Our expert says:
I assume you are asking about the reliability of these methods in trying to elicit evidence in a court case or criminal investigation ? Because a polygraph is not used in treating people. The first point is that NEITHER are reliable enough to be accepted as evidence in many jurisdictions, but a polygraph is the more reliable and polygraph evidence is listened to in some courts of law. The problem is that NOTHING measures truthfulness. A polygraph picks up your degree of arousal and nervousness only --- so a very nervous innocent could look guilty, and a brazen liar could look innocent. Hypnosis is actually of very limited use, and evidence elicited by hypnosis is rightly not admitted in Court --- it produces MORE "memories" or recollections, but a mixture of true, distorted and totally false "memories", with nothing to distinguish one from the other. And the process renders the person extremely suggestiable to picking up even faint cues from the interogator / interviewer as to what HE expects their answer to be. There is no substitute for good detective work, and for a very skilled interviewer, skilled at eliciting information without, deliberately or accidentally, pushing HIS expectations into what the person being interviewed is saying.
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