APA Model Policy for Domestic Polygraph
Testing Adopted 8-26-17
STATEMENT OF PURPOSE: This Model Policy for Domestic Polygraph Testing is provided to assist
field examiners and referring professionals in the use of the polygraph test to investigate the
credibility of persons in domestic relationships. The purpose of this Model Policy is to support
compliance with and adherence to established practice standards and best practices in the
application of the polygraph test in the domestic context. Examiners should know and adhere to all
legal requirements and practice regulations in their local jurisdiction. This Model Policy may serve as
a point of reference for the development of standardized practice requirement for an agency or
local jurisdiction. In case of any conflict between the Model Policy and any local practice
requirements the local regulations should prevail. Examiners who work in jurisdictions and
programs without local regulations may refer to this Model Policy as a guide.
1.1 Domestic polygraph tests are those in which the examinee and examination
target issues involve the credibility of statements regarding interpersonal
behavior between spouses, live-in partners, non-domiciled marital or intimate
partners, children, parents, extended family members and blended family
members. A defining characteristic of these examinationsisthe absence of any
professional referral from involvement of law enforcement, judicial authorities,
protective services, attorney, investigator, or other professional. Examinations
conducted with the involvement of professionals from law enforcement,
judicial officials, and protective services may be subject to other standards and
guidelines and may not be subject to this Model Policy.
2. EXAMINER RESPONSIBILITIES
2.1 Compliance: All polygraph examinationsshould be conducted in compliance
with applicable law, and APA Standards of Practice regarding
instrumentation, sensors, audio/video recording, testing format, use of an
acquaintance test, analysis and reporting.
2.1.1 Informed consent should include an explanation to the examinee
that they are not required to submit to the examination and that
the examination can be terminated at any time, and should be
obtained independently and without the presence of any referring
2.1.2 Examiners should maintain all case materials, including referral
information, interview notes, test data, analysis, results, examination
report and audio/video recordings in a manner that is consistent with
applicable law and APA Standards of practice.
2.2 Professional roles: Polygraph examiners should limit their role to the
investigation of credibility and should refrain from all other attempts to
intervene or assist with the resolution of differences or conflicts between
persons in domestic context. Examiners should remain aware that the
professional provision of advice or counseling to assist with domestic
relationship problems is a regulated professional activity in most jurisdictions,
and can involve potential volatility forsome types of relationship distress.
2.2.1 Examiners should limit their involvement with each examinee to a
single professional relationship, and should avoid engaging in a
dual relationship with the examinee or referring person.
2.3 Referral: Examiners should clearly document the referral source, whether
professional or self-referral. Examinations should be regarded as self-referred
when the test is not initiated at the request of another professional who is
assisting with the domestic problem, including when the examination is
initiated by person with whom the examinee has a domestic relationship.
Examiners should remain aware that working with domestic relationships
under stress (i.e., those experience some form of problem that is in need of
resolution) may be different from relationships under distress (for which the
future viability of the relationship is unknown or questionable). Examiners
should be aware that some relationships in crisis can become volatile and
even dangerous. It isthe role of other helping professionals, not the polygraph
examiner, to work with the individuals in the domestic context to evaluate the
safety and viability of the domestic relationship.
2.3.1 When a domestic polygraph is conducted after referral from
another professional who is assisting with the domestic problem
the examination results, information and examination report
should be provided to the referring professional.
2.3.2 When a domestic polygraph conducted without referral from
another professional the test results, information and examination
report should be provided to the examinee and other domestic
persons involved in the examination referral. Results may also be
provided to others as requested by the client and consistent with
the provisions of the consent form signed by the examinee.
2.3.3 Examiners should refrain from conducting domestic polygraph
when there is evidence of violence or unsafe volatility, unless other
professionals are involved to assist with the evaluation and
maintenance of the safety of all persons involved in the domestic
2.4 Setting: Domestic polygraphs should be conducted in a professional setting,
and should not be conducted in a residence or domicile. Others with personal
non- professional interest in the outcome of the examination should not
witness the examination as it is conducted.
2.5 Examination report: Examiners should provide test result in the form of a
written report that memorializes the details and conclusions of the polygraph
test, including the testing instrumentation, testing format, content of the
pretest interview, test questions, test results and any addition following the
analysis and discussion of the test result.
