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NCJ Number: 98454 Find in a Library
Title: Detection of Deception in 1984 - In Defense of Preemployment Polygraph Testing
Journal: Polygraph  Volume:13  Issue:3  Dated:(September 1984)  Pages:246-250
Author(s): F Horvath
Date Published: 1984
Page Count: 5
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Following a discussion of objections to preemployment polygraph testing, the issue of polygraph validity is considered and found not to be critical.
Abstract: Major objections to the use of polygraph testing include its unreliability, its tendency to produce false positives, and the fact that it may prevent the person who fails such tests from obtaining employment. These objections are based on specious arguments. The reliability of polygraphs is probably no less than that of interviews or personality testing as a means of making personnel decisions. Few people are denied employment soley on the basis of polygraph evidence. The argument that polygraphs are administered under duress is based on misconceptions about the environment and procedures of the examination. Arguments citing invasion of privacy are without merit as the examinee has personal control of whether information is revealed and how and what is revealed. In polygraph testing, the real issue is whether an employer has the right to set reasonable requirements for hiring and whether polygraph testing is a reasonable requirement. The main advantage of using polygraphs is that the information obtained thereby cannot be obtained by other methods. The use of polygraphs is a political, not a scientific issue. What is needed is a course that reconciles the right of individuals to be free from abusive, intrusive, and unwarranted polygraph testing with the rights of employers to use reasonable means in a fair way to select employees. Regulations regarding the permissible nature and scope of areas of inquiry could minimize abuses and protect competing interests.
Index Term(s): Mandatory polygraph screening; Personnel evaluation techniques; Polygraph reliability
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