A Consistently Erroneous Technology
A Magician in the Lab
Publisher: Committee for Skeptical Inquiry
Date Written: 01/09/2017
Year Published: 2017
Resource Type: Article
Cx Number: CX21824
A look at the polygraph, or lie detector technology, and why it is unreliable.
The fact is that not a single spy has ever been caught by a polygraph screening exam. In 2003, the National Academy of Sciences issued its final report titled The Polygraph and Lie Detection that found the majority of polygraph research to be, in their words, "unreliable, unscientific, and biased" and that in national security matters and for law enforcement use, the level of accuracy drops to such a level that "its accuracy in distinguishing actual or potential security violators from innocent test takers is insufficient to justify reliance on its use in employee security screening in federal agencies."