2.5.1 Where no written report is requested, the examiner should retain a
draft report with the examination file, or should minimally retain
sufficient notes and information that the details of the test,
including the testing instrumentation, testing format, content of
the pretest interview, test questions, test results and any addition
following the analysis and discussion of the test result can be
accurately discussed at a later time, including the completion of a
written report, if necessary.
2.6 Confidentiality and mandatory reporting: Except as provided by law,
information from the polygraph examination and test results (outcomes)
should be kept confidential and provided only to those involved in the
examination and referral.
2.6.1 Examiners should not engage in mandatory reporting activities, for
known or suspected abuse of children or other vulnerable persons,
except where required by law (i.e., whenever polygraph examiners
are named or listed in statutes describing mandatory reporting
2.6.2 Examiners should remain aware that referring professionals will
likely be subject to mandatory reporting or other mandatory
disclosure requirements such as when it is know that an individual
is planning to harm another.
Between March 12, 2018 and March 14, 2018, PEAK CATC and Jason Hubble, the president of Lie Detectors – UK collaborated to provide advanced polygraph training to private examiners living in the United Kingdom. Of the approximate twenty-five private examiners located in the United Kingdom. The following ten participated:
Dr. Keith Ashcroft – England
Ms. Sian Devine – Ireland
Mr. Ian Duffield – England
Mr. Patrick Duffy – Ireland
Mr. Guy Heseltine – England
Mr. Jason Hubble – England
Mr. Antony Keeves – England
Ms. Patti Musicaro – England
Ms. Norma Phoenix – England
Mr. Michael Rumble – England
This course was the first collaboration between PEAK CATC and private examiners living in the United Kingdom and provided these examiners with much needed training for those examiners who cannot travel to the United States on an annual basis to obtain continuing education. It consisted of three days of intensive advanced instruction and is believed to be the first time a polygraph training school has ever traveled to England for the purpose of providing advanced training in current polygraph methodology. Mr. Jason Hubble of Lie Detectors – UK arranged for a venue to conduct this training and coordinated with the examiners attending to assist with lodging.
Overall, the three days were intensive and the attendees engaged in classroom presentations and lively classroom interaction to obtain Continuing Education Units regarding topics ranging from recent practices in Test Data Analysis; Use of computer assisted scoring algorithms and measurement tools association with respiration and plethysmograph components; Instruction in the use of Directed Lies as an alternative to Probable Lie Comparison Questions; Interview Route Maps; to The Utah ZCT; and the use of the Directed Lie Screening Technique and the AFMGQT/LEPET Screening Techniques as multiple issue examinations in a successive hurdles approach.
The listed attendees are to be commended for their dedication to the polygraph profession and desire for continuing education. Their participation in scheduling three full days away from their polygraph practices to obtain this needed training is a reflection of their desire to grow and remain current with the best practices related to the ever-evolving field of polygraphy.
Thank you Jason for your initiative in coordinating this course and for your hospitality. Thank you attendees for your enthusiastic participation. You have my admiration for your participation and dedication to Polygraph Profession.
Senior Instructor; PEAK CATC
Cape Coral, FL
Yes, I’m well aware that we as examiners want to bury the term “Lie Detector” in favour of “Truth Determinator, or “Truth Determination,” and for the record, I am completely in agreement with that side of the team. I still cringe when someone from the public calls it a “Lie Detector”, or our profession as being “Lie Detectors.” But let’s face it, the opposite of telling the truth is what? Yep, lying, and although we don’t like to present our work in that fashion, most sources use our expertise to make sure the person being tested, is not lying. Now it would obviously take groups of psychologists who make such studies Words of Wisdom A Polygrapher’s Most Important Gift … People Lie!
As examiners, I don’t think we have that degree of psychological expertise to discuss that quality of cerebral science. But because of our training, and even more, because of our work experiences, we have obtained a good amount of knowledge, and understandings. We might say that the history of criminal acts is sprinkled with crafty and seasoned liars. Many are criminals who spin lies and weave deceptions to gain undeserved rewards. Sometimes people lie to inflate their image, a motivation many might think is best to explain President Donald Trump’s assertion that he reported in the news that his inauguration crowd was bigger than President Barack Obama’s. I started thinking about this statement because of a good deal of what people are calling “White House News,” seems to have brought a good deal of fabrications and falsehoods into our everyday lives.
