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[American Polygraph Association]
The 80 research projects listed, published since 1980, involved 6,380 polygraph examinations or sets of charts from examinations.
Researchers conducted 12 studies of the validity of field examinations, following 2, 174 field examinations, providing an average accuracy of 98%. Researchers conducted 11 studies involving the reliability of independent analyses of 1,609 sets of charts from field examinations confirmed by independent evidence, providing an average accuracy of 92%. Researchers conducted 41 studies involving the accuracy of 1,787 laboratory simulations of polygraph examinations, producing an average accuracy of 80%.
Researchers conducted 16 studies involving the reliability of independent analyses of 810 sets of charts from laboratory simulations producing an average accuracy of 81%. Tables list the authors and years of the research projects, which are identified fully in the References Cited.
In 2003, the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) issued a report entitled “The Polygraph and Lie Detection”. The NAS found that the majority of polygraph research was " Unreliable, Unscientific and Biased" (quote). The NAS study identified 57 of the 80 odd research studies that the APA relies on, to come to their conclusions. These studies concluded that a polygraph test regarding a specific incident can discern the truth at “a level slightly greater than chance, yet short of perfection”.
A physician biodefense researcher at the weapons lab, Alan Zelicoff has led opposition to the polygraph there, saying that for screening purposes, the device's measures — pulse, blood pressure, breathing and sweating — reveal deception about as well as a coin flip. He likens the polygraph to a defective medical test, one whose high false-positive rate, depicting honest people as liars, makes it unreliable as a diagnostic tool. Last year, Attorney General John Ashcroft estimated the false-positive rate of polygraphs at 15%, about a one-in-six chance, at a news conference.
…in some studies, researchers may toss "inconclusive" tests results, which if added back in, may lower the accuracy rate for detecting deception to the 70% range. Critics like retired FBI scientist Drew Richardson suggest the high accuracy rates reported in some studies result more from the high likelihood of guilt among those tested — criminals or study volunteers who act as faux criminals.
"A big problem is that it's not really a test of anything," says psychophysiologist William Iacono of the University of Minnesota. He agrees the polygraph can measure physical reactions, but beyond that, nobody knows how the nervous system acts when it is lying.
People who don't believe in the polygraph may be more likely to fail tests, he says. Their disbelief and non-responsiveness may look like deception.
Some relevant vids and links for you all…
Originally posted by Welfhard
Your put in a chair with apparatus strapped all around you monitoring skin conductivity, breathing rhythm, blood pressure and heart rate, and you are asked definite closed yes/no questions. All the while you are thinking, "Is the machine going to say I'm lying?" Needless to say, it's a high anxiety situation for anyone.
Actually the polygraph is an extremely accurate machine.
You have to remember, if society did dub the polygraph accurate, a lot of people wouldn't have jobs, so there is a reason there is so much dis info out there.
The honesty test? A priest failed the one he was given. His "mistake?" Forgiveness for past errors. In filling those out, the candidate to get the best marks was to send all shoplifters to jail and have their names published prominently in the newspaper. The priest mistakenly marked, "everyone makes mistakes." That was HIS mistake.
Another case i am aware of involves Sister Terressa, a nun from Minneapolis, who was rejected for a part time job with B. Dalton Bookstores because she failed the written honesty test (the Reid Report). She was told that her score was the worst they had ever seen