Lie Detectors Are Selling Like Crazy (True)

“In the past few years both the methods of ‘lie detection’ and the polygraph itself have been subjected to increasing scrutiny. Although the polygraph was developed as an aid in police work, enterprising practitioners have long since discovered new applications for the device, and since about 1950 the polygraph has become firmly established in industry and government. There are some 500 commercial polygraph firms. Many companies retain polygraph examiners not only to investigate specific losses but also to conduct routine preemployment interviews in an attempt to identify applicants who are likely to be disloyal to the company. Outside the Federal Government the polygraph remains largely uncontrolled. So far only Illinois, Kentucky and New Mexico have adopted legislation requiring polygraph operators to be licensed.” —Scientific American, January 1967 More gems from Scientific American’s first 175 years can be found on our anniversary archive page.

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“In the past few years both the methods of ‘lie detection’ and the polygraph itself have been subjected to increasing scrutiny. Although the polygraph was developed as an aid in police work, enterprising practitioners have long since discovered