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假如公司要求测谎 里边可能有这层道理

更新时间:2018-11-21 20:10:05 来源:纽约时报中文网 作者:佚名

If your boss asked you to take a polygraph test, would you?
假如公司要求测谎 里边可能有这层道理

In the widely-watched hearings last week on the confirmation of US Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, the word “polygraph” came up more than once.

在备受关注的美国最高法院大法官候选人卡瓦诺(Brett Kavanaugh)提名听证会上,有一个词反复出现:测谎仪。

US President Donald Trump has nominated the senior judge for a lifetime appointment to the Supreme Court – America’s highest court, with the final word on controversial topics ranging from abortion to gay marriage. But sexual assault allegations have slowed his confirmation. It’s been during Senate committee hearings that polygraphs have been mentioned.

美国总统特朗普提名卡瓦诺任美国联邦最高法院大法官,这是个终身职务。美国联邦最高法院对美国许多重大争议的问题,包括堕胎、同性恋婚姻等等,掌握着最终裁决权。由于性侵指控,卡瓦诺的提名迟迟未能通过。参议院委员会听证会上提到了测谎仪。

These are the “lie detector” tests that are supposed to flag when someone’s fudging the truth, based on physiological reactions that might be triggered as they’re being asked questions, like a spike in blood pressure.

测谎仪的原理是根据说谎可能引发的生理反应(比如血压骤升)来检测人们是否撒谎。

Polygraphs have come up because Dr Christine Blasey Ford submitted to a polygraph test following her accusation that Kavanaugh assaulted her when she was in high school. Kavanaugh, who denies the allegation, has not yet taken a polygraph test.

对卡瓦诺提出指控的福特博士(Christine Blasey Ford)接受了测谎。她指控卡瓦诺在她上高中时性侵了她。卡瓦诺否认指控,但拒绝接受测谎仪测试。

Polygraphs are often used in the US in criminal investigations or in intelligence gathering by the police or government agencies. The Kavanaugh hearings, meanwhile, have been described by senators involved in the hearings as a high-profile “job interview”.

在美国,测谎仪经常被警方或政府用于刑事调查或收集情报。参与听证会的参议员称,卡瓦诺的听证会是一次极高规格的“招聘面试”。

In many countries, administering polygraph tests as part of a job interview process or in other contexts is illegal. But hypothetically – in a world full of data trackers and employers scrutinising your every move – if your potential new boss asked you to complete a polygraph test, would you? If they’re looking for the absolute best person for the job, beyond a shadow of a doubt, why not?

在许多国家,面试或许多其他情况下使用测谎仪是违法的。但是,让我们设想一下,在一个到处都是数据跟踪器的世界,雇主随时监视着你的一举一动,你在求职,你未来的老板如果要你接受测谎,你怎么办?如果他们正在找肯定最适合这份工作的人,不得有丝毫疑问,为什么不可以?

What’s the big deal if you’ve got nothing to hide?

如果你没什么好隐瞒的,测谎又有什么大不了的?

Is it even legal?

合不合法?

That depends on where you live.

这取决于你生活在哪里。

In many countries, it isn’t. In the US, for example, they’ve been prohibited in the private sector workplace since 1988 under the Department of Labor’s Employee Polygraph Protection Act. (There are exceptions, of course, especially if you’re interviewing for a position in the government, security or intelligence communities.)

在许多国家,这都是不合法的。比如美国,美国劳工部(Department of Labor)颁布的《雇员测谎仪保护法》(Employee Polygraph Protection Act)就规定,自1988年起,私营部门的工作场所禁止使用测谎仪。(当然,凡事都有例外,尤其是如果你面试的是政府、安全部门或情报部门职位。)

In other places, there aren’t laws in place to protect employees from polygraph screenings, as in South Africa. They’re also allowed in job applicant screenings in Israel. Meanwhile, Kenya’s using them as part of its plan weed out corrupt politicians.

