Detecting Lies

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When I read the section about the polygraph test and detecting lies, it reminded me of the funny scene from the movie Meet the Parents when Robert De Niro gives Ben Stiller the test himself.
I think that it would be kind of scary if tests like these were actually very accurate, as it would reveal a lot of secrets that people do not and would never voluntarily reveal. It would be very helpful in solving crimes though, and it would save the justice system a lot of time and money.
I don't think that there will ever be a way to perfectly tell whether a person is being honest or whether they are lying. As explained in the book, the test can confuse arousal with guilt and this leads to innocent people being accused of things that they never did. I don't think there is really an accurate way to determine what someone is thinking because the brain is so complex and carries out so many different processes at once. Some people may claim that they can spot a liar, but no one should ever be accused unless there is sufficient evidence that shows they did something, not just an unreliable test or method.


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I agree with you about not being accused in court cases without sufficient evidence. But, would you call a failed lie detector test significant evidence? A single lie detector test should never be the sole reason for a conviction, but could it add enough to a case to swing it in one direction? It is interesting to think about this; I am not informed enough to know the answer, but my guess is that it depends on the case.

Overall I would have to agree with you that there should always be sufficient evidence to go along with a lie detector test. These types of test can be pretty subjective in my mind, and they may convict a lot of innocent people. I know if I was ever forced to take a lie detector test I would probably fail it just because I was so nervous that I was taking the test in the first place. I feel a lot of innocent people may feel the same way, while the guilty people are more likely to not even feel guilty so they won't even show a response.

I absolutely agree with your statement as well as what the other two are saying above... especially the second post!-I get nervous so easily I would fail even before I was to take one, ha! I think they can help in minimal ways, but it should very well be taken like a grain of salt.

There seems to be way to much doubt behind the validity of lie detector tests for the results of them to ever contribute significantly to a defendant's sentence. I would like to know more about the replicability of lie detector tests. I wonder you would get the same results if you gave the same person the same questions, maybe in a difference order, a second or third time.

I agree with you. No matter how many hours you study how to detect lies you can never be sure. And lie detectors are no better at detecting lies than humans. It is scary to think that a lie detector test could have the potential to destroy your life if it wrongly accuses you of lieing.

Great connection with the scene from Meet the Parents! I agree with your view on lie detecting tests. Even without the test, people can tell when others are lying based off of arousal, eye contact, etc. If the lie detector test does the same thing, it can't be that accurate. It is a little unfair to expect a person to respond without being nervous as they are being tested in order to prove their innocence or guilt (a pretty nerve-wracking concept).

I agree with your statement that lie detector could not accurately detect when people are lying and to accuse someone, there should be a valid proof. I don't believe either that lie detector should be used in solving crime cases. People who were tested in this way might get nervous in the first place and this could be detected as a lie. So lie detector should not be used. Nice post!

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This page contains a single entry by gager006 published on March 31, 2012 2:46 PM.

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