The concept that human beings possess a talent for deceiving one another shouldn’t surprise us. I remember reading an article years ago that said researchers speculate that lying as a behavior arose not long after the emergence of language. The ability to manipulate others without using physical force likely brought about an advantage in the competition to obtain resources, and even to the point of obtaining nuptial mates. Let’s face it, “Lying is so easy, compared to other ways of gaining power.” I got a kick out of a guy I tested years ago, who told me that he didn’t like the term “Lying,” and preferred to refer to this as, “Just bending the truth a little.” I have to tell you that is the term I thought about when I first heard the weird term, “Alternative Facts.” Of course, as we know, there’s all kinds of motivations why the people we test lie, here’s some I thought of. Probably the largest group lie because of: “Personal Wrongdoing or Transgression” – Lying to try to get out of trouble, or keep from getting caught. Some lie for “Economic Advantage” – Lying for financial benefits. Some for “Personal Advantage” – Benefits beyond money, power, position. Others for just simple “Avoidance,” – Lying To escape, to avoid being found out, or just plain to avoid getting caught. There are some that lie for “Self-Impression” – Like saying things to shape a positive image of themselves. Some of course are “Pathological” – Have reality problems, or “Malicious” – Lying to purposely hurt people. I’m sure there are tons of others, but let’s say these are the popular ones.
In getting back to the White House Era problems, we could talk about President Richard Nixon, who denied involvement in the Watergate Scandal when he declared, “I am not a crook” during a nationally televised press conference. Other famous fibs might note when our current president stated on a number of occasions “I won the popular vote, if you deduct the millions of people who voted illegally.” It has been reported of course numerous times, that he won the Electoral College but lost the popular vote, and there’s no evidence of any such voter fraud. Then there’s President Bill Clinton, whose also famous statement in 1998 was, “I did not have sexual relations with that woman, Monica Lewinsky.” An example of “Avoidance” comes to mind that happened just a couple years ago by an American Olympics Swimmer during the Summer Olympics in 2016, who claimed to have been robbed at gunpoint at a gas station when in fact, he and his teammates, who were drunk after a party, were confronted by armed security guards after damaging property. I saw this on a TV news report. In turning again to President Trump, there’s no surprise that one lie can lead to another and another, as evidenced.
Much of the knowledge we use to navigate our lives comes from what others have told us. And of course, there has to also be a degree of trust. Without this implicit trust that we place in human communication, we would be paralyzed as individuals or examiners and even cease to have common or social relationships. I’m saying that we of course, also have to be trusting, and not absolutely hardwired, and refuse to believe or trust anyone at any time. Here’s where training and experience comes into play. Of course, there’s still caution to talk about. Researchers have shown that human beings are especially prone to accepting lies that support their own views.
There are still apparently a number of people who seem to believe Donald Trump’s early belief in the claim that President Obama was not born in the United States, or the spread of other “Alternative facts” as Trump advisors called his inauguration crowd claims. The interesting point about this is that debunking anything like this does not demolish their belief. It’s obvious that there is a human factor in play, that if a fact comes in that doesn’t fit into their frame of belief, they will either not notice it, or ignore it, or ridicule it, or be puzzled by it, or worse yet, attack it if its threatening. Early this year I found a published study that I think was from the University of Western Australia on all this that was pretty interesting. It documented the ineffectiveness of “Evidenced-based information” in refuting incorrect beliefs. It stated that in 2015, 2,000 adult Americans were presented with one of two statements: One was: “Vaccines cause autism” and the other one was, “Donald Trump said that vaccines cause autism.” (By the way, the study also noted that Trump has repeatedly suggested there is a link to this and autism, despite the lack of scientific evidence for it.) However, not surprisingly, participants who were Trump supporters showed a decidedly stronger belief in the misinformation when it had Trump’s name attached to it. In looking back at all these issues, many of which we address everyday in our work as “Truth Determinators,” and to stop and think about all this, and to realize the benefit we give to society, humanity, and even the world, becomes an obvious realization of the importance of our profession.
