Question by  lois (22)

Is it true that polygraphs are not accurate?

I have heard it both ways. If they are not admissible in court they must not be accurate.


Answer by  SteveO (147)

They are not 100% accurate. They get a base reading and interpret your reactions to questions and answers to figure out if your are telling the truth.


Answer by  Brett (7986)

Polygraphs essentially monitors the persons heart rate. Because of this, in most cases, they are accurate. However, there are people who can monitor their heart rate no matter what answer they give (most people under duress or who are lying will have their heart rate increase). Some however, can control it, and thus, it wouldn't be.


Answer by  ellie61 (478)

Research into the validity of a polygraph test is conflicting. Some studies have suggested extremely high rates of accuracy but many have suggested success has been down to the interrogation technique and not the polygraph alone. Overall, polygraphs are only considered to be indicators but not definitive due to the complex nature of human emotion.


Answer by  John (9008)

They are almost totally inaccurate. Numerous studies have shown that not only are they little better than random in deteriming lies, but that many people are able to intentionally fool them. People like having easy solutions, which is why law enforcement still uses them, but the fact that they are not reliable makes them inadmissible in court.


Answer by  RadioWisconsin (41)

It is absolutely true that polygraphs are not accurate. This is why they generally aren't accepted as evidence in court. An habitual liar can easily cheat a polygraph, as can anyone who has done a little research into how they work and what they measure. The key is to knowing how the questions will be asked.


Answer by  bjudd (123)

Look at it this way... they are not admissible in court but they are used by most law enforcement agengies when testing their applicants so they are fairly accurate.

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