Does the polygraph lead to better risk prediction for sexual offenders?

Gannon, Theresa A., Beech, Anthony R. and Ward, Tony 2008, Does the polygraph lead to better risk prediction for sexual offenders?, Aggression and violent behavior, vol. 13, no. 1, January-February, pp. 29-44, doi: 10.1016/j.avb.2007.08.001.

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Title Does the polygraph lead to better risk prediction for sexual offenders?
Author(s) Gannon, Theresa A.
Beech, Anthony R.
Ward, Tony
Journal name Aggression and violent behavior
Volume number 13
Issue number 1
Season January-February
Start page 29
End page 44
Publisher Elsevier Science
Place of publication New York, N. Y.
Publication date 2008-01
ISSN 1359-1789
Keyword(s) polygraph
sexual offenders
risk assessment
Summary The polygraph is receiving increased attention surrounding its ability to facilitate more honest disclosures from sexual offenders concerning risk-related information (e.g., historical risk factors and acute-dynamic risk factors). In addition, the polygraph has become accepted as a standard containment tool in the US, although UK professionals appear to have taken a more cautionary approach. The aim of this review is to provide a basic overview of current risk assessment procedure in the absence of the polygraph, and then to investigate studies that use the polygraph to enhance sexual offenders' risk assessments. Specifically, studies examining historical risk factors, stable-dynamic risk factors, and acute-dynamic risk factors are examined and evaluated. We conclude that there is reasonable evidence supporting polygraph use in some areas of risk assessment. However, the vast majority of studies suffers from serious confounds that should be taken into account by professionals who use the polygraph as a standard practice in sexual offender risk assessment and management. Finally, the future of the polygraph is discussed in light of the presented empirical evidence.
Language eng
DOI 10.1016/j.avb.2007.08.001
Field of Research 170199 Psychology not elsewhere classified
Socio Economic Objective 970117 Expanding Knowledge in Psychology and Cognitive Sciences
HERDC Research category C1.1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
Copyright notice ©2007, Elsevier Ltd.
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Document type: Journal Article
Collection: School of Psychology
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