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PostPosted: Mon Jul 30, 2018 4:17 pm 
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Dear FIFA: There Is No Scientific Test to Prevent Age Fraud
By Dina Fine Maron on August 11, 2016

You could be forgiven for missing that the qualifying matches for a big youth soccer event—the Africa Cup of Nations—are underway right now, what with the Olympics taking center stage all week. But then you might miss the latest “doping” scandal playing out in soccer headlines: Almost half of Nigeria’s U-17 (under age 17) team has been sidelined based on lab scans.

Yet the dismissal is not over a traditional malfeasance such as performance-enhancing chemicals or hormonal supplements. It is about age fraud. Clinical testing suggested that these players were actually older than 17.

As a result, 24 young male athletes from Nigeria were deemed ineligible to participate, the Confederation of African Football (CAF) told Scientific American. (Originally, 26 players were excluded but two players were reinstated after appeal.) The decision to bar these Nigerian players from the tournament was based on a procedure that FIFA, soccer’s international governing body, put in place in 2009. It urged youth players to submit to magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans of their wrists in an attempt to determine their age eligibility. (CAF, which is under the auspices of FIFA, requires all players to submit to the scans as part of the regulations for the U-17 Africa Cup of Nations.)


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Admirably, the protocol is designed to prevent older, stronger players from entering youth tournaments in settings where birth certificates or other ways of verifying age may be absent. According to FIFA, wrist MRIs and the bone growth they show can indicate if a player is older than 17. Yet a deeper dive into the study behind this decision reveals that its foundation is shaky at best.

FIFA rolled out this protocol based on a study conducted by its Medical Assessment and Research Center and published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine. For that work, researchers performed wrist MRIs (deemed more ethical than exposing the subjects to x-ray radiation) on about 500 young men between the ages of 14 and 19. The teens all hailed from Switzerland, Malaysia, Algeria or Argentina. The researchers then categorized each participant’s wrist bone development into one of six stages based on the fusion of his distal radius, a bone area near the wrist joint. Stage 6 represented complete fusion and stage 1 represented no fusion. Citing this work, FIFA says that if the MRI shows complete fusion of a player’s wrist, it is 99 percent certain that the player is over 17 (spoiler alert: that’s not really true).

Wrist bone development certainly does change during adolescence. Before puberty the human body cranks out cells that help produce new cartilage along the ends of bones. These areas of the bone, known as growth plates, are eventually converted into bone material, which helps the bones lengthen. Yet as teenagers, both males and females start producing more estrogen, which slows that cellular production process—and their growth plate cartilage subsequently gets thinner and thinner until some of the bones in that area fuse together, and the growth plates close and are replaced by solid bone. (That’s why wrist scans are sometimes used alongside those of the fingers, in tandem with other biological information, to estimate a growing child’s eventual height.) The exact timing of this fusion, however, varies a lot between individuals. For example, FIFA’s own researchers said in an analysis published earlier this year that using this same age cutoff for female athletes is extremely problematic because many girls already had complete fusion before age 17.

In FIFA’s citing of the foundational MRI study for boys, however, its major mistake lies in applying these population-level statistics to individual athletes. A closer examination of the full data shows that the actual wrist bone growth stages can occur at a wide range of ages. Among 16-year-olds, for example, roughly the same number of kids were at stages 1, 3, 4 and 5, representing a spectrum of growth at that age. “There is so much overlap that you may have a person who is 18 who could have only minimal fusion to complete fusion, and there are people who are already fused going from ages 20 to 16,” says Vicente Gilsanz, a professor of radiology and pediatrics at the University of Southern California. Although only one player in the 16-year age group was graded as completely fused (stage 6), the standard deviation in that grouping is also pretty telling.

The reason standard deviation is so illuminating comes down to basic statistics. The average age for complete fusion, according to the analysis, is 18.3 years. Yet there might be some variation in that fusion timing, and that possibility is represented by standard deviation calculated in the analysis—0.9 years. Anyone setting such important guidelines should typically include two standard deviations in either direction from the average age to capture most of that variation, says Frank Rauch, a professor of pediatrics who specializes in bone health at McGill University. (In a perfect bell curve one standard deviation will only capture about 68 percent of the values whereas two will include about 95 percent, and so on.) Here, two standard deviations from that average age of complete fusion would include ages 16 to 20. “Maybe people are not concerned about unfairly excluding kids from competition,” Rauch says, “but that’s the inevitable problem.” FIFA had not responded to a request for comment by publication time.

Image

Meanwhile, subsequent work also throws more cold water on the science of these wrist scans: One study on 86 young male Ghanaian players concluded, “There was no significant correlation between the chronological age and the degree of fusion.” Another analysis that similarly employed wrist scans among young players found that three supposed 14-year-old male soccer players had stage 5 or stage 6 fusion. In that analysis, too, the authors similarly noted, “no correlation was observed between age category and grade of fusion.” But in both studies the authors dismissed the results—suggesting perhaps players were simply not aware of their real ages.

There are also genetic and environmental factors to consider before applying this study’s findings to the real world. The analysis underpinning FIFA’s age regulation does include some individuals from Algeria(which is in north Africa), yet it does not include anyone from sub-Saharan Africa, where this ruling has been applied before—and is again now. Very little puberty research is focused on the sub-Saharan region, so it is difficult to pinpoint information about the onset and tempo of puberty in Nigeria. But scientists have uncovered variation elsewhere. Multiple studies have shown that kids embark on puberty at different times based on factors including nutrition, environment and ethnic background. Puberty in African-American girls who grow up in the U.S. begins roughly a year earlier, on average, than among white girls, for example.

Ultimately, there is no known foolproof, scientific test that will allow doctors—or sports regulators—to determine an individual’s age. The science suggests that applying a lone wrist MRI test to make such determinations is inappropriate at best and potentially harmful at worst. Political leaders and regulators searching for age tests in other settings—such as classifying immigrants seeking asylum (because different rules apply for minors and adults)—could potentially look to this type of age cutoff test, too, with troubling results. Right now “people aren’t trying to use magnetic resonance imaging [to classify the age of refugees] but they are using x-ray imaging to look at bone age and make a determination as to whether they are children or not,” says Babette Zemel, a pediatrics professor focused on child growth and development at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. “Looking at the bones can give you a good idea if one child is skeletally more mature, but it is insufficient for determining whether or not a child should be permitted to be on a sports team or claim asylum status because it doesn’t tell you about their chronological age.”


https://www.scientificamerican.com/arti ... age-fraud/

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PostPosted: Mon Jul 30, 2018 4:33 pm 
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The reason I post this is to counter those who look at the MRI test as settled and established science. The fact is that it is not. And that I suspect is the reason the NFF is using the MRI in this manner...

Bottom line is, we are STILL cheating! It may not be as bad as before, but we are STILL CHEATING!

And more importantly, it doesn't help our football in the long term.

Secondly, the MRI test is not used for instance in CONCACAF, and I suspect in other confederations outside Africa and possibly Asia. It is done randomly in the tournament by FIFA as is the case for doping....

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We watched this very boring video, 500 times, of Sacchi doing defensive drills, using sticks and without the ball, with Maldini, Baresi and Albertini. We used to think before then that if the other players are better, you have to lose. After that we learned anything is possible – you can beat better teams by using tactics." Jurgen Klopp


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 30, 2018 8:32 pm 
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txj wrote:
Dear FIFA: There Is No Scientific Test to Prevent Age Fraud
By Dina Fine Maron on August 11, 2016

You could be forgiven for missing that the qualifying matches for a big youth soccer event—the Africa Cup of Nations—are underway right now, what with the Olympics taking center stage all week. But then you might miss the latest “doping” scandal playing out in soccer headlines: Almost half of Nigeria’s U-17 (under age 17) team has been sidelined based on lab scans.

Yet the dismissal is not over a traditional malfeasance such as performance-enhancing chemicals or hormonal supplements. It is about age fraud. Clinical testing suggested that these players were actually older than 17.

As a result, 24 young male athletes from Nigeria were deemed ineligible to participate, the Confederation of African Football (CAF) told Scientific American. (Originally, 26 players were excluded but two players were reinstated after appeal.) The decision to bar these Nigerian players from the tournament was based on a procedure that FIFA, soccer’s international governing body, put in place in 2009. It urged youth players to submit to magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans of their wrists in an attempt to determine their age eligibility. (CAF, which is under the auspices of FIFA, requires all players to submit to the scans as part of the regulations for the U-17 Africa Cup of Nations.)


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Admirably, the protocol is designed to prevent older, stronger players from entering youth tournaments in settings where birth certificates or other ways of verifying age may be absent. According to FIFA, wrist MRIs and the bone growth they show can indicate if a player is older than 17. Yet a deeper dive into the study behind this decision reveals that its foundation is shaky at best.

FIFA rolled out this protocol based on a study conducted by its Medical Assessment and Research Center and published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine. For that work, researchers performed wrist MRIs (deemed more ethical than exposing the subjects to x-ray radiation) on about 500 young men between the ages of 14 and 19. The teens all hailed from Switzerland, Malaysia, Algeria or Argentina. The researchers then categorized each participant’s wrist bone development into one of six stages based on the fusion of his distal radius, a bone area near the wrist joint. Stage 6 represented complete fusion and stage 1 represented no fusion. Citing this work, FIFA says that if the MRI shows complete fusion of a player’s wrist, it is 99 percent certain that the player is over 17 (spoiler alert: that’s not really true).

