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Polygraph to Star in Reality TV Show

Posted Aug 20, 2007 4:42 PM CDT
By Molly McDonough

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Get your remotes ready and TiVo set. America is about to see what has television viewers in Colombia and 23 other countries choosing their answers carefully.

Fox TV has announced it is picking up a new reality game show: Nothing But the Truth.

In the show, contestants are hooked up to a polygraph machine and quizzed on increasingly difficult personal questions. They keep winning until they tell a lie. If they get caught, they have family and friends in the studio audience to answer to, reports Reality TV World.

The show has apparently been a boon to private polygraph companies. But Steven Drizin at Bluhm Blog notes his concern that the potential popularity of the show, and of polygraph devices in general, will overshadow the issue of false results, especially when a subject is asked sensitive questions.

Drizin, director of the Center on Wrongful Convictions at Northwestern University School of Law, also notes the role polygraphs can play in inducing false confessions. "The show could reinforce the belief that polygraphs are infallible in the minds of the unsuspecting and innocent suspect and thus make it easier to use the results to coerce a false confession," he wrote.

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