How Reliable Is Lie Detector Testing?

A lie detector test or a Polygraph test as it is more commonly known is one where the difference in physiological states of an individual are recorded while answering comprehensive and structured questions that are asked to him and  the same are then used to detect a lie. The physical indices of a human being like an increased breathing rate, sweating or an increase in the heart rate work as some of the natural clues and give away when he is lying. Lie detector tests are primarily based and developed on these findings only. 

The use of a lie detector test has seen a gradual rise in the recent years. From being used primarily in public investigations, it has come a long way now to be commonly used in private investigations and resolving personal matters like cheating spouses, tracking teenage behavior and infidelity etc. 

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How reliable is a lie detector test?

While the use of polygraph has expanded vastly, there are always questions concerning its reliability. There have been several instances where the psychologists have raised controversies against the authentication of a lie detector test but still the demand of a lie detector test remains unchanged.

While the question on the reliability of the test remains obvious, there have been several studies and researches that have proved these tests to be 80 to 99% effective which is quite motivating. Moreover, there has been a consistency in the results and that has further validated their reliability. The fundamental behind these tests is that the stress levels of an individual rise when he is lying and nobody has the power to alter the natural clues that one’s body gives away.

Just on the contrary, there are several critics of this fact and they believe that one can be easily trained to overcome one’s stress levels and thus, alter the results and readings of a lie detector test. But let us just face it; is it possible to control the activities of one’s brains, especially at such crucial moments? But just as we need an experienced doctor to see through a report and diagnose the correct disease, we need an expert examiner to see the readings in a polygraph chart and make the correct decision. Another great query relating to the subject is that even an innocent individual might get stressed at the time of questioning but the operators of such tests are well equipped and qualified to overcome such issues.

With innovation and new technology, lie detection is surfacing as the best method to detect a lie.

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