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Dutchess_III's avatar

Have you ever taken a lie detector test?

Asked by Dutchess_III (42455points) March 18th, 2015

I was watching a show and this guy had to take a lie detector test and this came to mind.

A secondary question, though, is if you’re trying to cheat why can’t you ask yourself your own question, in your mind, and answer that question?

For example, “Did you kill Bill?”
Let’s say you did, so you want to lie. Why can’t you ask yourself a question like, “Have you ever robbed a bank,” and, assuming you haven’t, answer that question out loud?

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9 Answers

syz's avatar

Yes. In high school I worked at a McDonalds and one of the employees was stealing. Everyone knew who it was, but the company tested the entire staff.

I had taken an AP writing exam that morning; 5 hours to answer 3 questions. I was so brain-fried the operator called my results “inconclusive”. I didn’t spike a response to anything.

dxs's avatar

No. I wonder how accurate those tests are, anyway.

ragingloli's avatar

I used to test lie detectors all the time. But then the company fired me because all those ‘defective’ machines were bad for business.

jaytkay's avatar

I took one for a retail job.

I was fascinated and asked the guy a lot of questions and watched the machine. After the test was complete, I asked the guy, “Do you catch a lot of people lying?”

“No, but you’d be amazed at the stuff people admit when they’re hooked up to the machine. That’s why it works.”

kritiper's avatar

No. But there was an instance where I would have LOVED to have taken one! I was accused of arranging a phone call to a co-worker’s wife about his possible cheating. Quit my job over it, too.

kritiper's avatar

@dxs Lie detectors only work on people who believe they work.

Mariah's avatar

No but my sister has, since she is trying to become a police officer. She failed hers even though she didn’t lie (I believe her about this). I think she was probably just very nervous about the whole procedure.

I think they measure nervousness so unless you really believe your idea would definitely work, @Dutchess_III, you’re still going to be nervous about getting caught in the lie and it’ll still detect it. Theoretically.

Buttonstc's avatar

No, I’ve never been in a situation where it was required.

Lie detectors aren’t 100% accurate; which is why their results are not accepted as evidence in court.

@Mariah
Their accuracy is dependent upon the physical responses of the central nervous system which are not under our direct control. Thus, it stands to reason that a person who is merely more anxious than normal about the entire procedure can come up as either deceptive or inconclusive so your sister’s situation is certainly not unheard of.

The other situation that could skew the results is if a person is sick or in pain so a skilled experienced investigator will inquire about that prior to the test and postpone it for a better time.

I’ve also read or heard (can’t remember where) that if someone is trying to beat the lie detector, they’ll do something to cause themselves anough physical pain (like putting a sharp pebble in their shoe to step on or biting the inside of their lip) to throw things off.

I don’t know how accurate that is but I’m glad I’ve never had to try it.

And I’ve also read that a sociopath can beat the test because they have so little of a conscience, compared to the average person, since lying is the norm for them and doesn’t cause any nervousness or apprehension for the test to pick up.

I don’t know how accurate that is but it makes sense to me.

filmfann's avatar

I watched as a friend’s father took a lie detector test as a demonstration. He failed it, but I think I could beat it. My advantage is the occasional voices in my head.

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