在其他地方,并没有法律保护员工不受测谎仪筛查,比如南非。以色列也允许在招聘面试中使用测谎仪。肯尼亚甚至把这视为打击腐败的工具。

Polygraph tests have existed since 1921, and are still widely used.

测谎仪诞生于1921年,至今仍被广泛使用。

“They can be very helpful in identifying issues and concerns that warrant further investigation and follow up,” says Jeffrey Feldman, a professor at the University of Washington School of Law in Seattle. “A negative result might not prompt you to throw out the candidate, but it reasonably would prompt you to investigate further.”

西雅图华盛顿大学法学院(University of Washington School of Law)教授费尔德曼(Jeffrey Feldman)表示:“在核实需要深入调查和跟进的问题时,测谎仪非常有用。如果测谎仪检测失败,你可能不会马上否决接受测试的人,但是会进一步调查。”

But whether or not polygraph tests are illegal in the workplace doesn’t really get at the bigger issues that could make them problematic in such a context, experts say.

但专家们认为,使用测谎仪在职场是否违法其实并未触及现实中一个更重大的问题。

“Basically, if you are hooked up to a lie detector, it is likely to signal to a potential employee that your employer does not trust you,” says Andre Spicer, professor of organisational behaviour at the Cass Business School at City University London. Applicants stand to lose “their dignity and sense of trust in their future employer”.

伦敦城市大学卡斯商学院(Cass Business School at City University London)组织行为学教授斯派塞(Andre Spicer)说:“测谎仪会向潜在员工发出这样的信号—你的老板不信任你。被要求接受测谎的人会觉得毫无尊严可言,会失去对未来雇主的信任。”

RIP, trust?

信任无存

Doug Williams is a former police officer and certified polygraph administrator in the US who says he’s administered over 6,000 polygraph tests. He’s written a book and taught classes on how to beat a polygraph test, and even served two years in prison in 2015 for being caught in a sting operation when he helped undercover agents beat a lie detector test.

威廉姆斯(Doug Williams)曾是美国一名警官,也是一名经认证的测谎员,自称主导过6000多次测谎仪测试。他写了一本关于如何欺骗测谎仪的书,甚至在2015年被判两年监禁,因为他帮助卧底警探成功骗过测谎仪,在一次诱捕行动中被抓获。

Why has he taken such a defiant stance against polygraph testing? To help people protect themselves, he says.

他对测谎仪为何如此抗拒?他说是为了帮助人们保护自己。

“It’s a multi-billion-dollar scam and it destroys [the] lives of literally millions of people,” he says. It’s “no more accurate than the toss of a coin”. Besides the manual he wrote, he says the internet is awash with tips on how people can relax themselves to control the physiological responses that supposedly hint when someone is lying, such as a racing pulse or sweating.

他说:“这是一个价值数十亿美元的骗局,摧毁了数百万人的生活。它的准确性并不比掷硬币高。”他还说,除了他那本教人欺骗测谎仪的手册,互联网上也到处都是各种各样的技巧提示,教人们在测谎时如何放松,控制生理反应。这些生理反应被认为是说谎的征兆,比如心跳加速或出汗。

But in his decades of giving polygraph tests and studying them, Williams says the device is little more than a tool to intimidate people, which could lead to problems if they ever ended up in a workplace.

通过长达数十年的测谎试验和研究,威廉姆斯认为这种设备不过是一种用来唬人的东西,如果人们真的在工作场所中使用测谎仪,很有可能带来一些问题。

It’s “a psychological billy club [truncheon] that coerces and intimidates a person into a confession. It scares the hell out of people,” he says. “I would never work for a company that requires polygraphs, because they’re starting the entire relationship off as an adversarial proceeding.”

