Empirical research on the validity of the polygraph, voice stress analysis, and paper and pencil instruments as mechanisms for the detection of deception is reviewed. It is noted that while these devices have their greatest use in the employment context, virtually all research has been done in an actual or simulated criminal investigation context. Three separate uses of devices for the detection of deception in the employment context are identified, namely, pre‐employment screening, periodic screening of current employees, and investigation into a specific theft. Differences between each of these uses and the criminal investigation context are identified, and issues limiting the generalizability of research findings from one context to another are raised. Among the issues are the effects of a low base rate of guilt on accuracy, the effects of making multiple judgments on overall accuracy, and the potential for racial or ethnic bias in judgments of guilt or innocence.
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|Published - Sep 1979