Redefining the Road for the Industry

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The polygraph is an instrument that detects, monitors, and records physiological responses that are allegedly of psychological origin and attributed to deception. Hence the human mind and its complex psychology are the core of the detected physical responses. However, the polygraph industry has almost entirely overlooked psychological issues in its training and publishing. The industry focuses its attention and interest on various technical aspects of the test such as e.g. scoring, rather than concentrating on what is most important, i.e. the examinee’s psychology, as it is responsible for almost the entire test result. The paper extensively explains the importance of examinee psychology and its influence on test outcome, points to the shortfalls in training and publication activity of the industry, and discusses the result and impact of the industry’s approach.

[1] Trovillo P.Y., “A History of Lie Detection,” Journal of Criminal Law, Criminology, and Police Science 1939, 29, 848–881. The article can also be found reprinted in Poly-graph 1972, Vol. 1, No. 2–3, pp. 151–160.

[2] Matte J.A., Forensic Psychophysiology Using the Polygraph, Williamsville NY, JAM Publications 1996, pp. 41–42.

[3] Reid J., Inbau F., 1977, “Trust and Deception”, William Wilkins, Baltimore, pp. 215–228.

[5] American Polygraph Association, Education Accreditation Committee, Accreditation Standards, version 2.02, effective from 1 January 2015. Article 3.2 Curriculum Requirements, pp. 4–5.

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Target Group Researchers and experts in the field of criminal law


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