Wrist bone development certainly does change during adolescence. Before puberty the human body cranks out cells that help produce new cartilage along the ends of bones. These areas of the bone, known as growth plates, are eventually converted into bone material, which helps the bones lengthen. Yet as teenagers, both males and females start producing more estrogen, which slows that cellular production process—and their growth plate cartilage subsequently gets thinner and thinner until some of the bones in that area fuse together, and the growth plates close and are replaced by solid bone. (That’s why wrist scans are sometimes used alongside those of the fingers, in tandem with other biological information, to estimate a growing child’s eventual height.) The exact timing of this fusion, however, varies a lot between individuals. For example, FIFA’s own researchers said in an analysis published earlier this year that using this same age cutoff for female athletes is extremely problematic because many girls already had complete fusion before age 17.

In FIFA’s citing of the foundational MRI study for boys, however, its major mistake lies in applying these population-level statistics to individual athletes. A closer examination of the full data shows that the actual wrist bone growth stages can occur at a wide range of ages. Among 16-year-olds, for example, roughly the same number of kids were at stages 1, 3, 4 and 5, representing a spectrum of growth at that age. “There is so much overlap that you may have a person who is 18 who could have only minimal fusion to complete fusion, and there are people who are already fused going from ages 20 to 16,” says Vicente Gilsanz, a professor of radiology and pediatrics at the University of Southern California. Although only one player in the 16-year age group was graded as completely fused (stage 6), the standard deviation in that grouping is also pretty telling.

The reason standard deviation is so illuminating comes down to basic statistics. The average age for complete fusion, according to the analysis, is 18.3 years. Yet there might be some variation in that fusion timing, and that possibility is represented by standard deviation calculated in the analysis—0.9 years. Anyone setting such important guidelines should typically include two standard deviations in either direction from the average age to capture most of that variation, says Frank Rauch, a professor of pediatrics who specializes in bone health at McGill University. (In a perfect bell curve one standard deviation will only capture about 68 percent of the values whereas two will include about 95 percent, and so on.) Here, two standard deviations from that average age of complete fusion would include ages 16 to 20. “Maybe people are not concerned about unfairly excluding kids from competition,” Rauch says, “but that’s the inevitable problem.” FIFA had not responded to a request for comment by publication time.

Image

Meanwhile, subsequent work also throws more cold water on the science of these wrist scans: One study on 86 young male Ghanaian players concluded, “There was no significant correlation between the chronological age and the degree of fusion.” Another analysis that similarly employed wrist scans among young players found that three supposed 14-year-old male soccer players had stage 5 or stage 6 fusion. In that analysis, too, the authors similarly noted, “no correlation was observed between age category and grade of fusion.” But in both studies the authors dismissed the results—suggesting perhaps players were simply not aware of their real ages.

There are also genetic and environmental factors to consider before applying this study’s findings to the real world. The analysis underpinning FIFA’s age regulation does include some individuals from Algeria(which is in north Africa), yet it does not include anyone from sub-Saharan Africa, where this ruling has been applied before—and is again now. Very little puberty research is focused on the sub-Saharan region, so it is difficult to pinpoint information about the onset and tempo of puberty in Nigeria. But scientists have uncovered variation elsewhere. Multiple studies have shown that kids embark on puberty at different times based on factors including nutrition, environment and ethnic background. Puberty in African-American girls who grow up in the U.S. begins roughly a year earlier, on average, than among white girls, for example.

Ultimately, there is no known foolproof, scientific test that will allow doctors—or sports regulators—to determine an individual’s age. The science suggests that applying a lone wrist MRI test to make such determinations is inappropriate at best and potentially harmful at worst. Political leaders and regulators searching for age tests in other settings—such as classifying immigrants seeking asylum (because different rules apply for minors and adults)—could potentially look to this type of age cutoff test, too, with troubling results. Right now “people aren’t trying to use magnetic resonance imaging [to classify the age of refugees] but they are using x-ray imaging to look at bone age and make a determination as to whether they are children or not,” says Babette Zemel, a pediatrics professor focused on child growth and development at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. “Looking at the bones can give you a good idea if one child is skeletally more mature, but it is insufficient for determining whether or not a child should be permitted to be on a sports team or claim asylum status because it doesn’t tell you about their chronological age.”


https://www.scientificamerican.com/arti ... age-fraud/
Quote:
The reason I post this is to counter those who look at the MRI test as settled and established science. The fact is that it is not. And that I suspect is the reason the NFF is using the MRI in this manner...

Bottom line is, we are STILL cheating! It may not be as bad as before, but we are STILL CHEATING!

And more importantly, it doesn't help our football in the long term.

Secondly, the MRI test is not used for instance in CONCACAF, and I suspect in other confederations outside Africa and possibly Asia. It is done randomly in the tournament by FIFA as is the case for doping....


hmmmm, Txj, I hope you really read the report as how it may affect Nigeria (or Subsaharan countries as well as the Standard Deviation point) before your response that I have added above? No further comment but please ensure that you read what the criticism is really about.

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PostPosted: Mon Jul 30, 2018 9:19 pm 
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EII:

I am firmly in the corner of Txj vis-a-vis the science of this MRI testing, and voiced my concerns as soon as it was introduced. DaMunk and I debated this, and he even wrote the author of the scientific manuscript on the basis of which the test was adopted.

My biggest issue is that since the test is not accurate, folks who want to cheat can just put a bunch of candidates through the test and retain those who pass the test, with disregard to true age and truly age-eligible candidates who ended u being false-positives.
I believe that's the same concern TXJ has. Remember F Chukwudi, despite overwhelming evidence, supposedly passed the test, and his coach was harping on that.

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PostPosted: Mon Jul 30, 2018 11:21 pm 
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Chief Ogbunigwe wrote:
EII:

I am firmly in the corner of Txj vis-a-vis the science of this MRI testing, and voiced my concerns as soon as it was introduced. DaMunk and I debated this, and he even wrote the author of the scientific manuscript on the basis of which the test was adopted.

My biggest issue is that since the test is not accurate, folks who want to cheat can just put a bunch of candidates through the test and retain those who pass the test, with disregard to true age and truly age-eligible candidates who ended u being false-positives.
I believe that's the same concern TXJ has. Remember F Chukwudi, despite overwhelming evidence, supposedly passed the test, and his coach was harping on that.


I'm even afraid to contribute because I know what comes next so for the sake of PEACE, I stand with txj, whatever his opinion unless he says there's no God.

That said, this is not a new article. We've all known that the MRI is not a fool-proof test. We also know that cheating is institutionalised in Nigeria.

However, one could also look at it this way and it is evident in the visible age of our u17 players from the dark days of the like of Osondu? etc.

The cheats we-ll always have with us, until Nigeria becomes a civilised nation and keeps data with reverence to accuracy and authenticity.

We know cheats would still slip through just as the US kid with birth certificate from a nation with good practices, was ruled out for been overage. What we also know is that the MRI ruled out 24 out of 26 players that would have been part of the team.

Is the NFF calculative enough to keep spending money on overage players that passes the MRI until they find the required number they need for a tournament? Maybe. But visibly, the MRI has helped us rather than hinder us.

The MRI should not be taken as the "be all, end all" of age verification and I don't think anyone has ever argued that here. But it has contributed as another weapon in catching age cheats. In fact, the risk, according to this article is that is can rule out genuine u17, more than it includes overage players

Quote:
In FIFA’s citing of the foundational MRI study for boys, however, its major mistake lies in applying these population-level statistics to individual athletes. A closer examination of the full data shows that the actual wrist bone growth stages can occur at a wide range of ages. Among 16-year-olds, for example, roughly the same number of kids were at stages 1, 3, 4 and 5, representing a spectrum of growth at that age. “There is so much overlap that you may have a person who is 18 who could have only minimal fusion to complete fusion, and there are people who are already fused going from ages 20 to 16,” says Vicente Gilsanz, a professor of radiology and pediatrics at the University of Southern California. Although only one player in the 16-year age group was graded as completely fused (stage 6), the standard deviation in that grouping is also pretty telling


While a 20 year old could pass the test, only one 16 year old failed the test.

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 31, 2018 12:17 am 
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Well said TXJ

The biggest test for me remains the simple eye test. I know a 16, 18 and 20 year old african when I see one. Yes there might be outliers of people looking older bit its not just the face but the physique of the player.

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 31, 2018 12:59 am 
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Chief Ogbunigwe wrote:
EII:

I am firmly in the corner of Txj vis-a-vis the science of this MRI testing, and voiced my concerns as soon as it was introduced. DaMunk and I debated this, and he even wrote the author of the scientific manuscript on the basis of which the test was adopted.

My biggest issue is that since the test is not accurate, folks who want to cheat can just put a bunch of candidates through the test and retain those who pass the test, with disregard to true age and truly age-eligible candidates who ended u being false-positives.
I believe that's the same concern TXJ has. Remember F Chukwudi, despite overwhelming evidence, supposedly passed the test, and his coach was harping on that.



