Mixing Helpfulness and Humor Since 2005

Sunday, August 14, 2005

Polygraph Tip of the Day

In watching movies such as Meet the Parents, or High Crimes, we get a glimpse of what it would be like to be subjected to a polygraph. The truth is, they are not really "lie" detectors. They simply read our bodily reactions to questions. Just because you have a strong reaction to a question does not mean that you are lying about it. In fact, they simply can not tell why you have the reaction. A good test administrator will be able to get a confession.
There are, however, ways to fool a polygraph machine, and perhaps the administrator of the test. One way is to bite your tongue for about 15 seconds before a question to about 15 seconds after (not including, of course the time that you're actually saying 'yes' or 'no'). Doing this on a control question will cause the machine to read a reaction. Then, on more difficult questions, your reaction won't seem so big. Specialists use to tell people to "pucker" to get this same effect, but now that anylists are using counter-counter measures such as motion detecting chairs, this one is no longer effective.

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