mosco015: November 2011 Archives

Everyone has taken a standardized test at some point in their life. I think it'd be safe to say standardized tests.jpgthat 100% of students in college have taken one; more commonly the ACT or the SAT. But are these standardized tests as effective in telling how "smart" or not a person is?

I believe that there are multiple levels of intelligence; most of which cannot be measured by a test. Yes some people are 'test-smart'- they understand the curriculum to a certain point, but are extremely good at taking the tests. These sort of people have advantages in the standardized testing world. It doesn't matter if there are others who are significantly smarter than them; if you don't do as well on the standardized test, it doesn't matter, you're not as smart, right?

Wrong. There may be some students who are extremely talented in a certain subject, take science for example, but not so good in English; because the standardized tests take the average of all the testing categories, this student could appear to colleges as unintelligent. For example, on the ACT this student got a 34 of 36 on his science and a 32 for math; but low scores in writing, English and reading caused his overall to be 26. Who is this test to tell this student that he is dumb? These tests are weighted so heavily in the college communities that it makes a drastic impact on the student's future. That is extremely unfair. It is understood that colleges look for well-rounded students, but say this student is looking to pursue a career in the maths and/or sciences, but is denied from colleges due to his overall score. This puts the student in an uncomfortable position; they feel as if they're not good enough. This student had the potential to do wonders in the math and science worlds, but due to standardized testing, he may never get the chance.


These tests consume so much of a high school student's time and money. As high-schoolers,you spend lots of money to take the test in the first place, then spend money on study groups, books, and tutors. The studying for the tests takes hours upon hours out of your day when you could be doing homework from your classes, or being social- both HUGE parts of high school. In the end only to be told whether we're "adequate enough for college".

Standardized testing may work for some situations, but there should be other ways when determining the outcome of someone's future- an extremely delicate topic to simply toy around with. Your life and your future shouldn't depend on a test.

The process of lie detection is pretty self explanatory; it is the act of determining whether a person is lying or not. Polygraph tests are what are used to detect lies. But are they really effective?

The polygraph test measures blood pressure, respiration, pulse, and skin conductivity. During the time when the person being tested is hooked up to the polygraph machine, the examiner is asking questions to the person being examined. The more of the four previously stated symptoms that are shown while the accused is answering a question, the more likely it is that he/she is lying in their response to that certain question. When humans lie, we have a tendency to breath faster, have higher blood pressure, faster heart beat, and we tend to perspire; especially in the hands. Click this link to see a video on how a polygraph machine works.

The polygraph machine consists of a computer(or a machine recording the data), a blood pressure cuff(to measure blood pressure), galvanometers(to record skin conductivity), and pneumographs(to measure rate of breaths taken).

Sure, these tests do provide us with some information as to whether the person is lying or not; but we can't be sure that this information is credible. Most scientists consider lie detection to be a pseudoscience. It is said that the polygraph tests are entirely correct only about 5-10% of the time. This is a prime example of replicability and falsifiability; replicability because after the first test with the suspect, they may learn how to fool the test, as there are many ways that are thought to deceive the polygraph machine. And falsifiability because the tests have been proven to be false representations of the truth, but also have been proven to work as well. Here are a few ways that people claim to beat a lie detector. Try as they might to deceive the test, a skilled polygrapher can detect these attempts. Check out this video to get a better idea of how polygraph tests are administered and how lies are detected on them.

Although these articles and videos prove that lie detector tests do work, I would like to know a few things about them. First off, why, if they work so well, don't we use them more often? Are there other reasons for why some people truly believing in the tests, while others are on a drastically opposite side? Do the tips on beating the test actually help, or do they fail, like in the video?

About this Archive

This page is an archive of recent entries written by mosco015 in November 2011.

mosco015: October 2011 is the previous archive.

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