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Attorneys for Christine Blasey Ford, the woman who’s accused Supreme Court justice nominee Brett Kavanaugh of sexual assault, released the results of a polygraph test focused on the decades-old incident. They suggest that Ford’s responses to two questions about her allegations were “not indicative of deception.”
How trustworthy is that assessment and the polygraph technology it relies on?
The article goes on to state the following:
The efficacy of polygraphs is hotly debated in scientific and legal communities. In 2002, a review by the National Research Council found that, in populations “untrained in countermeasures, specific-incident polygraph tests (GKTs) can discriminate lying from truth telling at rates well above chance, though well below perfection.” Better than flipping a coin to figure out whether someone is telling the truth, but far from achieving consistent and reliable results.
The NRC warned against using polygraphs in employment screenings, but it did note that specific-incident polygraph tests in the field yield more accurate results. It seems targeted, relevant questions – for instance, “Was the robbery committed with a gun?” – meant to unmask a subject who may have a strong motive to lie or conceal information seem to work better.
Polygraphs can deliver false positives: asserting that someone is lying who is actually telling the truth. The consequences of “failing” a polygraph can be serious – from not getting a job to being labeled a serial killer.
Read more of the extensive report at THECONVERSATION.COM.
— The Associated Press (@AP) September 29, 2018
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