Hacker News new | past | comments | ask | show | jobs | submit login

> Although it is not a silver bullet, it certainly has its applications, especially if the person being interviewed believes it works.

The whole premise of a lie-detector test is that they are marketed to end user and the public at large as being both accurate and "scientific." That they yield results better than chance isn't particularly relevant: they are not what the sellers and users of them claim they are. The conclusions drawn from the readings of the machines are only loosely based on anything scientific and depend heavily on the interviewer's own personal biases. Yet they determine the fate of people's lives all the time.

Most science isn't accurate, that's why it's filled with p-values. They're often only reporting the mere hint of an effect which allows them to distinguish between a control and experimental population.

Polygraphs are almost certainly not reliable enough to convict someone on, but it's not admissible in court. That doesn't mean it can't be used to help coerce a confession or help lead an investigation. And the fact that you won't face up to the extraordinary amount of evidence showing that it can be useful suggests stubborn ignorance on your behalf.

Applications are open for YC Winter 2020

Guidelines | FAQ | Support | API | Security | Lists | Bookmarklet | Legal | Apply to YC | Contact