The polygraph, more commonly known in today’s world as “lie detection” or “the lie detector test” has been in use in the United States for over the last few decades. Polygraph tests have proven to be one of the most powerful, robust and useful scientific tools in criminal investigations and personnel screening. In recent years, polygraph tests are increasingly used within the UK Government and Private Sector.
A polygraph used for the purpose of truth verification or lie detection is a scientific instrument that records manifestations of the Sympathetic and Parasympathetic Nervous Systems of a person whilst subjected to carefully constructed test questions.
Manifestations which are recorded include changes in blood pressure, pulse rate, electrodermal activity, and respiration, but may include additional components such as, blood volume monitors and motion sensors.
The term “polygraph” derives from the Greek words poly (many) and graph (writing) ‘ “many writings”. The name refers to the manner in which selected physiological activities are simultaneously collected, measured and recorded.
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