In Search of the Magic Lasso: The Truth About the Polygraph

Stephan E. Fienberg

Tens of thousands of individuals undergo polygraph security screening examinations in the U.S. every year. How good is the polygraph in detecting deception in such settings? Is there a scientific underpinning for the detection of deception? Are there suitable alternatives to the polygraph for security screening? Two years ago, the NAS-NRC Committee to Review the Scientific Evidence on the Polygraph released it\'s report, “The Polygraph and Lie Detection,” addressing these issues. Professor Fienberg chaired this committee and will talk about the answers to these questions and how they illustrate the nexus of science, policy, and myth.

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