威廉姆斯说,这就像"心理上的警棍,通过威胁和羞辱迫使人招供。我绝不会为使用测谎仪的公司工作,因为他们从一开始就认为人与人之间的关系是敌对的。"

So, are bosses using polygraph tests more as an assessment tactic rather than a way of finding truthful answers to difficult questions? Or is it more a measure of whether candidates can handle this kind of extreme stress?

那么,老板们是否只是将测谎仪视为一种评估策略,而不是寻求解决难题方案的一种手段?抑或是为了衡量候选人能否应对这种压力?

Susan Stehlik is a professor of management communication at New York University. She likens office polygraphs to a “stress test” for young applicants she observed as an independent consultant for a major hedge fund.

纽约大学管理传播学教授斯特利克(Susan Stehlik)把办公室测谎仪比作是针对年轻应聘者的"压力测试"。作为一家大型对冲基金的独立顾问,她通过工作中的观察得出这一结论。

“They’d say to a student, with four or five senior people in the room, give me the square root of 563,000,” she says. She says their rationale was: “’Well, if you’re going to be a trader, you need to know numbers.’”

她说:“通常屋里坐着四、五名高管,面试官会要求学生说出563000的平方根。这样做的理由是,如果你想成为一名交易员,就必须对数字烂熟。”

But Stehlik says such an obscure trial doesn’t actually give any clues about how people will perform on the job.

但斯特利克认为,这样一种很不精确的测试实际上并没有提供任何线索帮助你了解人们的工作表现。

Williams thinks the only thing an office polygraph could prove, besides whether someone is nervous or embarrassed and has a fast heart rate and fails the test, would be whether someone is a hardened liar who could pass the test without moving any needles.

威廉姆斯认为,除了能看出一个人是紧张或是尴尬、心率过快、测试不合格之外,办公室测谎仪唯一能够证明的就是一个人是否撒谎成精,撒谎时能让测谎仪指针纹丝不动,完美地通过测试。

A toxic work environment

工作环境

Stehlik likens an adoption of polygraph screening to the widespread mandatory drug tests in the cocaine-fuelled 1980s, a big push by then-US President Ronald Reagan. She thinks it’s crucial for businesses to ask themselves: why are you doing this? Because there was one problem employee? Will everyone have to take it?

上世纪80年代,由于可卡因泛滥,许多员工被强制进行药检,得到世任美国总统里根(Ronald Reagan)的大力支持。斯特利克认为,测谎仪的应用就跟那时的强制药检一样。她认为,企业应该扪心自问 — 为什么要这样做?难道仅仅因为有一个问题员工,所以其他所有的人都要接受测谎吗?

“It’s just adding more to the distrust we have between employer and employee,” she says. Moreover, she adds, what do you do with the people who fail? Rehab? Fire them? A slap on the wrist?

她表示:“这只会加剧老板与员工之间的不信任。"而且,她补充道,”你该如何对待那些没有通过测谎的人呢?叫他们去治疗?炒鱿鱼?还是给他们一记耳光?“

These kinds of tests could allow managers to exercise more control over potential workers, says Dan Cable, professor of organisational behaviour at London Business School.

伦敦商学院(London Business School)组织行为学教授凯布尔(Dan Cable)表示,这类测试可以让管理者加强对潜在员工的控制。

“It gets squirrely when you start asking people about the life choices that they’ve made that aren’t work-related.“You don’t know what they’re going to ask you,” Cable says. “It’s like Meet the Parents. The surprise attack part of it is the big difference,” he says.

他说:”当你开始问别人与工作无关的生活选择时,这真的很奇怪。你根本不知道他们会问什么,就像《拜见岳父大人》那部电影里的一样。这里的关键就是出其不意,攻其不备。“

But the polygraph can actually help employees in some cases, says Australian Polygraph Services director Steve van Aperen. In Australia, workplace polygraph tests are legal in most states – but only if the employees consent.

