Why Lying to a Polygraph Machine is not the same as Lying to a Person

Home » Uncategorized » Why Lying to a Polygraph Machine is not the same as Lying to a Person

We would all like to think that our loved ones, friends and colleagues tell us the truth in our everyday interactions but we also know that sadly that is not always the case.

Loved ones will often lie to you with noble intentions, to reassure you, save you from embarrassment, to protect you or simply for a quieter life. Often justifying the lie as acceptable and labelling their justification as a “white lie”. Then of course there is the more sinister motive of hiding their deceit, there betrayal of your love and in doing so avoiding the detection of how your relationship has been abused.

Friends who always tell you “as it is” are a rare breed. No one wants to upset a friend unless they are consumed with jealousy of their friend’s achievements, looks, social status or as a result of a perceived slight. So friends in general will mix and match their reactions, outwardly agreeing and supporting the friend whilst holding back on their real opinion of the situation, so as not to offend.

Colleagues can have a multitude of motives for deceiving one another dependant on their position in the colleague relationship. A manager may deceive you by motivating you to work harder or be more productive with the mere intonation in their voice that you would be their preferred candidate for the next promotion, when in fact you were not or there is no intention at all to promote you. They may suggest that your job position is safe when in fact they know that the business is in a precarious position or to entice you to take on extra responsibilities because that would be a normal expectation of someone who was committed to their role. Co-workers may lie to you about their achievements, experience or performance, so that they may later be seen by management to be the higher performer having lulled you into believing you were in fact the looking up to you and your achievements.

Humans lie and do so regularly throughout the day and it is therefore no surprise that we have developed our senses to help identify the lies and protect us from further deceit. We have all experienced the feeling that someone is lying to us at some stage of our life. We notice small changes in behaviour or attitude, in voice tone, facial flushing, gestures and minute changes in facial expressions. With each trait identified, being used as further confirmation of our suspicions.

These senses can often be relied upon to identify deception or trigger our suspicions that we are being victimised by being lied to. They are not however proof positive because unless you have personally witnessed or have irrefutable proof of the circumstances of the deception, then although those senses put up “red flags” they in themselves are not proof.

Once activated those senses can cause the perceived victim to view every act or expression by the other as suspicious and quickly the trust and respect or even the love, can be damaged beyond repair.

The polygraph examination takes away the emotion of the situation and deals with the facts. Conducting a detailed pre-test interview and using the ideally formulated test questions, enables the experienced examiner to conduct a test on the facts, with no prejudgement of the situation. Analysis of the test data is conducted not using our primeval senses but through a thoroughly researched and proven system of assessing the examinees reactions to the questions they have answered and can be supported by computerised analysis systems designed specifically for the polygraph.

Lying to a person is simple. Lying to a polygraph machine is the way to fail.

Share Post:
Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin