Polygraphs and Reconstructive Memory

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1) Summarize the means by which the polygraph works as a lie detector. What two major problems call its accuracy into question? A lie detector is an electronic device that records an individual’s physiological arousal when asked yes or no questions. There are two types of questions that the examiner will ask the individual in order to measure the individual’s arousal. The first types of questions are questions relevant to the crime being investigated. The second types of questions are called control questions. These questions are unrelated to the crime. Asking these questions allows the examiner to determine if the individual shows more physiological arousal when asked questions relating to the crime rather than questions that are non-related. In other words, if the individual becomes more aroused when answering the non-related questions, he or she is judged as innocent. In contrast, if the individual becomes more aroused when asked about the specific crime, he or she is judged as guilty (Kassin, Fein & Markus, 2010). The questions are only one part of describing how the lie detector works. The examiner has to have a way for the arousal to be noticed. The lie detector works by placing sensors on several body parts. For example, rubber tubes are strapped around the upper body in an effort to measure the individual’s breathing. Cuffs to measure the individual’s pulse rate are put on the arms. Finally, electrodes, which detect perspiration or activity of the sweat glands, are placed on the fingertips. Once all the sensors are in place, the signals are converted into a visual presentation for the examiner to analyze (Kassin, Fein & Markus, 2010). The lie detector was designed to detect any signs of deception. In other word... ... middle of paper ... ...ample when a child is interviewed or questioned it is important to eliminate suggestibility because the child will confuse the truth with fantasy. In turn, using a non-bias and objective approach to interviewing or questioning will help the children recall the correct memory (Loftus, Leitner & Berstein, 2011). Works Cited Kassin, Fein, & Markus. (2010). Social psychology with study guide (8th ed.). Cengage learning: Mason, OH Loftus, E.F., Leitner, R.L., Berstein, D.M. (2011). Reconstructive memory. Retrieved March 2, 2011, from http://www.education.com/reference/article/reconstructive-memory/ Reconstructive memory: Confabulating the past, simulating the future. (2006). Retrieved March 2, 2011, from http://www.google.com/search?q=neurophilosophy%3A+constructive+memory&rls=com.microsoft:en-us:IE-SearchBox&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8&sourceid=ie7&rlz=1I7GGLL_en

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