Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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My First Lie Detector

The ultimate playground-fight referee.
  (+10, -5)
(+10, -5)
  [vote for,

Did the kid in the back of the classroom really say a bad word behind the teacher's back? Was Jeremy really the first kid to sneak into the girls' bathroom? When your five-year-old hit another kid, was it really "a accident"?

With My First Lie Detector, find out for sure!

Such a device would be easy to use, painless to the subject, and reliable. Results would be visible instantly. And in situations involving multiple offenders, the comparison of lie-detector results would paint the kind of testimonial picture that teachers, parents, and assorted caregivers would need, in order to properly administer justice.

Best of all, you'd probably only need to use the thing once or twice for maximum effect. Once children understand that an objective device can determine the veracity of their statements, the popularity of tattling will plunge!

1percent, Jun 11 2001

Point http://www.polygraph.com/
"How to Sting the Polygraph!" [egnor, Jun 11 2001, last modified Oct 21 2004]

Counterpoint http://www.truthorlie.com/
Equal access. [egnor, Jun 11 2001, last modified Oct 21 2004]

AntiPolygraph.org http://www.antipolygraph.org/
A good starting point for anti-polygraph information. [egnor, Jun 11 2001, last modified Oct 21 2004]

Matell Lie Detector game from the 60ies. http://www.samstoyb...LieSpyDetector.html
Probably what [mcdornan1] remembers, a card game with a few mechanical (!) gimmicks, not quite what this idea describes. [jutta, Jun 11 2001]

Concept sketch: Teen Girl Lie Detector game http://www.sometime.../detector_girls.jpg
From illustrators sometimesy.com for Toy-Knowlogy, a technical engineering firm in Half Moon Bay, CA. "Truth or dare" will never be the same. [jutta, Jun 11 2001]

Bowman Electronics Toy Lie Detector kit http://www.chss.mon...~pererat/q_lie3.jpg
Like the next two, these are simple galvanic skin response meters. [jutta, Jun 11 2001]

Science Fair Lie Detector Kit http://www.chss.mon...pererat/q_lie20.jpg
Easy-to-assemble / liven up any party / fun for all age groups. [jutta, Jun 11 2001]

Marlin Toy Company Lie Detector from the 50ies. http://www.chss.mon...pererat/q_lie1a.jpg
The drawings on the scale go from "angel" (left) to "devil" (right). [jutta, Jun 11 2001]

Museum of Quack Medical Electrotherapy Instruments http://www.chss.mon...~pererat/mquack.htm
More about the last three links. (Search for "lie detector".) [jutta, Jun 11 2001]

Lie Detector Glasses http://www.eetimes....ry/OEG20040116S0046
[theircompetitor, Oct 04 2004, last modified Oct 21 2004]


       one damn good idea, probably baked though
dekoi, Jun 11 2001

       Great title! Should be in the schools with the hair-raising Van deGraff early warning puberty detector.
reensure, Jun 11 2001

       Brilliant. Ideas like this remind me why I visit the bakery. Easily one of my favorites.
iuvare, Jun 11 2001

       Please, no.   

       Polygraph tests are not perfect. They are not magic truth-sensing devices; they measure physiological reactions commonly associated with lying. They are particularly prone to false positives (reporting "lie" when the subject is telling the truth), especially if the subject has some other reason to be nervous about the line of questioning.   

       Polygraph tests are generally considered an invasion of privacy; their accuracy is controversial, and polygraph results are not accepted as evidence in court.   

       When used regularly, they benefit those who are happy to take advantage of others without compunction, and penalize those who are normally quietly nervous and full of self-doubt. This doesn't sound healthy for children.
egnor, Jun 12 2001

       baked: my mother!
mihali, Jun 12 2001

       egnor's got a point. I've had multiple meetings with my son's gradeschool principal, who seems determined that boys with Tom Sawyer/Dennis the Menace personalities will be either spiritually broken or expelled from the school--and an inconclusive lie test that could well show a false positive on a scared kid would *not* have helped matters. Damn, I'm steaming just thinking about it. Sorry, fishbone.
Dog Ed, Jun 12 2001

       Hmm, the point surely, is to use the device a few times when you already 'know' the truth. That way the kids will develop a profund belief in its unswerving accuracy.   

       After that, the mere threat of using it will be sufficient to elicit the truth; very handy when you're out of 'Truth Serum'.   

