Medical Regulation and Junk-Science: The “Medical Sanctification” of Lie-Detectors byMedical Boards and State Physician Health Programs

Disrupted Physician

Junk-Science in the Medical Profession: The Resurgence of Polygraph “Lie-Detection” in an age of Evidence-Based Medicine.

33755_1527129670651_5081648_n Circa 1995

The article below was published in the now defunct magazine Gray Areas almost twenty years ago. (Vol. 4, No. 1, Spring 1995 pp. 75-77).  It is not a research article but a critique of the use of polygraphy written for a general audience. founder George Maschke noted in 2008 that the article “makes a good introduction to the pseudoscience of polygraphy” and “the criticisms of polygraphy remain valid today.”  The basic assumption of any good test is that is has construct validity; that it is actually measuring what it is purported to measure.   Polygraphy is purported to detect lies but the specificity and sensitivity are about the same as a toss of a coin and has the potential to cause a great deal of harm to those who are…

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