Monday, December 30, 2013

Voice stress analysis: Described as "scientific junk" by Justin J. McShane on his feisty, provocative blog "The truth about forensic science." (Must Read. HL);

POST: "Voice stress analysis challenges," by Justin J. McShane, posted on "The truth about forensic science," on December 19, 2013.

GIST: "The speculation behind how Voice Stress Analysis (VSA) works is based upon the following premise: liars experience more psychological stress when lying than truth tellers do when they tell the truth. The notion is that this psychological stress results in minor changes in the blood circulation, which subsequently influences various characteristics of the voice. This is where they employ an instrument known as a Psychological Stress Evaluator and use microphones attached to a computer to detect and display intensity, frequency, pitch, harmonics or (my favorite) microtremors. It is used in the workplace and even in some police investigations today including the recent high-profile case of George Zimmerman’s shooting of Trayvon Martin. There is absolutely no empirical validity to any of the above assertions by the VSA community. None.........The National Research Council in 2003 concluded that “although proponents of voice stress analysis claim high levels of accuracy, empirical research on the validity of the technique has been far from encouraging.” The US Department of Defense Polygraph Institute conducted a controlled study and found it to be inferior to the polygraph and slightly above random chance in the detection of lies.So, it is scientific junk. Why does it persist as an investigative tool? Beats me.

The entire post can be found at:

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