       (note to self: check expiry date on Truth Serum).
riposte, Jun 12 2001

       In answer to your point, riposte. What is the point of using such a device if you already know the answer. In that instance you're only using a lie ('the machine found out the truth') to catch a lie. What sort of a lesson is that for kids? Or adults for that matter? And I do hope that that's low-calorie, organic, vegetarian truth serum you're talking about or I aint taking none!
DrBob, Jun 12 2001

       <dogged idealism>Some kids judge authority figures based on the kids' own perception of 'fair' and 'unfair' behavior. A big problem in my son's case is that he has come to see the school principal as an unfair authority--one who applies rules rigidly as they are presented on paper without considering the spirit of the rule, extenuating circumstances, etc. (I agree with him, incidentally.) As DrBob notes, trying to trick kids in these matters backfires because some kids learn very quickly that a particular authority figure can act unscrupulously, and they no longer feel bound by that person's directives. A strict but scrupulously honest principal practically dragged one of my young relatives through high school despite pretty pronounced behavioral and learning disabilities, so I am not at all an educator-basher. The man did a stupendous job and deserves a medal of some sort, I swear.</dogged idealism>   

       If there were a wibni lie detector that never gave false readings, it would be a good tool for this purpose--but only a tool, as even in the presence of objective truth, subjective interpretations of an incident have to be weighed and considered.
Dog Ed, Jun 12 2001

       That's what I was getting at, riposte. Perhaps if the device truly were "My First Lie Detector", and used in preschools, caregivers could catch career liars at the very start of their long careers.   

       The prevailing wisdom of the thread is correct: it's hard to catch a practiced liar in the act, even with a lie detector. But the five-year-old liar wears the lie all over her face, so why not start there? Use the device in disciplining the preschool "hard cases" (kids who lurk in the back of the room, putting the yellow paint brushes in the blue paint, stealthily unraveling the naptime rugs), and perhaps the neophyte liars will take note.   

       It's got to be better than the alternative: installing a really mean, perceptive nun in every classroom. <shudder>
1percent, Jun 14 2001

       You know, you've got me pegged. The nun truly was the beginning of the end for me. The road started with a simple lie, but it ends here: ten-to-fifteen in a maximum-security prison.   

       Never should have tried to eat that kid.
1percent, Jun 14 2001

       Well, if you believe in the existence of Truth, and feel that the pursuit of Truth is justified, there are alternatives to retroactive methods such as lie detectors. A preventive approach involving multi-angle surveillance cameras and microphones all over the playground, hallways, and classrooms, as well as units mounted on each individual to accurately track his/her movements and utterances, would be more effective. If an altercation arises, simply rewind or replay to find out exactly what happened.   

       (I should like to note that, I, for one, do not believe in the existence of Truth.)
Dr Furtz, Jun 14 2001

       UnaBubba, you are showing great promise. Let me put it this way: as far as I can tell, truth does not exist. Unfortunately I cannot answer your question in more detail here as it would be unseemingly to hijack a discussion about lie detectors with a discourse on philosophy which can, if executed correctly, go on forever and ever.
Dr Furtz, Jun 14 2001

       Me - I love children.
Couldn't eat a whole one....
goff, Jun 14 2001

       The title is misleading in that it sounds like the kids' first lie detector,whereas it's for parents & other adults.There was a "Lie Detector" game in the US in the 60s.
mcdornan1, Jun 14 2001

       [waugsqueke] Yes, the point is that you never really know what is true and what isn't. [Steve Degroof] I suppose you could be right. But I'm not even sure the universe exists.
Dr Furtz, Jun 17 2001

       This is actually baked. While I was at Fry's Electronics, I saw "toy" lie detectors designed for children.
VeXaR, Jun 18 2001

       Are Fry's lie detectors designed for self administration? Anyway, I don't regard them as evidence of anything, but letting kids play with polygraph equipment can be a good thing anyway, since the ability to lie with a straight face (physiologically and otherwise speaking) could be a very handy skill to have when they become adults and have to make a living.
LoriZ, Nov 10 2001

       Could you not get one of these toy lie detectors and rig it to send a counter-voltage out to whatever it detected? You could get away with murder at school that way!
dare99, Nov 17 2001

       I couldn't find a better idea then this one to annotate for this -- but the link describes such a halfbakery device that it seemed a shame not to put it here somewhere.
theircompetitor, Jan 21 2004


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