PSY100H1 Lecture Notes - Lecture 15: Paul Ekman, Polygraph, Microexpression

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Published on 17 Apr 2013
School
UTSG
Department
Psychology
Course
PSY100H1
Professor
Lecture 15 notes
Are Polygraph Tests Accurate?
- Polygraph operators claim an accuracy rate of around 90%
- David Lykken demonstrates that there is no basis for this claim
- Laboratory studies tend to find that lie detection based on polygraph data is 70% to 85%
accurate
- Operators claim that laboratory results cannot be generalized to real situations. In the lab,
people are not in jeopardy so they do not feel strong anxiety about being found out
- Beating the test
o Suppressing emotionality is very difficult
o The best way to fool polygraph operators is to react emotionally to control questions by,
for example, strongly contracting one’s toes
o Although polygraph operators claim that this is easily detected, in fact it can only be
detected if it is done in a very clumsy way
Natural cues to Lying
- The cues people use to decide if someone is lying or telling the truth have been studied in
natural settings such as in airport customs inspections
- People tend to agree on the cues they consider to be signs of lying, but these cues are not
accurate
- Research has shown that people are usually not good at detecting lies
- Six emotions people can pick out quite accurately = Happiness, Fear, Disgust, Anger, Surprise,
and Sadness
- Can one tell a person’s feelings by looking at the face?
- We are very good at controlling what appears on our face:
o Masking : Hiding an emotion so it does not appear on the face
o Simulation: Expressing an emotion that is not felt
o Modulation: Exaggerate or minimize a felt emotion
- Cultural norms influence our expression of emotions:
o Display Rules: What is appropriate in different cultures
- Despite our control over expressing our emotions, might there be a leakage of inner feelings?
o Micro expressions
Micro expressions and Context
- By slowing the playback of facial responses one can catch glimpse of micro expressions
- Taking into account the context in which the micro expression appears, one can get a clue to
lying
- Paul Ekman has studied lying in detail
-
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Document Summary

Polygraph operators claim an accuracy rate of around 90% David lykken demonstrates that there is no basis for this claim. Laboratory studies tend to find that lie detection based on polygraph data is 70% to 85% accurate. Operators claim that laboratory results cannot be generalized to real situations. In the lab, people are not in jeopardy so they do not feel strong anxiety about being found out. The cues people use to decide if someone is lying or telling the truth have been studied in natural settings such as in airport customs inspections. People tend to agree on the cues they consider to be signs of lying, but these cues are not accurate. Research has shown that people are usually not good at detecting lies. Six emotions people can pick out quite accurately = happiness, fear, disgust, anger, surprise, and sadness. Cultural norms influence our expression of emotions: display rules: what is appropriate in different cultures.

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