What then might be the best way to impede the advance of untruths into our society? The answer is clear that we have to “Strive to be the best, the most advanced and trained examiners,” to combat this obvious traffic flow for deceit. Technology continues to develop, and we as professional specialists need to make sure we involve ourselves in these technological discoveries. We at the American Polygraph Association are blessed with amazing experts to keep us on track with ever developing technology for our profession. Raymond Nelson, Mark Handler, the efforts by Donald Krapohl, and the list goes on and on of individuals who over the years continue to work to upgrade technology, and regularly share their knowledge, innovations and expertise. In addition, we are also blessed with excellent product manufacturing of polygraph instrumentation like “Lafayette, Limestone, Stoelting and Axciton” that are also working on modernization’s and updates. A rather interesting discussion took place during a recent APA Executive Board teleconference, APA Website where the issue of the value of test scoring was debated. Significant information was presented during the discussion that the technology of computerized scoring algorithms involved in test conclusions, is absolutely and most strongly accepted by the scientific community, and well over human hand evaluation. The point is that Technology continues to advance, and we obviously need to embrace advancement also.Read More
Stormy Daniels Polygraphed in 2011 About Sexual Relations with Trump
We would like to point out a couple of issues with the test that was carried out on Stormy that concerns us. Firstly it was a multi issue test which is not the most accurate test that could have been run. Lie Detectors UK very, very rarely run multi-issue tests due to the accuracy levels dropping significantly, to 70%, when a single issue test is 90% plus. So for a start we have a 30% chance the results of this test is not accurate.
Let’s look at the questions…
According to the polygraph examination, Ms. Clifford responded “yes” to the following questions:
- Around July 2006, did you have vaginal intercourse with Donald Trump?
- Around July 2006 did you have unprotected sex with Donald Trump?
- Did Trump say you would get on The Apprentice?
We would recommend against using a name in the test, where possible, as this can cause a false positive or negative result. Why not be more specific with the date, what’s ‘around July 2006’? Why not ‘in July 2006’?
Now let’s take a look at the image provided…
It looks like a ‘staged’ polygraph test, as Stormy Daniels appears to be missing some very important equipment; blood pressure cuff, finger plates for sweat gland activity and a plesmograph are all missing. Let’s just hope this wasn’t the actual examination, else it would be invalid.
Please choose whomever you take a polygraph test with carefully, as this particular test shows some easy to find, and major, flaws that really do affect the accuracy levels on a polygraph test. As to the results and whether Stormy Daniels did have sexual relations with Donald Trump, I’m afraid the jury is out.
We would happily offer Stormy Daniels a free polygraph test using the latest equipment and the latest techniques to achieve the greatest accuracy possible today. Our test would also be quality controlled by another examiner, as all out client tests are.Read More
We have just successfully run an approved Advanced Polygraph Course at our head office in Maidstone in Kent. It was well attended by ten UK Examiners who all agreed the training from Sgt Scott Walters from Peak was superb and very relevant to what we do.
Given the success we plan to run this bi-annually to allow all Examiners to get the latest training and techniques available. Always ask when the Examiner you plan to use has last attended an Advanced Course.
I noted with great interest this morning the release of a video for Vanity Fair where
Jennifer Lawrence Takes a Lie Detector Test
Jennifer Lawrence is being polygraphed and had to comment as its TOTAL FAKE.
Let me start by being controversial and stating there is absolutely no accuracy at all in this test it’s a fake, you may as well have flipped a coin. In this industry we stopped using analog polygraph as used in the video in the 1990s in favour of the far more accurate digital polygraphs.
We now use validated techniques that allow three relevant questions, not multiple. Science and research have allowed the polygraph industry to make great advances in the last twenty years. The questions used in the Jennifer Lawrence test follow no industry recognised validated format.
How is the test being scored ? We ask a control question prior to each relevant question in order to gauge if a subject is lying. When Jennifer is being polygraphed how can you see what is a lie or just a nervous reaction?
We repeat the same three relevant questions over three separate tests gaining accuracy levels in the high 90%. It is well documented that polygraph is more accurate than other forensic sciences like fingerprinting and DNA.
In the UK there are now more Government examiners than private examiners working with the polygraph, testing sex offenders on probation and recently terror suspects.
