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" Fiction is obliged to stick to possibilities. Truth isn't "

Twain, Mark


 
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Tuesday, 26 August 2008 02:44

We are pleased to welcome you to TruthChecker!  The goal of this website is to serve as an information clearinghouse on topics related to truth and deception.  Our mission is to provide accurate information to researchers, consumers, vendors and those who simply wish to know more about truth and deception.  

The website is divided into three main sections:

1.  Definitions and Research

The Definitions subsection provides an overview of attitudes towards truth and deception in Western cultures, from ancient history to the present day.  One of the earliest statements about the importance of truth comes from the Old Testament imperative:  "Thou shalt not bear false witness".  Amongst the Greek philosophers, we see differing views in the works of Plato, who asserted that leaders were entitled to deceive for the good of the community, and Aristotle, who felt that lying degraded one's moral character under any circumstances.  In American culture, the line between liar and truth teller is used to separate villains--Benedict Arnold--from heroes--George Washington.

On the lite side, you will find a quotations list and facts about famous deceivers and truthtellers of times past.

The Research subsection contains popular and scholarly references to research in deception detection from a variety of sources.  Most research in this area is currently conducted in laboratory studies by experimental psychologists.  However, you will also find a handful of studies based on "real world" sources such as police interviews, legal depositions and congressional testimony. 

Links to recent articles in the popular press are listed here as well.


2. Applied Current Technology lists organizations that provide services and technologies for deception detection. The main categories are:

Statement analysis - a method for identifying deception indicators in spoken and written language.  Statement analysis is an exciting research area.  It has been widely studied in western Europe, less so in the United States.  Various approaches have been developed in North America for law enforcement applications such as the analysis of suspect and witness statements.  

Computer voice stress analysis(CVSA) - technologies that measure variations in voice and muscle frequencies.  Voice stress devices have been purchased by many law enforcement organizations in the US to assist in suspect and witness interviews. Although gaining in popularity, their efficacy and accuracy are a matter of dispute among those who have developed and tested them.

Polygraph testing - the traditional lie detector, which measures variations in galvanic skin response, blood pressure, breathing rate and other physiological responses to stress.  In the hands of a skilled examiner, the polygraph has proved to be a productive investigative tool. However, like statement analysis and voice stress analysis, it is not admissible as courtroom evidence.

Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI) - a new technology that measures brain activity to distinguish deceptive from truthful answers.  Laboratory tests of brain imaging and deception detection suggest that this will be an important technology.  It remains to be seen whether the considerable cost and expertise required for fMRI's can be offset by its success in 'real world' application.

Personality/Honesty Tests - often used in hiring and employee assessment, these tests are aimed at determining the likelihood of deceptive or dishonest behavior.

3. TruthChecker Blog

Keep up with the latest developments and opinions!

Last Updated on Thursday, 30 September 2010 13:52
 
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