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Is A Polygraph Machine Really A Lie Detector?

Here’s a bit of American history trivia that I bet you didn’t know. Anita Hill, the woman who accused current Antonin Scalia butt monkey Clarence Thomas of being a perv, passed a polygraph with flying colors. Thomas, by contrast, utilized the good old standby of pervs across the country by saying it wasn’t dignified for someone in his position to take a lie detector. The fact that Anita Hill passed this test was enough to convince Senator Orrin Hatch that she was, paradoxically, a big far liar. Hatch, an enormous supporter of Clarence Thomas, whose career on the court has been less than inspiring to say the least, took the fact that Anita Hill passed her polygraph as an opportunity to point out that a delusional person can pass a lie detector because it doesn’t really measure a lie, but rather the body’s response to answering questions. As George Costanza and George Bush can both attest, it’s not a lie if you believe it. (By the way, you might also be interested to know that since Clarence Thomas took his place on the court, dozens of other people have come forward with testimony to back up Hill’s side. As for Thomas’ side? Not so much.) But that’s another story for another time.

A polygraph as it exists now, and did you also know that the modern day polygraph is essentially no different from the one invented in the early decades of the last century, measures bodily changes of such things as your blood pressure, breathing rate, and respiration. The infernal machines works on the presupposition that when a person tells an untruth, there are minute physiological changes that take place that can be measured from such things as a spike in blood pressure or increased breathing. What even most supporters of these essentially useless machines (on that count I’m in complete agreement with Hatch) are unaware of is that there is absolutely no scientific foundation for calling them lie detectors. They cannot detect a lie any better than you can simply by looking into the eyes of another person. For more information about lie detector test, you may visit https://liedetectortest.uk. This will help you to be familiarized on how such tool works. You can also see some of the reviews and feedback of customers from their site.

The reason that a polygraph is not terribly much different from a fortune-telling machine is because those very bodily changes that a polygraph measures can be affected by an infinite number of things. For instance, take me. I absolutely cannot stand to have my blood pressure taken; I’d rather give blood than have my circulation cut off. And I am sure that were I placed in a polygraph situation where I was already nervous about appearing to lie, added to my natural suspicion that the machine is a total waste of money, my blood pressure would skyrocket through the roof. In addition, the output of your respiration and heartbeat can be aggravated by everything from depression to the medicine you took before leaving the house. For that matter, that little difficulty you had in dropping a log in the bathroom this morning can alter the readings. Of course, none of these things by themselves guarantee a misreading. The real star of the show isn’t the machine, but the polygraph reader. It is his job to calibrate the machine and the readout to compensate for the unnatural output caused by such things as anxiety. But the truth of the situation is that most polygraph readers are simply not that qualified. Remember those famous cases of spies who were later caught selling secrets, like Aldrich Ames? You would think that if any agency in the country had a polygraph reader who was qualified to catch the “mistake” of the machine it would be the CIA. Not so. Ames passed several polygraphs before finally being caught. At the other send of the spectrum is Wen Ho Lee, whose career was destroyed because he failed a polygraph. Only it later turned out that he was telling the truth.

 

Believe it or not, but just twenty years ago you could lose a job at nearly any company in America if you failed to pass a polygraph. Even more ridiculous than that is that companies were allowed to not hire you simply for failing to agree to take a polygraph as part of the employee screening process. Thankfully, those commie SOBs at the ACLU stepped in and changed that madness. Can you imagine the extent to which the Bush administration would abuse those laws were they still in place? It boggles the mind to think that the lives of human beings could be so dramatically upended simply because their heartbeat quickened at the delivery of a question. Let us not go backward in time. Nobody is speaking about bringing the polygraph back to such a sinister place in the corporate world, but with new technology that reads brains waves and one machine that its makers even claim can give a readout of a lie as it is forming in the brain, it is just a matter of time before the bad old days of being guilty unless you can prove yourself innocent come back big time.

Brian
Brian
Brian Singleton a retired news editor and tech enthusiast. He shares a deep love for science and technology and wishes to connect with others through this his content.

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