Tabloid talk shows would have us believe that polygraph tests reliably inform us of the truth. The fallout from these results plays out in front of a live audience for our viewing pleasure. But in reality, lie detector tests are not dependable - a report by the American Polygraph Association found that polygraphs fail about 15% of the time.
Just as we assume Jeremy Kyle will offer us definitive proof about his guests’ shenanigans, many expect hair drug and alcohol testing to provide a concrete answer, too. Unlike polygraphs, hair testing delivers conclusive results; 99% of the time. However, the result (a yes or no as to whether there are drugs in the system of the person we test) is not the full story. The details of use and the interpretations can be less clear.