Is it Possible to Beat a Lie-Detector Test?

Just for the fun of it, but in an environment that simulates how things would officially transpire, we tried out different ways of beating a polygraph, lie-detector test.

Before we begin, let me explain how things work and the consequences of deception, which can occur in the “real world” and is made known to all candidates who took the test:

Polygraphs are similar to the lie detector test you might have seen on TV, but to prove if the person is telling the truth or lying, the examiner asks the person a series of questions while the person’s skin is probed with a light. Some questions are asked only in the head and some by bending the person’s arm, tapping on the chest or a word association game. The exact procedure is not really known, because the examiner may choose the questions that suit them.

The polygraph is calibrated to measure the change in the skin electrical resistance (EER) when the subject is asked a question that they cannot answer, as well as changes in heart rate. These fluctuations of the skin can be measured to be a lie, or they can be just a reflection of the subject’s nervousness. Thus, for example, if someone knows he has a ton of answers but can’t make up his mind, he would sweat, his heart rate would be raised and the EER would be higher. If on the other hand, he has to find a particular answer, his EER will be lowered.

Since polygraphs are supposed to determine whether a person is lying or not, the examiner is allowed to question the person in a manner which can cause stress and test the subject’s feelings. If the examiner finds it difficult to see a difference between a lie and a real feeling, he may cause a subject discomfort. Thus, at this stage, the polygrapher can be up to no good.

Even though the truth is revealed, the subject may still be guilty because the examiner made no effort to de-stress him.

Bryan Seymour, Associate Professor of Criminology at Simon Fraser University in British Columbia (Canada), says that polygraphs are somewhat reliable, but there are certain questions that can cause an incorrect analysis.

According to him, in most cases, the polygrapher will “tell you what the question is designed to find out.”

So we went into this experiment with an open mind and made sure not to assume anything based on the way the examiner had done things in the past.

I am putting up some of the questions and their answers below, which hopefully, may give you an idea on how the polygraph works. So even if you munch down on some CBD gummies on account of the belief that they can help you relax and take better control of your biological reactions, things might still be tricky for you.

Lie detector test

Question 1: “In the last 10 years, would you have been in contact with anyone connected to terrorism?”

Question 2: “In the last 10 years, has there ever been any sexual contact with anyone with AIDS or any drug use?”

These questions are true or false, and people often put up false answers because they are scared and hope to get away with it. Also, many choose to stick to the truth only because they don’t want to make a big deal out of it.

By looking at the answers above, one can tell that most of the questions are true and that people would have lied about those.

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