Chief Ogbunigwe,

I understand the concern when there is an ongoing ferment in science. BTW, that is similar to ferment in various scientific fields. No test IS EVER perfect. So if we are waiting for one that reaches that threshold, it will never occur. Note that even the meds that we take are not fool proof. In certain individuals those meds may not work. Thus, I do not believe that a fool proof test is required because such a scientific test cannot be obtained.

So, I believe that we have to examine each criticism and assign it a value.

The criticism raised in this piece is a strong one but there are things in it that are arguable, in my opinion. But nevertheless, lets assume that the criticism is extremely strong one. If you read that piece, the author basically is making the OPPOSITE case to the outcome that Txj arrives at! That was the point of my post. Here is why:

1. Remember now that Txj read that piece and concluded that it supports the claim that Nigeria is cheating if one is to rely on this test. I do not see anything in that piece that indicates any more cheating than those assumed from what we had known about the test. Now, I ask that you read that piece and show me what is in there that supports Txj's claim on continued cheating by Nigeria or that shows more cheating beyond the error that the test by FIFA already assumes and accepts.

2. Note that the piece, in my view, actually makes the case that the MRI test is more favorable to players elsewhere than it is to youth from Subsaharan Africa. In essence, it rules out many Nigerian players that are in fact eligible as legitimate U17 Players. That is the crux of that piece even though it does not focus on that! [Of course, the beginning of the article does give a clue, I must state]. So how then does Txj's claim that this supports Nigeria's continued cheating beyond what the error rate accounts for? or is he stating that the MRI error rate means it isn't acceptable to use the test?

3. The writer points out that the test's standard deviation is too narrow and thus several players within the possible age are in fact rejected simply because FIFA considered it too wide of a deviation that will include those likely between the ages 16 to 20. Thus, in trying to eliminate players who are truly 20, FIFA has set a tighter restriction which likely ends up eliminating several that are within eligibility!

4. The writer alludes but does not affirm the likelihood that Subsaharan African players are more likely to suffer from this MRI test than do others. It admits that it is difficult to obtain data about age of puberty for Subsaharan males and this is probably why he/she alludes rather than affirms. Nevertheless, he/she notes that African American girls (allusion to Subsaharan heritage) reach puberty a year earlier than White girls meaning that they experience fusion earlier. The likely hypothesis is that African youths are more likely to do the same. In a sense, the test is much tougher on them.

The point is that based on the content of that piece, a guy who argues that MRI eliminates eligible African players has more fodder for his position than the one who claims that the test leads to more cheating than FIFA's test claims.

For instance, the point made by the critic about using population results for tests of individuals is not a sufficient concern, if you ask me. What exactly does that mean? Are most tests used today and some in vital occupations not based on aggregates from samples and then generalized beyond those samples? My opinion, however, is that the MRI test is a welcomed test in spite of this concern and until a better verification test is in place.Although, this report is possibly more ammunition for the African federations to argue about its unfairness. In my opinion, what this criticism should be about is the need to strengthen the test and deal with the concerns like Subsaharan African countries may have about this test. That requires tests of additional populations including those that originate from Africa.

BTW, in a round about way, this perhaps explains why the US kid who failed the test might have done so. :dream:

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 31, 2018 1:50 am 
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Chief Ogbunigwe wrote:
EII:

I am firmly in the corner of Txj vis-a-vis the science of this MRI testing, and voiced my concerns as soon as it was introduced. DaMunk and I debated this, and he even wrote the author of the scientific manuscript on the basis of which the test was adopted.

My biggest issue is that since the test is not accurate, folks who want to cheat can just put a bunch of candidates through the test and retain those who pass the test, with disregard to true age and truly age-eligible candidates who ended u being false-positives.
I believe that's the same concern TXJ has. Remember F Chukwudi, despite overwhelming evidence, supposedly passed the test, and his coach was harping on that.


I don't think Chukwudi passed the test. Remember this story http://www.kickoff.com/news/10580/29-ea ... l-mri-test

After that test my theory is FIFA not wanting the host nation to be embarrassed turned their head for the next test and probably let many of those that failed back into the squad.


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 31, 2018 2:33 am 
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:rotf: :rotf: :rotf: :rotf: :rotf:

Ultimately, there is no known foolproof, scientific test that will allow doctors—or sports regulators—to determine an individual’s age. The science suggests that applying a lone wrist MRI test to make such determinations is inappropriate at best and potentially harmful at worst. Political leaders and regulators searching for age tests in other settings—such as classifying immigrants seeking asylum (because different rules apply for minors and adults)—could potentially look to this type of age cutoff test, too, with troubling results. Right now “people aren’t trying to use magnetic resonance imaging [to classify the age of refugees] but they are using x-ray imaging to look at bone age and make a determination as to whether they are children or not,” says Babette Zemel, a pediatrics professor focused on child growth and development at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. “Looking at the bones can give you a good idea if one child is skeletally more mature, but it is insufficient for determining whether or not a child should be permitted to be on a sports team or claim asylum status because it doesn’t tell you about their chronological age.”




Enugu II wrote:
Chief Ogbunigwe wrote:
EII:

I am firmly in the corner of Txj vis-a-vis the science of this MRI testing, and voiced my concerns as soon as it was introduced. DaMunk and I debated this, and he even wrote the author of the scientific manuscript on the basis of which the test was adopted.

My biggest issue is that since the test is not accurate, folks who want to cheat can just put a bunch of candidates through the test and retain those who pass the test, with disregard to true age and truly age-eligible candidates who ended u being false-positives.
I believe that's the same concern TXJ has. Remember F Chukwudi, despite overwhelming evidence, supposedly passed the test, and his coach was harping on that.



Chief Ogbunigwe,

I understand the concern when there is an ongoing ferment in science. BTW, that is similar to ferment in various scientific fields. No test IS EVER perfect. So if we are waiting for one that reaches that threshold, it will never occur. Note that even the meds that we take are not fool proof. In certain individuals those meds may not work. Thus, I do not believe that a fool proof test is required because such a scientific test cannot be obtained.

So, I believe that we have to examine each criticism and assign it a value.

The criticism raised in this piece is a strong one but there are things in it that are arguable, in my opinion. But nevertheless, lets assume that the criticism is extremely strong one. If you read that piece, the author basically is making the OPPOSITE case to the outcome that Txj arrives at! That was the point of my post. Here is why:

1. Remember now that Txj read that piece and concluded that it supports the claim that Nigeria is cheating if one is to rely on this test. I do not see anything in that piece that indicates any more cheating than those assumed from what we had known about the test. Now, I ask that you read that piece and show me what is in there that supports Txj's claim on continued cheating by Nigeria or that shows more cheating beyond the error that the test by FIFA already assumes and accepts.

2. Note that the piece, in my view, actually makes the case that the MRI test is more favorable to players elsewhere than it is to youth from Subsaharan Africa. In essence, it rules out many Nigerian players that are in fact eligible as legitimate U17 Players. That is the crux of that piece even though it does not focus on that! [Of course, the beginning of the article does give a clue, I must state]. So how then does Txj's claim that this supports Nigeria's continued cheating beyond what the error rate accounts for? or is he stating that the MRI error rate means it isn't acceptable to use the test?

3. The writer points out that the test's standard deviation is too narrow and thus several players within the possible age are in fact rejected simply because FIFA considered it too wide of a deviation that will include those likely between the ages 16 to 20. Thus, in trying to eliminate players who are truly 20, FIFA has set a tighter restriction which likely ends up eliminating several that are within eligibility!

4. The writer alludes but does not affirm the likelihood that Subsaharan African players are more likely to suffer from this MRI test than do others. It admits that it is difficult to obtain data about age of puberty for Subsaharan males and this is probably why he/she alludes rather than affirms. Nevertheless, he/she notes that African American girls (allusion to Subsaharan heritage) reach puberty a year earlier than White girls meaning that they experience fusion earlier. The likely hypothesis is that African youths are more likely to do the same. In a sense, the test is much tougher on them.

The point is that based on the content of that piece, a guy who argues that MRI eliminates eligible African players has more fodder for his position than the one who claims that the test leads to more cheating than FIFA's test claims.

For instance, the point made by the critic about using population results for tests of individuals is not a sufficient concern, if you ask me. What exactly does that mean? Are most tests used today and some in vital occupations not based on aggregates from samples and then generalized beyond those samples? My opinion, however, is that the MRI test is a welcomed test in spite of this concern and until a better verification test is in place.Although, this report is possibly more ammunition for the African federations to argue about its unfairness. In my opinion, what this criticism should be about is the need to strengthen the test and deal with the concerns like Subsaharan African countries may have about this test. That requires tests of additional populations including those that originate from Africa.

BTW, in a round about way, this perhaps explains why the US kid who failed the test might have done so. :dream:

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 31, 2018 3:53 am 
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Chief Ogbunigwe wrote:
EII:

I am firmly in the corner of Txj vis-a-vis the science of this MRI testing, and voiced my concerns as soon as it was introduced. DaMunk and I debated this, and he even wrote the author of the scientific manuscript on the basis of which the test was adopted.

My biggest issue is that since the[color=#0000FF] test is not accurate, folks who want to cheat can just put a bunch of candidates through the test and retain those who pass the test, with disregard to true age and truly age-eligible candidates who ended u being false-positives.

