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A journalists view

Adelina’s verdict…To tell the truth I was convinced I’d beat the test

By Adelina Campos

I was a little sceptical about the lie detector test before I took it.

I’m not usually a good liar. Nonetheless I was convinced that I could somehow cheat the polygraph test. After all I was only going to answer a simple question to check if the examiner could catch me out.

We couldn’t do a full test as that would have taken hours, but this gave me a good idea of what examinees face when they take a proper test.

As I settled on a movement mat, I was asked to give a list of seven countries where I may have been born. (The examiner who did not know the correct answer would determine the correct answer by my determining which answer I was lying to). To make it more challenging (for the examiner), I decided to name countries where I had previously lived as I expected that announcing would cause some sort of physiological reaction.

I was then wired up and told to focus on an area on the white wall facing me. Although the test was not going to have any repercussion on my life- I wasn’t being screened for any potential misbehaviour- I immediately felt my heartbeat go up when the test started.

The examiner asked me “Regarding the country of your birth, was it…? Nd named each country with an interval of thirty seconds or so between each. I had to reply “no” to each one. I made sure not to regulate my breathing and to keep as still as possible so as not to give myself away.

Each country was then repeated to me, and by the end of it I was sure that there was no way the examiner could know where I was born. After all my accent and my nationalities give no indication of my place of birth and I hadn’t even mentioned them.

But to my surprise the examiner confirmed straight awaythat I was born in a small African nation. While my body had reacted to each country’s name- some more than offers- my heartbeat slowed considerably once the name of my birth country was mentioned. This was the sign that told the examiner I had been relieved once I had uttered the lie.

I was quite impressed that the device could pick up on something so minor and that the examiner understood my behaviour so well.

Printed in the Irish Sunday Mirror 2nd December 2012