Lie Detectors Are Junk Science, but We Keep Using Them

Source: Reason
by Katrina Gulliver

“[T]he lie detector is just the 20th-century version of witch pricking, revealing a ‘truth’ that isn’t there. The National Academy of Sciences has dismissed the polygraph’s validity, and the American Psychological Association says there is ‘little evidence’ that it works. The technology also quickly faced legal challenges. In Frye v. United States (1923), the Court of Appeals of the District of Columbia held that any scientific methods deployed in the courtroom had to be widely accepted by experts, which polygraphs were not. But this inadmissibility didn’t stop it from catching on, or from gaining acceptance in the public mind. Millions of tests are given in the United States every year, and it is used on anyone from suspected criminals by the FBI to suspected baby daddies by Maury Povich.” (03/07/23)