I believe that's the same concern TXJ has. [/color]Remember F Chukwudi, despite overwhelming evidence, supposedly passed the test, and his coach was harping on that.


Haba but bros, no one is arguing that the MRI is 100% accurate. in fact the argument is that it is unfair as the kids tested in the study relied on by FIFA didn't include sub Saharan, east Asians and central Americans. In the study, complete fusion occurred at an average age of 18.3 years, which makes it VERY unlikely that complete fusion would occur before age 18. There was only 1 case out of 496 tests where complete fusion occurred in a kid under the age of 17. Based on this study testing and only selecting kids who are under a certain grade of fusion makes 100% sense.

A review of results of the study should suggest that the highlighted is impracticable. The highest age grade that was tested in the study were 19 year olds. The study showed 6 grades of fusion, with grade 1 being unfused bones and grade 6 being complete fusion. None of the 19 year olds showed grades 1-4 fusion. They all either had a grade 5 fusion or a grade 6 (complete fusion). No 18 year old had a grade 1 fusion, some had grades 2-6 fusion levels. I highly doubt you guys are concerned with the NFF flooding the team with a bunch of 18 year over age players considering that most teams in the tourney include 18year olds by the time the tournament starts proper.

So the scenario that you and TJX are concerned with (i.e. the chance that the NFF gathers and tests a bunch of over adults 19 years and older, that are skilled enough to represent the country, and at the same time happen to fall in the absurdly rare case of having unfused wrists past age 17 is HIGHLY improbable. As highlighted before, there will be some older players (most likely under 19) that will slip on and some younger players that will fail the test. But for the most part, if the test subject are increased to accurately represent all relevant ethnic groups, the it effectively weed out the vast majority of over aged players.

As for fortune chukwudi's case, only lord knows what occured there. if i recall, 2009 was when FiFA implemented mri and it wasn't mandatory. Also Lulu at some point said he wasnt going to rely on mri as it wasn't required under the rules. Lord knows if he was even tested back then.

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 31, 2018 9:34 am 
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txj wrote:
:rotf: :rotf: :rotf: :rotf: :rotf:

Ultimately, there is no known foolproof, scientific test that will allow doctors—or sports regulators—to determine an individual’s age. The science suggests that applying a lone wrist MRI test to make such determinations is inappropriate at best and potentially harmful at worst. Political leaders and regulators searching for age tests in other settings—such as classifying immigrants seeking asylum (because different rules apply for minors and adults)—could potentially look to this type of age cutoff test, too, with troubling results. Right now “people aren’t trying to use magnetic resonance imaging [to classify the age of refugees] but they are using x-ray imaging to look at bone age and make a determination as to whether they are children or not,” says Babette Zemel, a pediatrics professor focused on child growth and development at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. “Looking at the bones can give you a good idea if one child is skeletally more mature, but it is insufficient for determining whether or not a child should be permitted to be on a sports team or claim asylum status because it doesn’t tell you about their chronological age.”




Enugu II wrote:
Chief Ogbunigwe wrote:
EII:

I am firmly in the corner of Txj vis-a-vis the science of this MRI testing, and voiced my concerns as soon as it was introduced. DaMunk and I debated this, and he even wrote the author of the scientific manuscript on the basis of which the test was adopted.

My biggest issue is that since the test is not accurate, folks who want to cheat can just put a bunch of candidates through the test and retain those who pass the test, with disregard to true age and truly age-eligible candidates who ended u being false-positives.
I believe that's the same concern TXJ has. Remember F Chukwudi, despite overwhelming evidence, supposedly passed the test, and his coach was harping on that.



Chief Ogbunigwe,

I understand the concern when there is an ongoing ferment in science. BTW, that is similar to ferment in various scientific fields. No test IS EVER perfect. So if we are waiting for one that reaches that threshold, it will never occur. Note that even the meds that we take are not fool proof. In certain individuals those meds may not work. Thus, I do not believe that a fool proof test is required because such a scientific test cannot be obtained.

So, I believe that we have to examine each criticism and assign it a value.

The criticism raised in this piece is a strong one but there are things in it that are arguable, in my opinion. But nevertheless, lets assume that the criticism is extremely strong one. If you read that piece, the author basically is making the OPPOSITE case to the outcome that Txj arrives at! That was the point of my post. Here is why:

1. Remember now that Txj read that piece and concluded that it supports the claim that Nigeria is cheating if one is to rely on this test. I do not see anything in that piece that indicates any more cheating than those assumed from what we had known about the test. Now, I ask that you read that piece and show me what is in there that supports Txj's claim on continued cheating by Nigeria or that shows more cheating beyond the error that the test by FIFA already assumes and accepts.

2. Note that the piece, in my view, actually makes the case that the MRI test is more favorable to players elsewhere than it is to youth from Subsaharan Africa. In essence, it rules out many Nigerian players that are in fact eligible as legitimate U17 Players. That is the crux of that piece even though it does not focus on that! [Of course, the beginning of the article does give a clue, I must state]. So how then does Txj's claim that this supports Nigeria's continued cheating beyond what the error rate accounts for? or is he stating that the MRI error rate means it isn't acceptable to use the test?

3. The writer points out that the test's standard deviation is too narrow and thus several players within the possible age are in fact rejected simply because FIFA considered it too wide of a deviation that will include those likely between the ages 16 to 20. Thus, in trying to eliminate players who are truly 20, FIFA has set a tighter restriction which likely ends up eliminating several that are within eligibility!

4. The writer alludes but does not affirm the likelihood that Subsaharan African players are more likely to suffer from this MRI test than do others. It admits that it is difficult to obtain data about age of puberty for Subsaharan males and this is probably why he/she alludes rather than affirms. Nevertheless, he/she notes that African American girls (allusion to Subsaharan heritage) reach puberty a year earlier than White girls meaning that they experience fusion earlier. The likely hypothesis is that African youths are more likely to do the same. In a sense, the test is much tougher on them.

The point is that based on the content of that piece, a guy who argues that MRI eliminates eligible African players has more fodder for his position than the one who claims that the test leads to more cheating than FIFA's test claims.

For instance, the point made by the critic about using population results for tests of individuals is not a sufficient concern, if you ask me. What exactly does that mean? Are most tests used today and some in vital occupations not based on aggregates from samples and then generalized beyond those samples? My opinion, however, is that the MRI test is a welcomed test in spite of this concern and until a better verification test is in place.Although, this report is possibly more ammunition for the African federations to argue about its unfairness. In my opinion, what this criticism should be about is the need to strengthen the test and deal with the concerns like Subsaharan African countries may have about this test. That requires tests of additional populations including those that originate from Africa.

BTW, in a round about way, this perhaps explains why the US kid who failed the test might have done so. :dream:

Why eliminating kids between 16 and 20 is harmful? The junior competitions are not about winning but detection of talents. Since we know age cheat is rampant in Africa, it would be good for the continentals teams. Our under 18 may actually be under 16 but the end would be achieved as young players would have a change to make it to the team.


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 31, 2018 10:42 am 
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When it comes to a particular player's age I'll accept the MRI over speculation by persons (often faceless) on the internet. If there is more compelling evidence (I know it is a dirty word round these parts) than the MRI that a player is overaged then I'll accept it.


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 31, 2018 12:33 pm 
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aruako1 wrote:
When it comes to a particular player's age I'll accept the MRI over speculation by persons (often faceless) on the internet. If there is more compelling evidence (I know it is a dirty word round these parts) than the MRI that a player is overaged then I'll accept it.


The point is that MRI is a better test than using passports for areas where age cheating is rampant. That much is clear. The point that MRI is not 100% accurate is already a known fact but the error associated with it is an acceptable range of error. IMHO, MRI test deters age cheating and we already see a demonstration of it in the number of Nigerian youth players rejected because of this test.These rejected players would have ordinarily played in the team (With a valid passport) in previous years. The byproduct is Nigeria has clearly found acceptable solutions by building teams from a younger age when the age of the kids are more likely to be accurately determined and likely to pass the MRI test. That is a major and significant improvement.

Guys like Txj point to consultants able to determine age of players but they have not been able to put forward how that process works even though they vouch for it. If there is a viable process out there then it should be examined to determine whether it is in fact more effective than the MRI.

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 31, 2018 4:25 pm 
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Enugu II wrote:
aruako1 wrote:
When it comes to a particular player's age I'll accept the MRI over speculation by persons (often faceless) on the internet. If there is more compelling evidence (I know it is a dirty word round these parts) than the MRI that a player is overaged then I'll accept it.


The point is that MRI is a better test than using passports for areas where age cheating is rampant. That much is clear. The point that MRI is not 100% accurate is already a known fact but the error associated with it is an acceptable range of error. IMHO, MRI test deters age cheating and we already see a demonstration of it in the number of Nigerian youth players rejected because of this test.These rejected players would have ordinarily played in the team (With a valid passport) in previous years. The byproduct is Nigeria has clearly found acceptable solutions by building teams from a younger age when the age of the kids are more likely to be accurately determined and likely to pass the MRI test. That is a major and significant improvement.

Guys like Txj point to consultants able to determine age of players but they have not been able to put forward how that process works even though they vouch for it. If there is a viable process out there then it should be examined to determine whether it is in fact more effective than the MRI.




