To believe or not believe, that is the question.

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For this blog entry, I decided to look into research on lie detection, more specifically, the polygraph or "lie detector" test. I'm sure that we have all seen movies or TV shows where someone is put under a "lie detector" to find out whether or not they are telling the truth about something. For myself, I never have believed that those tests are truly accurate, and I was interested to see that in our text they argue that lie detectors are "biased against the innocent." They go on to explain that these tests should really be called "arousal detectors" because many people show arousal when they are asked certain questions for reasons other than the fact that they know they are lying. The current model of this machine bases its assumptions on the Pinocchio Response, or that behavior indicates lying just like Pinocchio's nose that got longer, subjects are said to display body reactions that give them away. This seemed very interesting because I couldn't imagine how there could be a machine that can actually test whether or not someone is telling the truth.

I would like to know what kind of further research is being done on a similar model for detecting whether or not someone is telling the truth. Maybe thing's will become more advanced and researchers will find a way to make the current models more accurate. Let me know what you all think about this subject, whether you believe it or think it's a big phony. Also, for more information on this machine you can look into this website


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I'm not sure why I have trouble with the links but here it is again,

This subject is very interesting because there really is no way in my opinion people can correctly determine whether or not a person is lying with a detector. To an extent, I'm sure there are ways that lie detectors work but it seems difficult to be 100% sure.

Lie detector tests seem useful, but should be taken with a grain of salt. They are obviously more accurate than simply asking someone not hooked up to one a question and trying to figure out if they're lying based on their response. That being said, lie detector tests should be taken as guides and not used as hard evidence because they themselves can "lie" if the person being tested is aroused for a reason other than lying.

I like the picture of Pinocchio! I think lie detectors are pretty reliable. I think that even the people who lies a lot and really well will show somewhat difference body response like increased blood pressure or pulse when they lie than when they tell the truth.

After reading the articles in the post and within the books I am very shocked that some people still heavily rely on the polygraph tests. The fact that they are bias against the innocent astounds me, because that means that they could contribute to false convictions. I do think that the polygraph tests are useful because often times when being used, if the person is actually guilty they will confess shortly after "failing" the test.

What kinds of arousal does the lie detector test? Could there be other things that would better predict lies?

I agree with your skepticism. I don't think polygraph tests are as accurate as they were once thought to be. The principles of scientific thinking would lead us to reexamine causation of the person's arousal as it could be due to another factor. That would be cool if another test was invented in the future so we don't have to rely on this or people to detect if someone's lying.

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This page contains a single entry by walle252 published on April 1, 2012 5:15 PM.

Catch Them If You Can! was the previous entry in this blog.

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