Article Title

Trial By ordeal? Polygraph testing In Australia


A Polygraph or "lie detector" is "an instrument used to measure the autonomic nervous system responses in terms of blood pressure, pulse rate, respiration rate and galvanic skin response. In theory when a person tells a lie, fear of detection causes uncontrollable reactions in these physiological areas which the polygraph indicates with inked lines on a moving paper scroll". [1]

The use of polygraphs in sensitive areas such as the questioning of suspects in criminal cases, recruitment processes (eg by the FBI), investigation of insurance fraud and interrogation of current or potential employees raises certain ethical issues. In particular, the appropriateness of compelling, or coercing people to undertake such testing needs to be examined. The use of polygraphs also raises the broader question of whether we want to live in a society that is dominated by this type of testing.


Peer-reviewed, Lie detectors, detection

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