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KansasTherapist
KansasTherapist, LSCSW
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 565
Experience:  17 years experience with depression, abuse, and borderline.
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How reliable / accurate are polygraphs? Would you ever advise

Resolved Question:

How reliable / accurate are polygraphs? Would you ever advise someone to give into a spouse's demands to take a polygraph to prove / disprove infidelity?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  KansasTherapist replied 2 years ago.

KansasTherapist : Hello
KansasTherapist : I don't have statistics, but they are moderately accurate.
KansasTherapist : There are people who are convinced of their own lies that can pass one even though they aren't telling the truth.
KansasTherapist : Trying to prove fidelity with a polygraph seems like a poor idea.
KansasTherapist : I don't think someone who doesn't have trust in their partner would be convinced by anything.
KansasTherapist : Does that answer your question?
Customer:

Well, it helps somewhat. Since I asked for a high level of detail, I was hoping for more info on the reliability / accuracy. If they are only moderately accurate, would I not be crazy to take a polygraph to prove my innocence of infidelity - since there is a moderate chance that the polygraph will give a false result?


 

Customer:

Please come back online.


 

Customer:

Hmm. This is not very satisfying. It took you about 10 minutes to reply to my question. When it took me 4 minutes to reply with some further questions, you could not wait and went offline. ... I have been waiting now about 40 minutes and need to go to bed. ... Not sure what's going on, but would be hard to rate this service very high. ... Unless I get some amazing follow up reply. But I guess I will have to look in the morning. Very frustrating.


 

Expert:  KansasTherapist replied 2 years ago.
Our chat has ended, but you can still continue to ask me questions here until you are satisfied with your answer. Come back to this page to view our conversation and any other new information.

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Expert:  KansasTherapist replied 2 years ago.
I'm still online but I couldn't see your replies until I changed to Q&A.

Trust in a partner is more important that the results of an test. If your partner doesn't trust you enough to believe what you say, there's no way to prove you didn't do something. They may be saying the polygraph would satisfy him or her, but it probably wouldn't.
Expert:  KansasTherapist replied 2 years ago.
I looked up some info on accuracy. A good study states they are 85 to 90% accurate. Good but not perfect.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
So at best still a 1 in 10 chance the results would be inaccurate / false. Like Russian roulette - seems like not a good choice; and spouse would likely not trust the result anyhow. ... However, you seem less than definitive in your answer so let me repeat: Would you ever advise someone to give into a spouse's demands to take a polygraph to prove / disprove infidelity?
Expert:  KansasTherapist replied 2 years ago.
No, I wouldn't advise anyone to take a polygraph to prove their innocence.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Ok. Thanks for the direct answer. Peace out.
Expert:  KansasTherapist replied 2 years ago.
Good luck with your situation.
KansasTherapist, LSCSW
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 565
Experience: 17 years experience with depression, abuse, and borderline.
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KansasTherapist
KansasTherapist
Mental Health Professional
565 Satisfied Customers
17 years experience with depression, abuse, and borderline.