Wednesday, October 3, 2018

Sometimes polygraph associations say 'Don't do TV'. Here's why.

For years, some polygraph associations have said "Don't do polygraph on TV-- no matter what, it always make polygraph look bad".

Usually that statement is wrong. Most shows go great, increasing calls to examiners in the days after a popular show used polygraph. An example: when Oprah involved a polygraph on her TV show, calls to examiners greatly increased in the days following.

Most TV shows are told: there is no accuracy if the examinee moves, nods, or says anything other than Yes or No. And if it was 'for real', a pattern and guidelines must be followed. TV producers say "This is just for entertainment, very silly, we won't stick to guidelines about question count and sitting still as a statue and waiting time between each question". It is explained that all answers that don't follow the strict no-movement no-laughing guidelines will be unscorable.

Yet after one funny filming that was a success, an examinee said "I now don't believe in polygraph-- I lied on one of my answers and it didn't catch me", despite having acknowledged that there will be NO accuracy to this skit where polygraph is just an unscored prop.