Smart move on The Observer’s part having the always interesting Dr. Vaughan Bell on board. In this issue, he tells us about lie dectection and the return of the highly questionable polygraph.
But despite the inherent unreliability of lie detectors, they have recently seen a rebirth. (…) Yet this is unlikely to be due to the technology itself; years of research have shown people are more truthful when wired up to a convincing but fake machine – the so-called “bogus pipeline to the truth” effect.
In the U.S., the poly is mostly used as an interrogation tool with the results by and large, not admissible into evidence because of reliability and validity issues, as per the SCOTUS. So: if the poly gets the side eye from the 5th amendment [Schmerber v. California, 86 S. Ct. 1826 (l966)] for violating the protection of self incrimination, wouldn’t that also apply to fMRI lie detection (if that ever was a legit consideration) for evidence?
Read Dr. Bell’s article with a little polygraph history here.