Encyclopedia of Security and Emergency Management

Living Edition
| Editors: Lauren R. Shapiro, Marie-Helen Maras

Investigations: Polygraph Use

  • Frank ChenEmail author
Living reference work entry

Latest version View entry history

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-69891-5_82-2

Definition

The polygraph measures blood volume, breathing, pulse, and sweat rate of examinees to guide the polygraphist in determining truth and deception.

Introduction

Since the inception of deception detection, physiological stress was always a problematic measurement. Heightened stress responses are often misinterpreted as deception because there is not a single distinctive stress response for deception. Unless this distinctive stress response exists or is identified, no machine would be able to detect lies, specifically the polygraph. When guided by the polygraph, the only capable lie detectors are the prepared polygraphists who carefully study their examinee’s physiological responses to control and relevant questions and attempts to beat the machine.

A Brief History on Truth and Deception

Deception started before our first language as humans and played a critical role in the personal gain and survival of many species. For example, anglerfishes use a shiny lure in the shape of a...

Keywords

Deception Lie detection Polygraph 
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References

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Further Reading

  1. Gordon, N. J., & Fleisher, W. L. (2017). Effective interviewing and interrogation techniques. Amsterdam: Elsevier Academic Press.Google Scholar
  2. Lykken, D. (1998). A tremor in the blood: Uses and abuses of the lie detector. New York: Plenum Trade.Google Scholar
  3. Reid, J. E., & Inbau, F. E. (1977). Truth and deception: The polygraph (“lie-detector”) technique. Baltimore: Williams & Wilkins.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© This is a U.S. Government work and not under copyright protection in the US; foreign copyright protection may apply 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.John Jay College of Criminal JusticeNew YorkUSA