The release of videos like this just harm the credibility of the polygraph industry.Read More
Polygraph Instrument or Polygraph Machine? This article is in response to Director Raymond Nelson’s article published in the Sept/Oct APA Magazine. I commend Ray’s scholarly and dedicated contributions to the APA and the polygraph profession before expressing my opinion of his article. But arguments on the ongoing debate in our profession about the application of the descriptive term “instrument” versus “machine” can reflect an important expression of terminology to the larger scientific community. As Ray mentioned the expression “instrument” is widely used in polygraph schools. In my teaching of neurophysiology at NCCA from January 1997 through January 2007, I often made specific reference to the recordings obtained during a polygraph examination were done by an “instrument” and not a “machine”.
The background of the application of those descriptive terms can have some multiplicity of usage. Let’s start with some variable definitions of the by Joel Reicherter Professor Emeritus, SUNY word: “instrument,” not applicable to the polygraph profession.
- Musical Instruments • Legal Instruments: documents of many different types
- Specialized hand-held Instruments used by surgeons or dentists
- Specialized tool Instruments specific to a variety of professions
- In the medical community, many technical “instruments” provide physiological patient data to the physician for analytical assessment and diagnosis – the EKG or EEG recordings would be good examples.
Now for the application of the term “machine”. Machines are devices designed to perform “work”. Work may be a difficult word to define in a simple sentence because of its many varied applications, particularly in our complex culture and technical advances in recent times. However, a simple and basic understanding of work may be of help to understand the application of the term “machine”. Perhaps the simplest form of work can be described as moving an object through a distance by a force, typically measured as foot-pounds. Typically, a machine will perform that task by converting energy into the force. For example, converting electricity into a snow blower “machine” which will compress air into a force to move the snow. How about a motorized lawn cutting machine that will convert gasoline into high speed rotating blades to cut the grass? A bull dozer converts gasoline into soil movement.
These examples, and many others, dramatize that some form of work requires that energy be converted from one form to another to accomplish the task. Machines make that energy conversion. In the medical community, the device that helps to pump blood and assists in the physical breathing activity of a patient is commonly referred to as the “heart lung machine” because it does “work”. In contrast, the EKG provides technical data to the medical decision maker, and therefore referred to as an “instrument”. Now that I have provided a brief and somewhat simple description of “instrument vs machine”, I ask the following question: “Is the polygraph device an instrument or a machine?” The neurophysiological recordings of electrodermal activity, ventilation dynamics and cardiovascular activities obtained during a polygraph examination are the outcome of the brain’s management of these visceral systems. In that regard, the polygraph recordings parallel the EKG and other physiological recordings obtained for medical evaluation of the subject (patient). Like the medical doctor who must evaluate the “instrumental” recorded data, the polygraph examiner must have the knowledge to follow the proper examination protocols and the neurophysiological (PDD) skills to evaluate the recording outcome.
If we can agree on the definition that a machine does work like an automobile’s engine converts the energy provided by gasoline into a moving force or the snow blower converts electricity into high pressure air to move snow, then what would be the work effort of the polygraph device? In my opinion, the algorithms developed by polygraph researchers to assess the neurophysiological recordings obtained in the polygraph format setting must be evaluated by the examiner for decision making. As in all science, particularly medical science, data collected from physiological activity leads the healthcare evaluator to assess the recorded outcome.
Keep in mind that all scientific tests are subject to an error rate. To declare a test to be “scientific” does not mean free of error but rather the testing format followed accepted testing protocols by that discipline. The most significant protocol in science is to compare a “variable” to a “control”. An “inconclusive” outcome is a buffer against an unacceptable error rate. In conclusion, an “instrument” must record the polygraph subject’s neurophysiological assessment of the question presentations. Based on the scientific polygraph question format designs available, pretest examination interviewing skills and post-examination recording test data analysis methods, the Polygraph Examiner is the “Decision Maker” of the instrumental recordings obtained in the polygraph setting. If historical definition of terminology is still a problem for polygraph personnel, perhaps we can adopt the term “Polygraph Device”.Read More
George Baranowski discusses why people use excuses and how they can be used to get a admission including in polygraph testing. George is a current serving Director of the American Polygraph Association.Read More
This article discusses how best to Create Rapport and Trust in Lie Detection / Polygraph Tests. A successful polygraph test will involve the examiner creating a good rapport with the examanee. Read on to find out why.Read More