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Book reviews for "Lykken,_David_Thoreson" sorted by average review score:

A Tremor in the Blood: Uses and Abuses of the Lie Detector
Published in Hardcover by McGraw-Hill (1981)
Authors: David Thorson. Lykken and David Thoreson Lykken
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A tremor in the blood uses and abuses of the lie detector.
Dr Lykken is one of the only scientists who has done any research on polygraph that draws a half negative conclusion other researchers like Dr Raskin totally disagree with him. This book is interesting reading and contradictory in its content. On the one hand Dr Lykken says that polygraphs don't work and on the other he promotes a guilty knowledge test using the same polygraph as a good way to detect guilty knowledge. He invented this test so he promotes it in this book as the best type of polygraph test. I found this book to be very biased and not very convincing due to the fact he contradicts himself a lot. While it is true mistakes are made using polygraph it is no different than any other forensic method as nothing in forensics is 100% accurate. While Dr Lykken makes some good points it is obvious he makes a living out of producing anti-polygraph material. If what he states in this book where tottally true the NSA,CIA,FBI,Police and law enforcement agencies across the US would not rely so heavily upon them.

Nails in the Coffn of the Polygraph Myth
The word science has been associated with all sorts of hogwash and chicanery, none more harmful than the myth that there is a machine that will reliably detect lying. I know of no better example of [pseudo] science than the continued use of the polygraph.

As I write in my book, "Communication Research" (2003; p 411; Allyn & Bacon), "[Lykken's] book should receive a Pulitzer prize. It is must reading for anyone who has an association with lie detectors or polygraphs ...or for anyone who would like to go on an intellectual joy ride while swooping to an understanding of how an entire society can be duped by pseudo "science." Lyken reviews virtually all known research about lie detection with brilliant scientific rigor. He concludes [as does the National Academy of Sciences in a recently published independent report] that there exists no credible empirical evidence"... for the test's validity (Hocking et. al.; 2003; p 411; Allyn & Bacon).

I challenge anyone to read Lykken's review of polygraph research and disagree with his conclusion that "it is madness for courts or federal police or security agencies to rely on polygraph results" or that the mythology surrounding the test is a deeply entrenched mythology similar to children believing in Santa Claus or the Easter Bunny (p 279 - Lyyken).

Lykken's book is written with the rigor and documentation of a first rate college text, yet is fascinating and readable. It is an important work, one of the best and most valuable books I have read in 30 years of teaching social research methodologoly at the university level.

Five stars are not enough to do Professor Lyyken's work justice.

Finally a book that brakes the legend of the polygraph
Having been accused of a crime I didn't commit just because I failed a lie detector test, it was a big reveal for me to see that some people do believe that the polygraph test is bogus. Dr Lykken's book proves that with a polygraph test everything can happen : an innoscent person can look guilty, and a guilty person can look innoscent. The machine doesn't show you if you lie, it only shows you if you are nervous. Through several cases, the book shows you how Americans have had a blind believe it the device, ever since it was invented and how innoscent people have been sent to jail because of it (but they have been released later, when REAL evidence was found). I recomment everybody to read this very informative book.

Happiness: The Nature and Nurture of Joy and Contentment
Published in Paperback by Griffin Trade Paperback (2000)
Authors: David Thoreson Lykken and David, Dr. Lykken
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