1. There is no disputing the fact that MRI test is better than simple reliance on passports.
HOWEVER, the key issue for me is its use by the NFF to find players who can pass the test, as opposed to identifying players who are as close to their date of birth and thus truly eligible for U-17 football, which makes the MRI, not significantly better and ensures continued cheating by Nigeria.

2. The only certified way of ensuring the 100% use of true age eligible players is an approach that ensures correct verification of the date of natural (or otherwise) birth.

It is a fallacy that Nigeria does not have a record keeping system. The problem is not the system, but the willingness of individuals to cheat, AND ESPECIALLY the lack of will by the NFF to properly verify the age of players and their willingness to COLLUDE with age cheats.

Top coys in Nigeria, like Shell, Exxon-Mobil, UAC, etc verify records routinely, by hiring vendors. They deal with a much, much LARGER sample size, but they do it! The people who present themselves for verification by these coys are no better or worse than our football players. The difference is in the entities involved: NFF that has cheating as a corporate culture, and Shell/Mobil/UAC, whose corporate goal is professional excellence.

The credentialing coys may not have verified ages for the likes of Shell, but such work is within the portfolio of credentialing. The issue raised by EII about their process, while important is secondary. Why? Because the key issue is about capacity/ability. Shell wouldn't retain them if they were incapable or had a history of unprofessionalism...

This is a country that put together the logistics to stop the ebola virus in a mega city!!!!!

3. The issue is not use of MRI vs use of credentialing coys and which one is better. Rather the issue is about:
i. the will of the NFF to stop cheating and commit to use of age appropriate players, whether we win or lose, and therefore use the MRI test as it was designed to be used.

ii. and based on the above, improving the current process by adding a 3rd party credentialing coy to verify the birth and demographic records of players, before their subsequent presentation for an MRI test.

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 31, 2018 5:34 pm 
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txj wrote:
Enugu II wrote:
aruako1 wrote:
When it comes to a particular player's age I'll accept the MRI over speculation by persons (often faceless) on the internet. If there is more compelling evidence (I know it is a dirty word round these parts) than the MRI that a player is overaged then I'll accept it.


The point is that MRI is a better test than using passports for areas where age cheating is rampant. That much is clear. The point that MRI is not 100% accurate is already a known fact but the error associated with it is an acceptable range of error. IMHO, MRI test deters age cheating and we already see a demonstration of it in the number of Nigerian youth players rejected because of this test.These rejected players would have ordinarily played in the team (With a valid passport) in previous years. The byproduct is Nigeria has clearly found acceptable solutions by building teams from a younger age when the age of the kids are more likely to be accurately determined and likely to pass the MRI test. That is a major and significant improvement.

Guys like Txj point to consultants able to determine age of players but they have not been able to put forward how that process works even though they vouch for it. If there is a viable process out there then it should be examined to determine whether it is in fact more effective than the MRI.




1. There is no disputing the fact that MRI test is better than simple reliance on passports.
HOWEVER, the key issue for me is its use by the NFF to find players who can pass the test, as opposed to identifying players who are as close to their date of birth and thus truly eligible for U-17 football, which makes the MRI, not significantly better and ensures continued cheating by Nigeria.

2. The only certified way of ensuring the 100% use of true age eligible players is an approach that ensures correct verification of the date of natural (or otherwise) birth.

It is a fallacy that Nigeria does not have a record keeping system. The problem is not the system, but the willingness of individuals to cheat, AND ESPECIALLY the lack of will by the NFF to properly verify the age of players and their willingness to COLLUDE with age cheats.

Top coys in Nigeria, like Shell, Exxon-Mobil, UAC, etc verify records routinely, by hiring vendors. They deal with a much, much LARGER sample size, but they do it! The people who present themselves for verification by these coys are no better or worse than our football players. The difference is in the entities involved: NFF that has cheating as a corporate culture, and Shell/Mobil/UAC, whose corporate goal is professional excellence.

The credentialing coys may not have verified ages for the likes of Shell, but such work is within the portfolio of credentialing. The issue raised by EII about their process, while important is secondary. Why? Because the key issue is about capacity/ability. Shell wouldn't retain them if they were incapable or had a history of unprofessionalism...

This is a country that put together the logistics to stop the ebola virus in a mega city!!!!!

3. The issue is not use of MRI vs use of credentialing coys and which one is better. Rather the issue is about:
i. the will of the NFF to stop cheating and commit to use of age appropriate players, whether we win or lose, and therefore use the MRI test as it was designed to be used.

ii. and based on the above, improving the current process by adding a 3rd party credentialing coy to verify the birth and demographic records of players, before their subsequent presentation for an MRI test.


Quote:
HOWEVER, the key issue for me is its use by the NFF to find players who can pass the test, as opposed to identifying players who are as close to their date of birth and thus truly eligible for U-17 football, which makes the MRI, not significantly better and ensures continued cheating by Nigeria.


You're so quick to accuse and spot issues but offer little in terms of solution. The world is full of "problem seers" but very few "problem solvers

You give the NFF too much credit as if they are an organisation meticulous in their planning.

We know thee are school competitions and the talented ones represent their state and these talented ones are drafted into NFF age related academies.

So the NFF has instituted the ability to pick players from school age and nurture them along the ladder to the senior team, in theory. While we still cannot vouch for the age they claim to be when they enter school, it flies in the face of your insistence that the NFF keep looking for overage players that will pass the MRI test instead of looking for genuine young players.

The NFF is also keeping tabs on young players abroad and yet we fly in the face of that too that we have enough talents at home.

We've heard how the NFF throw open camps and we've heard how in one of those camps, Isaac Success walked in, impressed and passed the MRI scan. That also flies in the face of your theory of the NFF purposely going out to find players who will pass the MRI scan.

We've also experienced the rejection of 24 players due to MRI scan. This suggests the NFF picked players, train them and when the scan was finally done, they failed. One would have thought they would have been scanned first if the plan was to make sure they passed the scan as age cheats. The NFF is not that forward thinking and they lack the resources to be that calculative. In fact they probably believe in prayers than being meticulous.

Can the NFF do better to verify ages of our players, absolutely.
Has the MRI Scan helped in curtailing the cheats, absolutely.

Instead of you to come up with a way of enhancing what we currently have, you're always acting like you know more than FIFA, like you're aware of the challenges of verifying documents and fighting those who are hell bent on cheating.

Your only contribution is about making claims and accusations but not a suggestion and better still, grabbing the bull by the horn and doing something about it.

I'm expecting your accusation that I'm part of the problem, I'd be disappointed if you're not true to type.

You're reading the article you posted in a twisted manner. While the experts are saying it has the potential to do injustice to a lot of children, especially in deciding their immigration status because and the fact that there could be racial variation in the application of the technology, your narrow mindedness make make the saliant point of JUSTICE fly over your head. You're focusing on the few 20 something year old's that could pass the test and not the potential damage it could also do to genuine kids who are suddenly told they are cheats because technology says they are not the age they are supposed to be.

If you're a father and you know when your son was born, you have the documents to prove it (as in the US kid, and I'm purposely using him because I'm sure in your mind, no document issued in Nigeria is legit) how do you then remove the stigma of been called a cheat from your son?

This is what the article is about, the minority that could suffer injustice due to the MRI scan inaccuracies.

We've all reluctantly agree that even with this inaccuracies, along with the normal verification processes, if any, help to strengthen the selection process. Well, everyone except the problem seer and no solution provider.

Please let's have a meaningful discussion on solution and not in your incessant ramblings about how Pinnick and hos group are purposely on a mission to cheat

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 31, 2018 7:15 pm 
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kalani JR wrote:
Chief Ogbunigwe wrote:
EII:

I am firmly in the corner of Txj vis-a-vis the science of this MRI testing, and voiced my concerns as soon as it was introduced. DaMunk and I debated this, and he even wrote the author of the scientific manuscript on the basis of which the test was adopted.

My biggest issue is that since the test is not accurate, folks who want to cheat can just put a bunch of candidates through the test and retain those who pass the test, with disregard to true age and truly age-eligible candidates who ended u being false-positives.
I believe that's the same concern TXJ has. Remember F Chukwudi, despite overwhelming evidence, supposedly passed the test, and his coach was harping on that.


I don't think Chukwudi passed the test. Remember this story http://www.kickoff.com/news/10580/29-ea ... l-mri-test

After that test my theory is FIFA not wanting the host nation to be embarrassed turned their head for the next test and probably let many of those that failed back into the squad.



We don't need to theorize, he passed the test.

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 31, 2018 11:35 pm 
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Txj,

See my responses in three parts: (1) Highlighted in red in direct response to your previous points, (2) a quote from UNICEF cite on birth registration in Nigeria, and (3) an addendum to the Dvorak's study and possibilities.


txj wrote:
Enugu II wrote:
aruako1 wrote:
When it comes to a particular player's age I'll accept the MRI over speculation by persons (often faceless) on the internet. If there is more compelling evidence (I know it is a dirty word round these parts) than the MRI that a player is overaged then I'll accept it.


