ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

How Aldrich Ames Beat the Lie Detector Test

Updated on March 19, 2012
Aldrich Ames
Aldrich Ames

Who is Aldrich Ames?

During the mid 80s through the mid 90s (the height of the Cold War), the Russians paid $4.6 million dollars to Aldrich Ames.

Ames was a spy (CIA Agent) who later pleaded guilty to espionage, which involved selling secrets to the Russians.

In conjunction with selling out his country, Ames' greatest claim to fame was that he passed at least two lie detector tests while he was selling secrets to the Russians.

How the Lie Detector Test Works

The lie detector test is based on four emotional components. Interpreting or appraising a stimulus, subjective feeling, the occurrence of various psychological responses, and the occurrence of overt behavior(s). The following is a breakdown of how these emotional components work to power the lie detector test:

Interpreting or Appraising a Stimulus

In this component, Ames would have to have fielded questions such as "Have you ever sold secrets to Russia?"

Subjective Feeling

This component will measure whether or not Ames felt guilt or fear when giving answers to the questions he was asked.

Occurrence of Various Psychological Responses

In this case, if Ames felt guilt when asked a specific question, his feeling of guilt would have been accompanied by psychological responses such as sweaty palms, high blood pressure, increase in heart rate, etc.

Occurrence of Overt Behavior

This component would detect and measure whether or not Ames displayed any overt physical behavior such as facial expressions or tics.

The Theory Behind the Polygraph Test

Lie Detector tests are based on the theory tat, if a person tells a lie, he or she will feel some emotion, such as guilt or fear. The feelings of guilt and fear will be accompanied by involuntary physiological responses, which are difficult to suppress or control and can be measured with a machine called a polygraph.

A polygraph is about the size of a notebook computer. It measures chest and abdominal movement during respiration, heart rate, blood pressure, and skin conductance.

Sometimes, the machine will measure changes in the sweating of the palms and fingers that accompany emotional experiences and are completely independent of perspiration under normal temperatures, this is referred to as the galvanic skin response.

Back to Aldrich Ames

As you can see from the information above, it would be quite difficult to beat the polygraph. Scant details were released about how Ames accomplished his feat.

We believe Ames studied the theory behind the test and he accomplished the seemingly insurmountable task of controlling emotions and responses that are involuntary for the vast majority of us.

Currently, Ames is serving a lifetime sentence for his crimes against his country. However he did it, we do know today that Aldrich Ames successfully passed two lie detector tests with a mouth full of lies.


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)