Statistical Science

In Search of the Magic Lasso: The Truth About the Polygraph

Stephen E. Fienberg and Paul C. Stern

Full-text: Open access

Abstract

In the wake of controversy over allegations of espionage by Wen Ho Lee, a nuclear scientist at the Department of Energy’s Los Alamos National Laboratory, the department ordered that polygraph tests be given to scientists working in similar positions. Soon thereafter, at the request of Congress, the department asked the National Research Council (NRC) to conduct a thorough study of polygraph testing’s ability to distinguish accurately between lying and truth-telling across a variety of settings and examinees, even in the face of countermeasures that may be employed to defeat the test. This paper tells some of the story of the work of the Committee to Review the Scientific Evidence on the Polygraph, its report and the reception of that report by the U.S. government and Congress.

Article information

Source
Statist. Sci. Volume 20, Number 3 (2005), 249-260.

Dates
First available in Project Euclid: 24 August 2005

Permanent link to this document
https://projecteuclid.org/euclid.ss/1124891292

Digital Object Identifier
doi:10.1214/088342305000000223

Mathematical Reviews number (MathSciNet)
MR2196245

Zentralblatt MATH identifier
1100.62622

Keywords
Bayes theorem lie detector meta-analysis ROC curves sensitivity specificity tabular reporting

Citation

Fienberg, Stephen E.; Stern, Paul C. In Search of the Magic Lasso: The Truth About the Polygraph. Statist. Sci. 20 (2005), no. 3, 249--260. doi:10.1214/088342305000000223. https://projecteuclid.org/euclid.ss/1124891292.


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References

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