Have you ever wondered what lie detectors are or what they do? How do they work? Who uses lie detectors and where are they available? What determines if a statement is truthful? Why aren’t they reliable? All of these questions are just small pieces of the main question, are lie detectors accurate? Our first question is how do lie detectors work? First, four to six sensors are attached to the person taking the test. These sensors record pulse, blood pressure, breathing rate, and perspiration. Then, questions are asked in relation to why the polygraph testing is being done. After these questions are asked and all of the graphs are recorded, the polygraph examiner looks at the graphs and looks for significant changes. If there is any significant spikes in the graphs, it could indicate that the person is lying. One thing that people commonly think about lie detectors is that they decide whether or not a person is telling the truth. However this is wrong. The lie detector only detects behaviors not lies. The next question is who uses lie detectors and where are they available? Where can they be found? They are found all over the United States. These test must be done in person. You pay for a polygraph to be administered unless it is in a police investigation. That investigation leads to our next question, who uses them? The answer to that may not surprise you. The main users of polygraphs are police and investigators. However the results of the test are not admissible in court. Employers also use lie detectors when interviewing a potential employee to test the responses on their resumes. The military also use hand-held lie detectors. Another question is what determines if a statement is truthful? The answer you may think is the lie detector of course, but that is not true. The detectors only senses the behaviors. Those behaviors are blood pressure, pulse, perspiration, and breathing rate. These behaviors are recorded onto graphs, as I told you earlier.  A polygraph examiner later goes in and looks at all of the graphs and determines truth and lie based on the graphs. When there are significant spikes in any one of these behavior detections it could mean that the person is lying. If there is spikes in all of the behaviors, the person is more likely to be lying then if there is only an increase in one of the behaviors. The final question is why aren’t lie detectors reliable? This contradicts many beliefs. People think that when you’re lying the sensors can always sense changes. However, this is not true. There is no known evidence of unique reactions or patterns that are unique to deception or lying. There will always be cases of someone who is being one hundred percent honest but is anxious. There can also be cases of a dishonest person that is not anxious because they actually believe their lie. Lie detectors also haven’t separated placebo-like effects.  Some say a lie detector could also be called a fear detector. This is because someone who is guilty may be more likely to confess if they are attached to a lie detector because they are fearful. All of these questions are to answer the essential question of do lie detectors accurately determine truthful statements?  The answer to this is no. The lie detectors only record behaviors. The polygraph could make a mistake when examining. There could also be the anxiety and placebo-like effects. The questions of how do lie detectors work, who uses them and where are they available, what determines if a statement is truthful, and why aren’t they reliable all tell us that the answer is no. These questions helped determine that lie detectors aren’t always accurate. Would you ever use a lie detector based on what I have told you?By: Madison Meidinger8th Period Sources: http://www.apa.org/research/action/polygraph.aspx, https://science.howstuffworks.com/question123.htm, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polygraph, http://www.truthorlie.com/whopoly.html, http://www.polytest.org/lie-detector-test-locations.asp, http://www.dr-mcginnis.com/how_it_works.htm

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