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Lie Detectors Tell Lies The Unreliability of Polygraphs Used in Criminal Trials and Investigations Polygraphs commonly known as lie detector tests are in question to whether or not they are realiable enough to use in court cases The common test used in criminal investigations is the Control Question Test CQT The CQT works by comparing physiological disturbances that occur when questions are asked which are relative to the crime in question Vague control questions are asked to allow an innocent person to show more physiological disturbances to the vague questions than to the questions which are directly relevant to the crime at hand If the person in question shows more disturbances when asked the relevant questions it is a good indication of deception Honts 309 Even though courts and criminal investigators do permit other unreliable evidence such as eyewitness testimonies the polygraph is not reliable enough to be allowed as evidence in the delicate process and evidence in criminal investigations Polygraphs can too easily be defeated by simple countermeasures to be accepted as reliable and allowed in criminal investigations Charles Honts David Raskin and John Kircher from the Department of Psychology at the University of Utah state the following in their article Mental and Physical Countermeasures Reduce the Accuracy of Polygraph Tests Research has shown that training in simple physical maneuvers such as biting the tongue or pressing the toes to the floor can be effective in defeating polygraph tests by enhancing physiological reactions to control questions Honts Hodes and Raskin reported that 60 of their decisions were incorrect when subjects had been trained to unobtrusively bite their tongues and press their toes to the floor when control questions were presented during the test Using similar training and stronger incentives to pass the test Honts Raskin and Kircher failed to correctly classify any subjects who were using countermeasures 252 This statement shows that the tests are not only unreliable when given by
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