Shopping Cart -

Your cart is currently empty.
Upgrade to today
for only an extra Cxx.xx

You get:

plus This issue of xxxxxxxxxxx.
plus Instant access to the latest issue of 350+ of our top selling titles.
plus Unlimited access to 30000+ back issues
plus No contract or commitment. If you decide that PocketmagsPlus is not for you, you can cancel your monthly subscription online at any time. Auto-renews at €10,99 per month, unless cancelled.
Upgrade for €1.09
Then just €10,99 / month. Cancel anytime.
Learn more
Pocketmags Digital Magazines
Pocketmags Digital Magazines
   You are currently viewing the Italy version of the site.
Would you like to switch to your local site?
Leggi ovunque Read anywhere
Modalità di pagamento Pocketmags Payment Types
Trusted site
A Pocketmags si ottiene
Fatturazione sicura
Ultime offerte
Web & App Reader
Loyalty Points

Letters to the Editor

Polygraphs as Junk Science

Dr. Morton Tavel has done the scientific community a great service with his highly readable review of polygraph junk science (January/February 2016). I’d like to add three observations.

First, neither law enforcement nor national security agencies have shared even their very old data that might provide some insight into the actual utility of the polygraph. After millions of tests in both criminal and employment-screening settings, there surely is enough information to inform on the polygraph’s sensitivity and specificity. Taxpayers have shelled out billions of dollars to pay for polygraph tests, and researchers ought to have access to that data. Perhaps it is easy to surmise why these agencies haven’t released any of it.

Second, fine civil servants lose their security clearances and thus their careers every year to the vagaries of “the box.” I get several calls a year from high-ranking federal government employees who have failed their polygraphs and are looking to redress the horrific personal impacts (let alone the waste in discarding of experienced individuals). I know of no case where a security clearance was restored once lost to the stochastic judgment of polygraphers.

Purchase options below
Find the complete article and many more in this issue of Skeptical Inquirer - May June 2016
If you own the issue, Login to read the full article now.
Single Digital Issue
May June 2016
This issue and other back issues are not included in a new Skeptical Inquirer subscription. Subscriptions include the latest regular issue and new issues released during your subscription.
Annual Digital Subscription
Only € 3,16 per issue

View Issues

About Skeptical Inquirer

Creators of the Paranormal: A handful of twentieth-century figures “created” the modern concept of the paranormal and its leading topics, transporting fantasy, myth, or speculation into a kind of believable “reality.” Most proved to be a chimera. CRISPR-Cas9: Not Just Another Scientific Revolution Dissociation and Paranormal Beliefs Scientific Reasoning at the USAF Academy: An Examination into Titanium-Treated Necklaces Stick It In Your Ear! How Not To Do Science A Testament of Belief Masquerading as Science and much more...