The point is that MRI is a better test than using passports for areas where age cheating is rampant. That much is clear. The point that MRI is not 100% accurate is already a known fact but the error associated with it is an acceptable range of error. IMHO, MRI test deters age cheating and we already see a demonstration of it in the number of Nigerian youth players rejected because of this test.These rejected players would have ordinarily played in the team (With a valid passport) in previous years. The byproduct is Nigeria has clearly found acceptable solutions by building teams from a younger age when the age of the kids are more likely to be accurately determined and likely to pass the MRI test. That is a major and significant improvement.

Guys like Txj point to consultants able to determine age of players but they have not been able to put forward how that process works even though they vouch for it. If there is a viable process out there then it should be examined to determine whether it is in fact more effective than the MRI.




1. There is no disputing the fact that MRI test is better than simple reliance on passports.
HOWEVER, the key issue for me is its use by the NFF to find players who can pass the test, as opposed to identifying players who are as close to their date of birth and thus truly eligible for U-17 football, which makes the MRI, not significantly better and ensures continued cheating by Nigeria.
Txj, Okay on MRI being better than the passport. On NFF seeking to find players who can pass the test is the same as finding players who are likely to be eligible. Remember, this is an environment where documentation is a big problem. Thus NFF must rely on finding players young for the U13 and U15 where NFF has a higher probability of predicting their age and can track eligibility. This is what the NFF does now with the U13 and U15 players. Although, because of maturity, NFF cannot only rely on those players because they (players) may end up not being as good at the U17 level and thus NFF still has to open selection to some players who did not go through those teams. I elaborate on documentation problems below.

2. The only certified way of ensuring the 100% use of true age eligible players is an approach that ensures correct verification of the date of natural (or otherwise) birth.

It is a fallacy that Nigeria does not have a record keeping system. The problem is not the system, but the willingness of individuals to cheat, AND ESPECIALLY the lack of will by the NFF to properly verify the age of players and their willingness to COLLUDE with age cheats.

Top coys in Nigeria, like Shell, Exxon-Mobil, UAC, etc verify records routinely, by hiring vendors. They deal with a much, much LARGER sample size, but they do it! The people who present themselves for verification by these coys are no better or worse than our football players. The difference is in the entities involved: NFF that has cheating as a corporate culture, and Shell/Mobil/UAC, whose corporate goal is professional excellence.

The credentialing coys may not have verified ages for the likes of Shell, but such work is within the portfolio of credentialing. The issue raised by EII about their process, while important is secondary. Why? Because the key issue is about capacity/ability. Shell wouldn't retain them if they were incapable or had a history of unprofessionalism...

This is a country that put together the logistics to stop the ebola virus in a mega city!!!!!

Let me state that there is absolutely no way in today's Nigeria to certify that 100% of players you use are within the eligible age except if you restrict selection only to players born to certain social class of Nigerians and that should NEVER BE DONE. I have posted below a huge problem with birth registration that currently exists in Nigeria that makes the possibility of 100% accuracy impossible. This is exactly why I wanted to know the process that the likes of Arthur Andersen use because I wanted to problematize the accuracy. From what I know, the best any consultant can do in terms of detecting birth dates of Nigerian kids is to estimate but never to affirm with 100% accuracy. This is similar to what MRI does. The deal though is to find out which one does a better estimate and that is why I asked for the process used by consultants. It could be better or it could be worse plus one has to calculate the cost-to-benefit ratios.

3. The issue is not use of MRI vs use of credentialing coys and which one is better. Rather the issue is about:
i. the will of the NFF to stop cheating and commit to use of age appropriate players, whether we win or lose, and therefore use the MRI test as it was designed to be used.

ii. and based on the above, improving the current process by adding a 3rd party credentialing coy to verify the birth and demographic records of players, before their subsequent presentation for an MRI test.See my response to #2




The information below is drawn from the UNICEF website. Currently, UNICEF is working with the Nigerian Population Commission to provide birth certificates free to persons between the ages of 0-18 because of this huge problem. Those older than one year (1 yr) can use a Declaration of Age ( :rotf: :rotf: ) to procure a birth certificate from this project. Note also that in spite of the project, the data that I can find is that the application for a birth certificate in many of the over 700 LGAs cost N100 and the certificate itself costs N2000 to N2500. Now think about those costs and tell me that it will motivate people to actually obtain those certificates. :???: :???: Now, without them how do consultants assure the 100% accuracy that you claim that they can assure?

Quote:

https://www.unicef.org/wcaro/WCARO_Nigeria_Factsheets_BirthRegistration.pdf
Background
Birth registration is the first step towards recognizing a child’s inalienable right as a human being. Globally the births of more than 50 million children - which represents more than 40 per cent of total births worldwide - go unregistered each year.
In Nigeria, about 70 % of the 5 million children born annually in Nigeria are not being registered at birth. They have no birth certificate and in legal terms, they do not exist. Their right to an identity, name and nationality is denied and their access to basic services is threatened.


Txj,

Actually, as an aside let me also add to why this UNICEF data affirms why West African kids have not yet been used in MRI experiments carried out by Dr. Dvorak and his colleagues. Those experiments done elsewhere requires accuracy of birth certificates of the participants since it is used as control. The problem in West Africa is that footballers' documentation cannot be vouched for and thus difficult to use them for control. However, I do not believe that what you lose in using them is so significant. Thus, they ought to be able to use kids (who have birth certificates that are considered above board) for such control.

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The difficulties of statistical thinking describes a puzzling limitation of our mind: our excessive confidence in what we believe we know, and our apparent inability to acknowledge the full extent of our ignorance and the uncertainty of the world we live in. We are prone to overestimate how much we understand about the world and to underestimate the role of chance in events -- Daniel Kahneman (2011), Winner of the Nobel Prize in Economics
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 01, 2018 11:31 am 
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Quote:
Definition
Birth Registration is the official recording of the birth of a child through an administrative process of the state and is coordinated by a particular branch of government. It is a permanent and official record of a child’s existence.



We should be careful how we quote or apply these things, lest we denigrate our own country...

Probably everyone of us here on CE who was born in Nigeria has a record of birth in a hospital.
- has immunization redords
- school records
- baptismal records in his church or the equivalent in a mosque

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We watched this very boring video, 500 times, of Sacchi doing defensive drills, using sticks and without the ball, with Maldini, Baresi and Albertini. We used to think before then that if the other players are better, you have to lose. After that we learned anything is possible – you can beat better teams by using tactics." Jurgen Klopp


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 01, 2018 12:33 pm 
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txj wrote:
Quote:
Definition
Birth Registration is the official recording of the birth of a child through an administrative process of the state and is coordinated by a particular branch of government. It is a permanent and official record of a child’s existence.



We should be careful how we quote or apply these things, lest we denigrate our own country...

Probably everyone of us here on CE who was born in Nigeria has a record of birth in a hospital.
- has immunization redords
- school records
- baptismal records in his church or the equivalent in a mosque


Hopefully, the statement you make here applies to all Nigerians but UNICEF states it does not. Note also that the issue is birth record and not school or baptismal records. That is a huge difference and you should be aware of this especially when one is focusing on an accurate birth date that you mentioned earlier.

So lets stick with the issue of accurate recording of birth dates and leave the rest alone unless we are moving into the realm of estimating birth dates. Remember, you mentioned that consultants can provide "100%" accuracy on birthdates for Nigerian footballers. That is the issue here. Never mind that the Nigerians who are on CE are not typical of the Nigerian population. Are you disputing the data? Let me know.

_________________
The difficulties of statistical thinking describes a puzzling limitation of our mind: our excessive confidence in what we believe we know, and our apparent inability to acknowledge the full extent of our ignorance and the uncertainty of the world we live in. We are prone to overestimate how much we understand about the world and to underestimate the role of chance in events -- Daniel Kahneman (2011), Winner of the Nobel Prize in Economics
Winner of the Nobel Prize in Economics


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 01, 2018 12:39 pm 
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metalalloy wrote:
Chief Ogbunigwe wrote:
EII:

I am firmly in the corner of Txj vis-a-vis the science of this MRI testing, and voiced my concerns as soon as it was introduced. DaMunk and I debated this, and he even wrote the author of the scientific manuscript on the basis of which the test was adopted.

My biggest issue is that since the[color=#0000FF] test is not accurate, folks who want to cheat can just put a bunch of candidates through the test and retain those who pass the test, with disregard to true age and truly age-eligible candidates who ended u being false-positives.

I believe that's the same concern TXJ has. [/color]Remember F Chukwudi, despite overwhelming evidence, supposedly passed the test, and his coach was harping on that.


Haba but bros, no one is arguing that the MRI is 100% accurate. in fact the argument is that it is unfair as the kids tested in the study relied on by FIFA didn't include sub Saharan, east Asians and central Americans. In the study, complete fusion occurred at an average age of 18.3 years, which makes it VERY unlikely that complete fusion would occur before age 18. There was only 1 case out of 496 tests where complete fusion occurred in a kid under the age of 17. Based on this study testing and only selecting kids who are under a certain grade of fusion makes 100% sense.

A review of results of the study should suggest that the highlighted is impracticable. The highest age grade that was tested in the study were 19 year olds. The study showed 6 grades of fusion, with grade 1 being unfused bones and grade 6 being complete fusion. None of the 19 year olds showed grades 1-4 fusion. They all either had a grade 5 fusion or a grade 6 (complete fusion). No 18 year old had a grade 1 fusion, some had grades 2-6 fusion levels. I highly doubt you guys are concerned with the NFF flooding the team with a bunch of 18 year over age players considering that most teams in the tourney include 18year olds by the time the tournament starts proper.

