Are Lie Detectors Really Effective?
In ancient India and China, a method called “spitting” refers to a test that is conducted to determine if a person is lying or not. The method involves filling the mouth of a suspected liar with rice. If the uncooked rice or grains are stuck inside the mouth or remain dry when the person spits it out, then the conclusion would be that person is lying. In today’s modern world, this test is called lie detection using a lie detector machine.
Early Roots of Lie Detection
During the Middle Ages, torture was a common way to detect if an individual is telling a lie. In fact, they believed that using boiling water is an excellent way to test a person’s honesty. For them, an honest person could withstand the burns while liars could hardly hold it out. In the United States and in Europe, a person accused of witchcraft was thrown into the river. If the person was able to save herself, then she was a witch. But if the person drowned, then she wasn’t a witch – but unfortunately she’s already dead.
In 1895, Cesare Lombroso, an Italian criminologist, originally created the first version of the modern polygraph. It’s a machine that measured blood pressure changes during a police investigation. In 1911, The New York Times wrote about the early lie detection technologies, including the psychometer. In their article, it was mentioned that the polygraph was expected to replace some of the human aspects involved in the criminal justice systems. It stated that suspects would be brought to lie detection tests to know if they were telling the truth or not.
How Modern Lie Detectors Work
A lie detector test isn’t the one that detects lies. It only detects the nervousness of the person. Experts believe that individuals who are honest don’t experience nervous excitement as experienced by people who are lying. However, this may not always be the case since normal people tend to become nervous when simply undergoing such test to measure their honesty.
With the advent of modern polygraphs, lie detection tests started to measure the 3 levels of nervousness, namely breathing patterns, sweating, and blood pressure or heart rate. Polygraphs measure the nervous system arousal levels by using several monitors, including:
- A sensor device wrapped around the person’s lung area to gauge respiration changes.
- Another sensor attached on the arm for blood pressure.
- Two sensors on the fingers to monitor sweat and pulse changes.
The examiner asks some important questions to determine if the bodily response rate is normal or not. Broad questions are also asked to trigger nervous response rates. The basis for this is that innocent people who tell the truth have more extreme reaction rates than specific and objective questions. Lie detectors are normally used to help make enough apprehension that garners a confession.
Effectiveness of Lie Detection Services
Lie detector tests or polygraph examinations have increasingly become popular in the United Kingdom. It’s helpful in upholding the criminal justice system in the country, while considering the validity of questioning suspected criminals. However, the accuracy of these machines depends on the expertise of the one conducting the tests. So if you want effective results, it’s important to hire experienced and well trained lie detection examiners in the area.
The invention of lie detector machines have been essential in judging a person’s innocence as well as guilt. Polygraph evidences may not always be allowed in court, but still, it remains a good way to investigate cases. Before hiring a lie detection service provider in the Ireland, make sure to do your own research about the reputation and background of the company for efficiency and dependability.