Dilemma of lies detection in criminalistics research

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Abstract

This paper provides a critical overview of the scientific status of lie detector test (or polygraph test). The test consists of simultaneously monitoring several of the suspect's physiological functions - breathing, pulse, and galvanic skin response - and printing out the results on graph paper. The theory underlying a lie detector test is that lying is stressful, and that this stress can be measured and recorded on a polygraph machine. Polygraphs are perhaps the most controversial tool in law enforcement. Crime dramas have long depicted the polygraph's tangle of wires and wiggling chart lines uncovering lies during a hard-boiled criminal interrogation. As suspects are questioned, the device checks for sweaty skin or racing hearts to root out deception, but the machine's accuracy has long been in dispute. The paper analyzes the scientific legitimacy and the legal regulations of the use of polygraph test in Lithuania. The aim of this article is to familiarize readers with lie detector test (or polygraph test) and to critically evaluate it.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)137-149
JournalJournal of law and criminal justice
Volume2
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2014

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Keywords

  • Lie detection
  • Polygraph test
  • Psychophysiological examination

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