So the scenario that you and TJX are concerned with (i.e. the chance that the NFF gathers and tests a bunch of over adults 19 years and older, that are skilled enough to represent the country, and at the same time happen to fall in the absurdly rare case of having unfused wrists past age 17 is HIGHLY improbable. As highlighted before, there will be some older players (most likely under 19) that will slip on and some younger players that will fail the test. But for the most part, if the test subject are increased to accurately represent all relevant ethnic groups, the it effectively weed out the vast majority of over aged players.

As for fortune chukwudi's case, only lord knows what occured there. if i recall, 2009 was when FiFA implemented mri and it wasn't mandatory. Also Lulu at some point said he wasnt going to rely on mri as it wasn't required under the rules. Lord knows if he was even tested back then.


bros, you have glossed over a MAJOR concern. So you are saying it is OK to use a skin tanning/sun burn test on Africans if the test was developed on caucasians :sneaky: :sneaky: :sneaky: ?

Maybe I am biased, but the opinions/concerns of the Prof from The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia actually makes more sense to me.

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 01, 2018 1:07 pm 
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Chief Ogbunigwe wrote:
metalalloy wrote:
Chief Ogbunigwe wrote:
EII:

I am firmly in the corner of Txj vis-a-vis the science of this MRI testing, and voiced my concerns as soon as it was introduced. DaMunk and I debated this, and he even wrote the author of the scientific manuscript on the basis of which the test was adopted.

My biggest issue is that since the[color=#0000FF] test is not accurate, folks who want to cheat can just put a bunch of candidates through the test and retain those who pass the test, with disregard to true age and truly age-eligible candidates who ended u being false-positives.

I believe that's the same concern TXJ has. [/color]Remember F Chukwudi, despite overwhelming evidence, supposedly passed the test, and his coach was harping on that.


Haba but bros, no one is arguing that the MRI is 100% accurate. in fact the argument is that it is unfair as the kids tested in the study relied on by FIFA didn't include sub Saharan, east Asians and central Americans. In the study, complete fusion occurred at an average age of 18.3 years, which makes it VERY unlikely that complete fusion would occur before age 18. There was only 1 case out of 496 tests where complete fusion occurred in a kid under the age of 17. Based on this study testing and only selecting kids who are under a certain grade of fusion makes 100% sense.

A review of results of the study should suggest that the highlighted is impracticable. The highest age grade that was tested in the study were 19 year olds. The study showed 6 grades of fusion, with grade 1 being unfused bones and grade 6 being complete fusion. None of the 19 year olds showed grades 1-4 fusion. They all either had a grade 5 fusion or a grade 6 (complete fusion). No 18 year old had a grade 1 fusion, some had grades 2-6 fusion levels. I highly doubt you guys are concerned with the NFF flooding the team with a bunch of 18 year over age players considering that most teams in the tourney include 18year olds by the time the tournament starts proper.

So the scenario that you and TJX are concerned with (i.e. the chance that the NFF gathers and tests a bunch of over adults 19 years and older, that are skilled enough to represent the country, and at the same time happen to fall in the absurdly rare case of having unfused wrists past age 17 is HIGHLY improbable. As highlighted before, there will be some older players (most likely under 19) that will slip on and some younger players that will fail the test. But for the most part, if the test subject are increased to accurately represent all relevant ethnic groups, the it effectively weed out the vast majority of over aged players.

As for fortune chukwudi's case, only lord knows what occured there. if i recall, 2009 was when FiFA implemented mri and it wasn't mandatory. Also Lulu at some point said he wasnt going to rely on mri as it wasn't required under the rules. Lord knows if he was even tested back then.


bros, you have glossed over a MAJOR concern. So you are saying it is OK to use a skin tanning/sun burn test on Africans if the test was developed on caucasians :sneaky: :sneaky: :sneaky: ?

Maybe I am biased, but the opinions/concerns of the Prof from The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia actually makes more sense to me.


Chief Ogbunigwe,

The critique does bring up points that question the choices of FIFA here and you point to one of them -- the lack of tests on Subsaharan Africans. This is in the sense that it will either affirm or disconfirm universal use of MRI without adjustment. However, I am not certain that the point by the Professor from the Children Hospital is stronger than the results from FIFA researchers. In fact, I believe it is a far weaker point. Why? Note that the doctor is not cited as producing any recent research study that counteracts the study by Dr. Dvorak. That is critical. For all we know, the Professor is practicing what may have been known in the field prior too Dvorak's studies. Dvorak's studies provide new insight on how these bones may be read and the confidence that should be attached to those readings. But that is neither here nor there because the critic never mentioned the status of the Professor in terms of current research work. What we know, however, is that FIFA's studies are more recent and test several kids using control groups and arrive at new findings that is quite likely not yet used by the hospitals or clinics. This is not unusual by the way.

However, let us go back to the point that the piece makes and which you allude to -- the fact that West African samples were not used. I think is is a crux of the article. In a sense the author argues throughout the article that the MRI as used today is more than likely to be unfair to West African youths who may be largely disqualified when in fact they are within the eligibility age. However, even though this is a strong point its allusion is speculative since we do not know whether such a research experiments with West African youth will affirm or disconfirm the universal application of FIFA's MRI.

_________________
The difficulties of statistical thinking describes a puzzling limitation of our mind: our excessive confidence in what we believe we know, and our apparent inability to acknowledge the full extent of our ignorance and the uncertainty of the world we live in. We are prone to overestimate how much we understand about the world and to underestimate the role of chance in events -- Daniel Kahneman (2011), Winner of the Nobel Prize in Economics
Winner of the Nobel Prize in Economics


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 01, 2018 1:08 pm 
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Enugu II wrote:
txj wrote:
Quote:
Definition
Birth Registration is the official recording of the birth of a child through an administrative process of the state and is coordinated by a particular branch of government. It is a permanent and official record of a child’s existence.



We should be careful how we quote or apply these things, lest we denigrate our own country...

Probably everyone of us here on CE who was born in Nigeria has a record of birth in a hospital.
- has immunization redords
- school records
- baptismal records in his church or the equivalent in a mosque


Hopefully, the statement you make here applies to all Nigerians but UNICEF states it does not. Note also that the issue is birth record and not school or baptismal records. That is a huge difference and you should be aware of this especially when one is focusing on an accurate birth date that you mentioned earlier.

So lets stick with the issue of accurate recording of birth dates and leave the rest alone unless we are moving into the realm of estimating birth dates. Remember, you mentioned that consultants can provide "100%" accuracy on birthdates for Nigerian footballers. That is the issue here. Never mind that the Nigerians who are on CE are not typical of the Nigerian population. Are you disputing the data? Let me know.


Prof., there is ABSOLUTELY no reason why we should be guessing a person's age in today's Naijaria. We are talking about folks born after the year 2000 here. The chance that there's one almajiri or homeless kid making it that far without any record of his birth is nearly impossible.

From my sojourn in Naijaria thus far, I can unequivocally state that there's no age cheat without the connivance of football officials. It is not done in a vacuum. There's an institutional willingness to mislead (cheat) the system. They don't even investigate the documents or declarations made by these players.

And yes, you can outsource it to an outside company. I once worked with a company who used to do screening for US embassy staff across the globe. And they had a unique way of vetting applicants. They will do physical investigation as well as administer a polygraph test. And the catch is that the applicant pays for the investigation and will get the money back if they pass the investigation. If they fail, they don't get their money back.

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 01, 2018 1:16 pm 
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Cellular wrote:
Enugu II wrote:
txj wrote:
Quote:
Definition
Birth Registration is the official recording of the birth of a child through an administrative process of the state and is coordinated by a particular branch of government. It is a permanent and official record of a child’s existence.



We should be careful how we quote or apply these things, lest we denigrate our own country...

Probably everyone of us here on CE who was born in Nigeria has a record of birth in a hospital.
- has immunization redords
- school records
- baptismal records in his church or the equivalent in a mosque


Hopefully, the statement you make here applies to all Nigerians but UNICEF states it does not. Note also that the issue is birth record and not school or baptismal records. That is a huge difference and you should be aware of this especially when one is focusing on an accurate birth date that you mentioned earlier.

So lets stick with the issue of accurate recording of birth dates and leave the rest alone unless we are moving into the realm of estimating birth dates. Remember, you mentioned that consultants can provide "100%" accuracy on birthdates for Nigerian footballers. That is the issue here. Never mind that the Nigerians who are on CE are not typical of the Nigerian population. Are you disputing the data? Let me know.


Prof., there is ABSOLUTELY no reason why we should be guessing a person's age in today's Naijaria. We are talking about folks born after the year 2000 here. The chance that there's one almajiri or homeless kid making it that far without any record of his birth is nearly impossible.

From my sojourn in Naijaria thus far, I can unequivocally state that there's no age cheat without the connivance of football officials. It is not done in a vacuum. There's an institutional willingness to mislead (cheat) the system. They don't even investigate the documents or declarations made by these players.

