Lie Detectors Don’t Prove Much Judge

“Like a parking ticket?”

“No no that’s not a crime. You see that’s why we have to go over the questions first. Otherwise the machine might be wizzing like crazy right now, because you’re wondering what constitutes a crime.”

Roy Moore Might Be A Good Liar

This is very applicable to Roy Moore. I’m not a fan or Moore hater. I think he was a bad candidate and that’s ultimately why he lost. But the idea that passing a lie detector proves he wasn’t lying is a bit naive. If he has done some of the things he’s been accused of then he could be a sociopath. A relatively mild one but still. In which case passing a polygraph wouldn’t be hard for him. But let’s say he has done some of the things he was accused of and he isn’t a sociopath. He could still pass a couple different ways. He might really believe he hasn’t done anything wrong. Self righteousness can be enough to get your body out of the fight or flight response. It’s only a biological state and our minds can control those. In fact he could have passed with just some simple breath coaching. Or by raising his baseline anxiety.

“Yes.”

“Are you married?”

“Yes.”

Once the tester figures out where you are normally he establishes that as a baseline and will determine deception based on deviation. So Moore could have raised his baseline or controlled his deceptions.

I’m Not Accusing, Merely Explaining

Remember I’m not claiming Moore did anything wrong. The election is over as far as I’m concerned and I don’t vote in Alabama anyway. I’m just explaining what a polygraph test is and why it doesn’t go very far to prove Moore’s guilt or innocence.

The Tester Isn’t Trying to Fail You

After the machine is hooked up and the baseline is determined the tester does their best to maintain your baseline. It’s all very relaxed. They don’t suddenly go Bob De Niro on you “Are you a pothead Fokker?”

“No.”

I never have. I’ve only been offered pot once in my entire life and I turned it down. For the simple reason that I think it smells like skunk. When I moved to California in 04 I had no idea what Mary Jane smelled like and for almost a decade I thought California was skunk infested. Then someone explained to me “no that’s pot you dumb home schooler!” I’m a missionary kid, but whatever.

“Nope.”

“Wow that’s crazy.”

“Besides that one speeding ticket and my accidents in the Philippines no I have not.”

“You don’t need to clarify further we already did that. Just yes or no.”

“Okay sorry.”

Lie detectors just aren’t that big a deal.

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