Possibly the largest problems with the polygraph, and why it has been inadmissible in most U.S. courts, is the notion that jurors give the test too much weight, particularly in light of its noted inaccuracies.
In this post I am going to take some of the best learnings from our February Book Club book, The Honest Truth About Dishonesty (by Dan Ariely) and the most interesting tidbits from the research on deception.
So why do we lie? Sometimes, it's done to embellish the story about the fish that got away. Sometimes it's intended to shelter someone who would be hurt by the truth (i.e., "Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus.")
We need to be careful not to assume that individuals are guaranteed to repeat past behavior. Such assumptions can limit a person's ability to learn and grow. But, how can we know if an employee is going to repeat past behavior such as illicit drug use, theft, or bribery?
"Diogenes," the lie-catching machine in the sci-fi screenplay that a friend and I wrote 20 years ago, made no mistakes. In real life we aren't quite there yet, but our recent research on truth and falsehood is getting closer than I ever expected it would.
This week, the nation's top intelligence official announced that the government is expanding its use of the polygraph to expose federal employees. The testing could put intelligence workers at risk of being falsely stigmatized.