Latest Issue of Science News


Feature

The Truth Hurts

Scientists question voice-based lie detection

Truster-Pro and the Vericator may sound like devices Wile E. Coyote would order from the Acme Co., but they are real technologies for detecting lies. Unlike the traditional polygraph, which zeroes in on factors such as pulse and breathing rate, these analyzers aim to assess veracity based solely on speech.

Police departments shell out thousands of dollars on such devices — known collectively as voice stress analyzers — in an attempt to tune in to vocal consequences of lying. Airports are considering versions for security screening purposes, and insurance companies may employ the polygraph alternatives to detect fraud.

Note: To comment, Science News subscribing members must now establish a separate login relationship with Disqus. Click the Disqus icon below, enter your e-mail and click “forgot password” to reset your password. You may also log into Disqus using Facebook, Twitter or Google.

X
This article is available only to subscribing members. Join SSP today or Log in.