing the heart during sleep, emptying the bladder and bowel, and some sexual functions. The parasympathetic system constricts the pupil.

Fatigue can cause pupils to constrict, making it difficult for the eye tracker to scan the eyes. Fatigue can also slow down reaction time and affect comprehension.

What does EyeDetect measure to determine deception?

While reading a computer-based series of questions, EyeDetect measures an examinee’s response accuracy, response time, pupil diameter, reading behavior and blink rates. The results are consistent with the cognitive workload hypothesis.

Observations include:

  • Guilty individuals — when compared to innocent individuals and while responding to simple test statements — make more errors, take longer to respond, make more fixations on the text, have longer reading times, and have longer rereading times.
  • Guilty individuals blink significantly less often as they process statements answered deceptively versus answered truthfully.
  • Guilty participants show greater increases in pupil diameter for statements answered deceptively than for statements answered truthfully.
  • Guilty participants respond faster, make fewer fixations, and spend less time reading and reading statements about the crime they committed than statements about another crime or neutral statements.

Simply put, an increase in the cognitive load is associated with recalling a task and used to distinguish between deceptive and non-¬deceptive responses. This is more pronounced when deceptive individuals respond to complex statements. It takes motivation and effort to deceive.

What is the basic structure or process of an EyeDetect test?

Each test consists of an introduction, a practice test, and then five sessions of 48 true or false statements about relevant issues and neutral questions, as well as four sessions of alpha-arithemetic questions . The questions are repeated in a randomized order. The five relevant/neutral question sessions are separated by the four sessions with alpha arithmetic questions.

Was EyeDetect designed to replace the polygraph?

EyeDetect can be used to replace in some circumstances and/or can complement the polygraph. In reality, EyeDetect is the perfect add-on service for a polygraph company. Studies show that the polygraph can be very accurate for event-specific questioning (a specific line of questioning). However, studies also show that EyeDetect has shown to have comparable levels of accuracy compared to polygraph when used for employee pre-screening and periodic evaluations. The published mean accuracy for EyeDetect is 86%.

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