Polygrapher's Dilemma or Psychologist's Chimaera: A Reply to Furedy's Logico-ethical Considerations for Psychophysiological Practitioners and Researchers

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We respond to Furedy's article in this journal where he raised an issue he referred to as the “Polygrapher's dilemma” (Furedy J.J. (1993) Int. J. Psychophysiol., 15: 263–267). Furedy claimed that the control question test, the most commonly applied psychophysiological detection of deception test, is inherently subjective and harmful to subjects in both the field and the laboratory. Fortunately, Furedy's arguments were based on inaccurate representations of the control question test and on flawed logic. To correct Furedy's misrepresentations, we present an accurate description of how the control question test is used and evaluated. We then examine the results of empirical research that address Furedy's concerns. Furedy's concerns are found to be lacking on almost all counts. Finally, we discuss the findings from several studies that Furedy failed to mention but are directly relevant to the issues he raised.