不过,澳大利亚测谎仪服务公司(Australian Polygraph Services)总监艾培伦(Steve van Aperen)表示,实际上,测谎仪有时候对员工有帮助。在澳大利亚,职场测谎在大多数州都是合法的,但前提是必须得到员工的同意。

Most people might think of a lie detector test being used by bosses to unearth criminal or unethical behaviour, it can also protect workers from false allegations.

大多数人可能认为老板用测谎仪是为了揭露犯罪或不道德行为,但其实它也可以保护员工免受诬陷。

“I get more calls from employees who say ‘look, I’ve been falsely accused of this, it’s not true – I want to tell the truth,’” says van Aperen.

艾培伦说:”很多雇员会打电话给我,告诉我说,‘我被诬陷了,这不是真的 — 我说的是实话。‘“

Studies show that if you refuse to reveal information about yourself, it could backfire. A 2015 Harvard University study showed that in seven experiments in which participants in an online survey were presented with questionnaires from hypothetical mates and employees who withheld unflattering information about themselves – drug use, bad grades, sexual history – the participants judged them more harshly than those who confessed to bad behaviour “across decisions ranging from whom to date to whom to hire”.

研究表明,如果你拒绝透露自己的信息,结果可能会适得其反。哈佛大学在2015年进行了一项研究,包括七项实验,参与者在网上收到关于假想配偶和雇员的调查问卷,这些假设的人员在问卷中隐瞒了自己不光彩的历史,比如说吸毒、成绩不好、性经历等等。结果表明,实验参与者在决定与谁约会、聘用谁时,对这些不老实的人的评价比那些坦诚自己行为不良的人更苛刻严厉。

The study showed that it might be human nature to be more suspicious of people reluctant to divulge personal details than of people who disclosed bad behaviour up front. “When faced with decisions about disclosure, decision-makers should be aware not just of the risk of revealing,” the study says, “but of what hiding reveals.”

这项研究表明,可能是人之天性,会觉得不愿透露个人信息的人比事先坦率告知不良行为的人更可疑。研究结论是,”在决定是否应该披露信息时,决策者不仅应该意识到披露的风险,还应该意识到隐瞒行为所透露的信息。“

How much should employers know about you?

We live in a world where your boss can track your every move and monitor your data. Some people may feel they have nothing to hide – they may not care about their privacy or about taking a lie detector test. They might shrug and think, I really need this job.

我们生活所在的当今世界,老板可以追踪你的一举一动,并能监控你的数据。对此,有些人可能觉得自己没什么好隐瞒的,并不介意暴露隐私或者接受测谎。他们可能会不屑一顾地耸耸肩,心想:”我不能失去这份工作。“

But it’s worth considering what would happen if polygraph tests at work became more widespread.

不过,如果测谎仪在职场中的应用越来越普遍,那我们就不得不思考一下这可能带来的后果。

“If most employees agree to take a lie detection test, then there would naturally come to be some suspicion of those who refuse to take it,” posits Nick Bostrom, ethics professor at the University of Oxford. “Refusal would send a bad signal – it suggests you have something to hide.”

牛津大学(University of Oxford)伦理学教授博斯特罗姆(Nick Bostrom)指出,“如果大多数员工都同意接受测谎,那么那些拒绝测谎的员工自然就会受到怀疑;拒绝测谎会发出负面信号,暗示你想隐瞒一些事情。”

As for the results themselves? There’s no hard data on the accuracy or success rate of polygraph tests. Many courts don’t allow the results to be submitted as evidence.

至于测谎结果本身呢?并没有精确的数据可以证明测谎仪的准确性和成功率。许多法院不允许将测谎结果作为证据提交。

“Polygraph tests are quite unreliable, but a weak clue might be better than no clue” in the minds of some employers, Bostrom says. “Results need to be combined with other sources of evidence, and not trusted blindly.”

博斯特罗姆说:“测谎仪其实非常不可靠,但有些雇主会觉得即使如此也聊胜于无。所以测谎结果应该跟其他证据结合起来综合分析,不能盲目相信。”

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