And yes, you can outsource it to an outside company. I once worked with a company who used to do screening for US embassy staff across the globe. And they had a unique way of vetting applicants. They will do physical investigation as well as administer a polygraph test. And the catch is that the applicant pays for the investigation and will get the money back if they pass the investigation. If they fail, they don't get their money back.


Cell,

While I agree that NFF officials often comnnive in age cheating, I think you deny the significant progress that they have made in recent times to improve the process by recruiting kids who are likely to be eligible considering the UNICEF data presented above. Note that the UNICEF data is not reporting about pre-2000. It is reporting data of children born annually including post-2000. There are reasons why someone may not procure a birth certificate beyond whether they are almajiri or born at home. Think about the costs. Not everyone can afford N2000 to spend on a birth certificate in today's Nigeria. This is probably the reason why UNICEF setup a program with the Nigerian Population Commission to begin to offer these birth certificates free of charge in order to stem the problem.

Now, let me note the tests carried out by outside consultants. You mention the polygraph test. You are aware that the polygraph test is not entirely a valid test and in some places it is not accepted by the courts because of some unreliabilities associated with it. Now, I am not stating that it should not be used. I am pointing, instead, to the fact that it isn't that more reliable in its use for checking a subject's veracity as the MRI is in checking a subject's eligibility for a U17 tournament. Again, that informs us that no test will have 100% reliability as Txj had claimed.

I take the liberty to post the view of the American Psychological Association on the Polygraph test below:

Quote:
The Truth About Lie Detectors (aka Polygraph Tests)
http://www.apa.org/research/action/polygraph.aspx
Most psychologists agree that there is little evidence that polygraph tests can accurately detect lies.

Findings
Lie detector tests have become a popular cultural icon — from crime dramas to comedies to advertisements — the picture of a polygraph pen wildly gyrating on a moving chart is readily recognized symbol. But, as psychologist Leonard Saxe, PhD, (1991) has argued, the idea that we can detect a person's veracity by monitoring psychophysiological changes is more myth than reality. Even the term "lie detector," used to refer to polygraph testing, is a misnomer. So-called "lie detection" involves inferring deception through analysis of physiological responses to a structured, but unstandardized, series of questions.
The instrument typically used to conduct polygraph tests consists of a physiological recorder that assesses three indicators of autonomic arousal: heart rate/blood pressure, respiration, and skin conductivity. Most examiners today use computerized recording systems. Rate and depth of respiration are measured by pneumographs wrapped around a subject's chest. Cardiovascular activity is assessed by a blood pressure cuff. Skin conductivity (called the galvanic skin or electrodermal response) is measured through electrodes attached to a subject's fingertips.
The recording instrument and questioning techniques are only used during a part of the polygraph examination. A typical examination includes a pretest phase during which the technique is explained and each test question reviewed. The pretest interview is designed to ensure that subjects understand the questions and to induce a subject's concern about being deceptive. Polygraph examinations often include a procedure called a "stimulation test," which is a demonstration of the instrument's accuracy in detecting deception.
Several questioning techniques are commonly used in polygraph tests. The most widely used test format for subjects in criminal incident investigations is the Control Question Test (CQT). The CQT compares responses to "relevant" questions (e.g., "Did you shoot your wife?"), with those of "control" questions. The control questions are designed to control for the effect of the generally threatening nature of relevant questions. Control questions concern misdeeds that are similar to those being investigated, but refer to the subject's past and are usually broad in scope; for example, "Have you ever betrayed anyone who trusted you?"
A person who is telling the truth is assumed to fear control questions more than relevant questions. This is because control questions are designed to arouse a subject's concern about their past truthfulness, while relevant questions ask about a crime they know they did not commit. A pattern of greater physiological response to relevant questions than to control questions leads to a diagnosis of "deception." Greater response to control questions leads to a judgment of nondeception. If no difference is found between relevant and control questions, the test result is considered "inconclusive."
An alternative polygraph procedure is called the Guilty Knowledge Test (GKT). A GKT involves developing a multiple-choice test with items concerning knowledge that only a guilty subject could have. A test of a theft suspect might, for example, involve questions such as "Was $500, $1,000, or $5,000 stolen?" If only a guilty suspect knows the correct answer, a larger physiological reaction to a correct choice would indicate deception. With a sufficient number of items, a psychometrically sound evaluation could be developed. GKTs are not widely employed, but there is great interest in doing so. One limitation of the GKT is that it can be used only when investigators have information that only a guilty subject would know. The interpretation of "no deception" is also a potential limitation, since it may indicate lack of knowledge rather than innocence.
The accuracy (i.e., validity) of polygraph testing has long been controversial. An underlying problem is theoretical: There is no evidence that any pattern of physiological reactions is unique to deception. An honest person may be nervous when answering truthfully and a dishonest person may be non-anxious. Also, there are few good studies that validate the ability of polygraph procedures to detect deception. As Dr. Saxe and Israeli psychologist Gershon Ben-Shahar (1999) note, "it may, in fact, be impossible to conduct a proper validity study." In real-world situations, it's very difficult to know what the truth is.
A particular problem is that polygraph research has not separated placebo-like effects (the subject's belief in the efficacy of the procedure) from the actual relationship between deception and their physiological responses. One reason that polygraph tests may appear to be accurate is that subjects who believe that the test works and that they can be detected may confess or will be very anxious when questioned. If this view is correct, the lie detector might be better called a fear detector.
Some confusion about polygraph test accuracy arises because they are used for different purposes, and for each context somewhat different theory and research is applicable. Thus, for example, virtually no research assesses the type of test and procedure used to screen individuals for jobs and security clearances. Most research has focused on specific incident testing. The cumulative research evidence suggests that CQTs detect deception better than chance, but with significant error rates, both of misclassifying innocent subjects (false positives) and failing to detect guilty individuals (false negatives).
Research on the processes involved in CQT polygraph examinations suggests that several examiner, examinee, and situational factors influence test validity, as may the technique used to score polygraph charts. There is little research on the effects of subjects' differences in such factors as education, intelligence, or level of autonomic arousal.
Evidence indicates that strategies used to "beat" polygraph examinations, so-called countermeasures, may be effective. Countermeasures include simple physical movements, psychological interventions (e.g., manipulating subjects' beliefs about the test), and the use of pharmacological agents that alter arousal patterns.
Despite the lack of good research validating polygraph tests, efforts are on-going to develop and assess new approaches. Some work involves use of additional autonomic physiologic indicators, such as cardiac output and skin temperature. Such measures, however, are more specific to deception than polygraph tests. Other researchers, such as Frank Andrew Kozel, MD, have examined functional brain imaging as a measure of deception. Dr. Kozel's research team found that for lying, compared with telling the truth, there is more activation in five brain regions (Kozel et al., 2004). However, the results do not currently support the use of fMRI to detect deception in real world individual cases.

Significance & Practical Application
Polygraph testing has generated considerable scientific and public controversy. Most psychologists and other scientists agree that there is little basis for the validity of polygraph tests. Courts, including the United States Supreme Court (cf. U.S. v. Scheffer, 1998 in which Dr.'s Saxe's research on polygraph fallibility was cited), have repeatedly rejected the use of polygraph evidence because of its inherent unreliability. Nevertheless, polygraph testing continues to be used in non-judicial settings, often to screen personnel, but sometimes to try to assess the veracity of suspects and witnesses, and to monitor criminal offenders on probation. Polygraph tests are also sometimes used by individuals seeking to convince others of their innocence and, in a narrow range of circumstances, by private agencies and corporations.
The development of currently used "lie detection" technologies has been based on ideas about physiological functioning but has, for the most part, been independent of systematic psychological research. Early theorists believed that deception required effort and, thus, could be assessed by monitoring physiological changes. But such propositions have not been proven and basic research remains limited on the nature of deceptiveness. Efforts to develop actual tests have always outpaced theory-based basic research. Without a better theoretical understanding of the mechanisms by which deception functions, however, development of a lie detection technology seems highly problematic.
For now, although the idea of a lie detector may be comforting, the most practical advice is to remain skeptical about any conclusion wrung from a polygraph.

Cited Research & Additional Sources
Kozel, F.A., Padgett, T.M. & George, M.S. (2004). A Replication Study of the Neural Correlates of Deception. Behavioral Neuroscience, 118(4): 852-56.
Lykken, D. (1998). A Tremor in the Blood: Uses and Abuses of the Lie Detector, 2d ed. New York: Perseus.
National Academy of Sciences (2002). The Polygraph and Lie Detection. Washington, DC: National Academy Press.
Saxe, L. (1991). Lying: Thoughts of an applied social psychologist. American Psychologist, 46(4): 409-15.
Saxe, L. & Ben-Shakhar, G. (1999). Admissibility of polygraph tests: The application of scientific standards post-Daubert. Psychology, Public Policy and the Law, 5(1): 203-23.

_________________
The difficulties of statistical thinking describes a puzzling limitation of our mind: our excessive confidence in what we believe we know, and our apparent inability to acknowledge the full extent of our ignorance and the uncertainty of the world we live in. We are prone to overestimate how much we understand about the world and to underestimate the role of chance in events -- Daniel Kahneman (2011), Winner of the Nobel Prize in Economics
Winner of the Nobel Prize in Economics


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