Special Reports

May 20, 2013

FBI turns away many applicants who fail lie-detector tests

Thousands of job applicants come to FBI offices every year, eager to work for the top law enforcement agency in the U.S. But many of them have their hopes dashed, and it’s not because of their work experience or education or criminal records. They’re turned down because they’ve failed their polygraph tests. The FBI’s policy of barring applicants who fail their polygraph tests clashes with the view of many scientists that government agencies shouldn’t rely on polygraph testing to decide whether to hire or fire someone.

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