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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 84080 Add to Shopping cart Find in a Library
Title: Polygraph - Still Lie Detecting After All These Years? - Part 2
Journal: Social Action and the Law  Volume:8  Issue:1  Dated:(1982)  Pages:11-17
Author(s): S Sandowsky
Date Published: 1982
Page Count: 7
Sponsoring Agency: National Institute of Justice/
Rockville, MD 20849
Sale Source: National Institute of Justice/
NCJRS paper reproduction
Box 6000, Dept F
Rockville, MD 20849
United States of America
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: The lie detector must be used cautiously by well-trained, ethical, and objective individuals who recognize its limitations and dangers to the innocent due to the incidence of erroneous readings.
Abstract: Lykken, Raskin, and other experts continue to debate the value of the lie detector. Although laboratory studies tend to support the theoretical basis of lie detection, the accuracy of determining who is lying under valid examination conditions is subject to question. Raskin claims over a 90-percent correct assessment of lying, whereas Lyken claims the correct figure is closer to 72-79 percent. Both agree that errors do occur, and when they do, they are more likely to be false positive than false negatives. Raskin questions the impact of polygraph testimony on juries, as many juries have reached verdicts in opposition to lie detector findings. Because of the false positive problem with readings, Raskin asserts that more credence should be given to a test result indicating that a subject is telling the truth than to one which indicates he is lying. Lykken points out the efficacy of having different examiners evaluate the same polygraph results. Lykken also argues that subjects can be taught to 'beat' the test. Despite these problems, the use of the lie detector has resulted in justice for the falsely accused, as in the 1972 case of Francis Hemauer. New scientific instrumentation resulted in reinvestigation of the case years after Hemauer's conviction, and the findings completely exonerated him. A nine-entry bibliography is provided.
Index Term(s): Polygraph techniques; Polygraphs; Psychological research; Psychological stress evaluator; Testimony
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