How Do Lie Detectors Work?

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lie detectorsLie detector are used by law enforcement and the military for many different reasons. They are also popular in the workplace as a way to verify the truth of a person’s actions.

Typically, lie detectors work by using a polygraph, which is a device that records a number of physiological functions, including blood pressure, heart rate, breathing and sweating levels. Various sensors are attached to the subject’s arms, chest and abdomen.

They include a cuff to measure blood pressure, two tubes that measure respiratory and sweat levels, and electrodes connected to the subject’s fingertips to measure their galvanic skin response, which changes electrical current when there is increased sweating.

While the polygraph is an incredibly reliable tool, it does have its limitations. For example, it can be difficult to know which questions are relevant and which are not.

The Ethics of Using Lie Detectors: A Critical Analysis

In order to get a sense of whether someone is lying, examiners use a series of “control” questions, which are irrelevant, and compare them with responses to questions that are relevant to the crime. If the control questions elicit more anxiety than the relevant ones, that’s a sign that they are lying.

Using these types of tests can be a difficult decision for employers, but it’s often necessary in certain situations. For instance, if an employee is accused of lying to his or her boss about something that could affect the company’s finances, the employer may need to use a lie-detection tool to ensure the truth.

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