Detecting Lies

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E. H. Chapin once said, "A small lie, if it actually is a lie, condemns a man as much as a big and black falsehood. If a man will deliberately cheat to the amount of a single cent, give him opportunity and he would cheat to any amount." We spend a large amount of time trying to figure out if people are lying to us. Many people think they can tell if people are lying, others feel there are other methods that detect lies better. I believe that I can tell if my friend is lying, but not someone that I barely know. I feel that if you know someone well, it is easier to notice if they are telling the truth. Back when I was in high school, my little brother told me he was going to start for football. I knew that even though he was pretty good at football, there was no way he was going to start for his football team since it was his first year. If some random person told me that they started for their football team, I would probably believe them even if it wasn't true. Detecting lies by just instincts is not always the most accurate. Polygraphs are one of the most popular tests to detect lies. The polygraph test works by asking the suspect relevant, irrelevant, and control questions and evaluating their autonomic activity following the questions that are asked (video that shows the polygraph test, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xK6bp1Axvac). I think that the polygraph test is a better way of determining lies than using humans. I believe that the polygraph test is more of an arousal detector. If I was put to take a polygraph test I feel like I would fail regardless, because when they ask me relevant, I would be nervous about whether my autonomic activity would pick up and make it look like I committed the crime. Polygraphs are more accurate that humans when it comes to detecting lies, but I believe that there is no perfect way to tell whether someone is lying.

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I agree on the notion that polygraphs are effective ways to determine if someone is lying, but I feel they aren't as accurate as people seem. Like you mentioned, many people become nervous anyways when they are asked questions even if they aren't lying. Even though we have learned that our instincts usually can't be trusted, when it comes to lying, our instincts can be accurate if we are familiar with the person.

Interesting! I have always been pretty successful at knowing when my siblings and close friends are lying. I can not clearly identify how I know, its just something that feels different than normal about the way their voice sounds and facial expression. This would definitely be more difficult to detect in a stranger.

The polygraph test is interesting to see in use, because it seems as though it would simply detect nerves and arousal in a person, which are inevitable when linked up to a machine regardless of lying or not.

I agree with the comment above. Normally I can tell when people are lying because something about them is off...sometimes people are just really good liars though! And yes it is especially harder to tell when you don't know the person. Obviously polygraph tests are more accurate to tell when someone is lying but I've seen television shows where people have gotten past the polygraph test so it is not as accurate as we think. Then again that was Desperate Housewives and CSI...

Whenever I see someone on a lie detector on shows like Maury or Jerry Springer, I always have an instinct upon whether I think the person is cheating, hiding something, etc. and when they show the lie detector test the instinct that I have is usually similar to what the lie detector finds. I guess human instinct isn't so bad on those types of shows (sometimes they set up the bad person during the show I guess too). Still I feel like a polygraph would have a questionable effect on someone like me that gets nervous when asked a question that is answered honestly.

What does your text say about polygraphs accuracy? Do you think they are accurate enough to be trusted? Be sure to include pictures and use the link function to make your link easily clickable.

All the comments on this post talk about how if you're hooked up to a machine, you're bound to be nervous, changing the results. In my opinion, this is a major flaw of the polygraph, even though they are proven to be very accurate. Despite what we might logically think would set the machine off, polygraphs can detect if someone is lying or not quite effectively.

It would be so interesting to have an ability to detect other's lie without any tools. It is so interesting to watch the video about polygraph because it really works! If I am the target of polygraph, I would be so nervous that even if I tell the truth, it might detect my telling lies!

I definitely agree that it is easier to tell when someone is lying if that person is someone you know well. My siblings have a hard time getting anything past me, and I past them. As for strangers, I can see where a polygraph test would be more accurate than a human. Even though a polygraph test would be far from perfect, we've learned that so are humans!

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This page contains a single entry by kongx154 published on March 25, 2012 10:15 PM.

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