POLYGRAPHS / LIE DETECTOR TESTS
A polygraph test can be best described as an entire process of measuring the human physiological responses when they are under interrogations. This is done to determine if the answers they are providing are truthful.
It is commonly known as a lie detector test and as had a very controversial history in some countries, especially the United States of America. The first polygraph instrument was developed in the late 19th century and has since major changes in transforming it to appear modern.
Polygraph tests have with time become a common cultural and social cultural icon. It is commonly used in crime dramas, advertisements, and even comedies. It is however observed by a majority of psychologists that the entire idea of detecting an individual’s veracity by observing the psychophysiological reactions and changes is more of a myth than a reality.
What is a polygraph test?
The machine that is normally used to carry out polygraph tests is built of a physiological recorder that conducts an assessment of the three main indicators of autonomic arousal. These include respiration, the heart rate or blood pressure, and the skin conductivity.
In the modern world, the examiners use a recording system that is computerized. They use pneumographs that are usually wrapped around the chest of the subject to measure the respiration’s depth and rate.
They also use a blood pressure cuff to access cardiovascular activities. Electrodermal response or galvanic skin, commonly known as skin conductivity is measured using electrodes that the subject attaches to the fingertips.
During part of most polygraph tests, questioning techniques and recording instruments are used. A typical polygraph test involves a pre-test phase, a time when the method is explained, and then a review is done to all the test questions.
Polygraph tests involve a process known as stimulation test, which is a display of the machine’s accuracy in detecting lies and deception.
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