By Chanel Martinez, Guest Blogger-
For over 100 years, the polygraph has been a source of fascination and curiosity. In recent times, other credibility assessment tools have emerged. Although commonly linked to criminal investigations and high-risk interrogations, these tools could also serve a purpose in educational environments.
Educational institutions have long used a variety of methods to avert plagiarism and cheating. Should lie detectors be used to confirm the honesty of statements from students, teachers, and staff members? Such use within an educational context raises important questions about ethics and privacy.
Some students struggling to complete their assignments can seek help from reputable writing services rather than getting caught with plagiarized academic papers. Some are tapping into artificial intelligence sources to jump start creativity.
Principle of Lie Detector Tests
Underlying lie detection technology is the concept that when a person lies, specific physiological changes occur within the body due to stress, anxiety and cognitive effort. Changes in heart rate, blood pressure, skin conductivity, and pupil dilation are some of these changes.
When someone is dishonest, their body goes through an instinctive ‘fight or flight’ reaction. This involuntary response triggers the activation of the sympathetic nervous system and induces various physiological reactions.
To record and analyze bodily responses, sensors or instruments are used to measure and record such changes. In the case of polygraph, trained examiners evaluate these measurements to detect potential signs of dishonesty by observing patterns and relevant irregularities. In the case of EyeDetect®, tests are computerized and scored by algorithm.
Supporters of lie detection technology claim these physical alterations serve as a sign of deceit, while opponents argue such reactions can also be elicited by factors not related to falsehood, like unease or dread, resulting in potential inconsistencies in the test results.
During testing, physiological changes are monitored during questioning about a topic of concern and during times when questions unrelated to the issue are posed to establish a baseline state. Computers measure and record data and analyze the results detect patterns of behavior.
Alternative Assessment Methods
Educational institutions have long recognized the need for alternative assessment methods to address plagiarism and cheating. A widely practiced strategy involves the creation and implementation of academic integrity policies. These policies set forth transparent criteria regarding honesty, plagiarism, and the ramifications of violating academic integrity. They serve as a prevention measure by emphasizing the gravity of ethical conduct and the substantial punishments for violating these principles.
In addition, some use plagiarism detection software to recognize occurrences of plagiarism by matching submitted assignments with an extensive database of scholarly sources. This technology can pinpoint similarities in writing styles and content, presenting educators with significant evidence for further scrutiny.
Also, supervised testing is used, which requires candidates to take assessments in controlled conditions while monitored by proctors, guaranteeing assessment credibility. To prevent cheating, these exams monitor students throughout the entire testing process.
Educational institutions can create a climate that encourages academic honesty and deters cheating by integrating alternative assessment methods alongside educational initiatives prioritizing the appreciation for authentic work, critical thinking skills development, and proper citation techniques.
While lie detector tests have been utilized across various sectors, some say that use in education to identify plagiarism and cheating presents obstacles and ethical concerns. The irony is that educational institutions use a variety of other methods to detect dishonesty. Would the use of lie detection tests to tackle academic misconduct erode the principles of trust and fairness more than current methods?
Use of new technology seems a likely alternative as past methods have been subverted by clever students. At the same time, organizing integrity workshops, implementing academic integrity policies, and fostering classroom discussions could help. Such initiatives give students a comprehensive understanding of why honesty is crucial and what ramifications cheating can bring about.
Photo by /Dom Fou