The neuroscience of interrogation (Why torture doesn’t work) – New Scientist

As O’Mara emphasises, torture does not produce reliable information largely because of the severity with which it impairs the ability to think. Extreme pain, cold, sleep deprivation and fear of torture itself all damage memory, mood and cognition. Torture does not persuade people to make a reasoned decision to cooperate, but produces panic, dissociation, unconsciousness and long-term neurological damage. It also produces an intense desire to keep talking to prevent further torture.

…Interrogators often escalate torture when they think a suspect is withholding information or lying, but there is no good evidence that interrogators are better than the rest of us at detecting lies. In fact, there is evidence that when people are trained as interrogators, they become more likely to think others are lying to them. This belief can lead to alarming errors, whereby people are tortured because their torturer wrongly believes they are lying. New technologies to detect lies do not work either, says O’Mara.

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So, does Mitchell make any money on the work, which has been shared so many times? He uploaded a high-res image of the symbol and granted permission for anyone to use it personally for free. But for those who want to support his work or simply want something readymade, you can also buy T-shirts, sweatshirts, mugs, and journals emblazoned with the symbol through Threadless.“I really just want to spread the image as much as possible and cement it in history,” Mitchell says. “In all honesty, the amount I’ve made from my Threadless shop so far is still less than my hourly rate, so I don’t really see it as a big deal. If you look at my Twitter, half the replies are people wanting to know where they can buy a shirt. Threadless is happy to help them out with that, and so I’m happy to let that happen.”Now that the symbol has flooded our streets and our timelines, Mitchell just has one request: “Impeach this idiot already,” he says.

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