Among my favorite things about polygraph is that each test we do is like a baby scientific experiment. We have our subject. We expose them to different stimuli (questions) and record physiology which can then be subjected to numeric rules of interpretation. When we do this process well, we improve our ability to make credibility decisions by leaps and bounds. Human judgement of credibility is slightly better than chance (54%). If left to our own devices, without the polygraph equipment we might as well pull out an 8-Ball toy and ask it if someone is being honest. But with a polygraph we reach into the 80s and 90% range for assessing veracity. I believe that the scientific method can be used in our personal practice to inform decision making and to maximize our effectiveness.
I want to use an example that has been on my mind for some time. I use the example just because it is something I have thought about, measured, and analyzed (scientific method). To be clear I am not an academic and I know that there are people far superior to me that need to conduct the research in the field of polygraph. I appreciate and lean on these great minds each and every day. Yet, I would encourage us all to be curious, to ask questions, and to test our assumptions. But the trick is not to confirm what we already believe… but to challenge our beliefs. Learning comes from expanding the boundaries of what we know, not continuing in the “same old same old same old” because “that is what someone told me” in basic academy. I want to set the stage a little bit here with a classic psychological experiment that was conducted many years ago by a research named Dr. Peter Wason.
Here is the gist. People were given a short series of 3 numbers. They were then encouraged to make guesses as to the rules that guided the formulations of those three numbers by formulating additional 3 number series and getting feedback on their guess. Researches would then give dichotomous yes/no answers to the inquiries of the subjects. Let’s say that we have 3 subjects that all get to participate together and learn from one another (building from one another’s questions). For example: JD (subject) is introduced to the objective of the game (figure out the underlying rules that guide the number series) and is then given the numbers 2, 4, 6. JD is a smart guy and immediately catches on and says 8, 10, 12. Straight face researchers says “yes.” JD then takes another stab at it to test his hypothesis and says 30, 32, 34. Once again his approach is validated. JD goes on to formulate various versions of progressing even numbers +2 from one another. Each time the researcher confirms his approach is correct. At this point JD is totally confident. This test was silly.
The solution is so simple. It is just progressing series of even numbers, right? Well let’s try something new. Ted is given the same instructions and he follows JD’s path initially, but then he tweaks it just slightly. He asks about a series such as 10, 20, 30. The research indicates this pattern fits within the rules of the original progression. JD could have confirmed dozens of versions of even numbers increased by +2 and felt really confident about his conclusion; but in one fell swoop Ted has destroyed JD’s original theory. He is on to something else. He then tries something different to gain more information. He checks out a different series 20, 30, 10. The research informs him that does not fit the rules. Perfect, Ted’s hypothesis that it has to be even increasing numbers of equal distance must be correct. Then comes along Sally. Sally is given the same assignment but the first series she tried was 10, 11, 12. The research confirm this fits within the rules. What did we learn? Odd numbers can be used as well. She tries 11, 13, 15. Again, confirmed. So Sally is an out of the box thinker and she tries something totally off the cuff. What about 13, 28, 111. “Yes,” the researcher confirms, this fits the pattern. She tries 111, 28, 13. “No.” You get the idea. So what is the rule that Dr. Wason had developed? A list of numbers in ascending order. It does not matter the number, odd or even, distance between that number, etc. But it must have three numbers, and they all must ascend in order. Very few subjects were able to discover the underlying rules, why? Confirmation Bias- the tendency for people to reinforce preexisting beliefs. The mind has to manage a lot of information and one of the ways it has become efficient at its task is to filter all things into categories (schemas).
The primary rule of operation is that we confirm things we already think and believe. That is why two people can read the same article about a mass shooting and one person will walk away feeling like we need to ease up rules on concealed weapons so that we can protect ourselves and others from crazies; and another person reading the same article will walk away believing that all guns should be banned from general citizenry. The process of repeatedly making observations of the same phenomena is not sufficient to equate The Scientific Method. Karl Popper, believed that the core of The Scientific Method is Empiricism where we look to falsify our hypothesis in order to expand our knowledge using observation and measurement. That should be sufficient background to launch into a discussion about you and I as we sit in our polygraph suite. Much of the research that is done in the field is going to be done by academics that specialize in such. It is possible for us, as polygraph examiners, to learn key issues from academics that perhaps do not perform polygraphs on a day to day basis. For that matter we can potentially learn from research in other areas of credibility assessment (recent article from Eye Detect emphasizing the importance of not asking passive questions like did you lie in that questionnaire, in favor of direct questions about the area of concern like have you used any illicit substances in the last 5 yrs being a good example). So let me personalize this a bit to my own observations in my polygraph suite. I am a fairly new examiner. I completed my basic training in 2015. In that there were no polygraph schools in my state, I left my family and stayed with friends of friends in the area where the school was being held. In that I did not know anyone in the area and my natural inclination in new situations is to hyper analyze, I spent a lot of those three months reading polygraph articles, books (such as Fundamentals of Polygraph Practice, by Krapohl & Shaw which is a must read for all new examiners; and Credibility Assessment: scientific research and application by Raskin, Honts & Kircher). When I was in basic academy we were told (unverified hypothesis) we were the first class to ever receive instruction in Relative Line Length (RLL) for scoring pneumos as part of our primary training. We of course covered feature scoring as well, but most the focus was on RLL. My mentor had sent me charts to practice scoring (N-60). All of these charts had been scored by him previously. After scoring out the first 20 charts there were 4 examples of charts where I had scored out Inconclusive (IC) and he had scored out either a pass/fail (conclusive). That is 20% of that small sample of charts resulted in an IC, where my mentor had a definitive outcome. I found that to be disconcerting, and the only difference between the way we both scored the charts was the use of RLL vs Feature Scoring. So, I abandoned RLL and went on to score out the remaining 40 charts using feature scoring. In those additional 40 charts only 2 had the same issue where I had scored it out as IC and he had a conclusive decision. That is 5% of the larger sample.
A pattern was created in my mind. RLL tends to drift a chart in the direction of IC. I have repeated this opinion often when interacting with other examiners and felt strongly that this was FACT! But at the same time, I am generally a huge advocate for computer algorithms and lean on them in favor of hand scoring. This creates a huge internal conflict for me over how to make decisions, especially when there is cross talk between my hand score and the computer and whether to use RLL scoring algorithms or features. After attending a great Advance Academy training in Boise, where they gave some very convincing statistics on RLL, I decided to venture back into this arena with greater Empiricism. In place of a handful of charts, scored when I had literally just learned how to do it, I decided to start tracking a large swath of information for each chart I collected. Over the last year I have collected data on hundreds of my own charts.
The format was developed for multiple reasons, but I want to focus on RLL for the purposes of this conversation. I also need to add for this next section that I stumbled into a project that Ray Nelson is working on and I was able to coordinate with a handful of other examiners tracking the information above, so as I talk numbers for the next section this is cumulative of the various examiners that participated in that study. The overt purpose for my creating this format was to look at the effects of RLL on decisions. Remember, my initial assumption based on 20 charts back in basic academy was that RLL had a tendency to draw charts in the direction of IC. Here is what I found when using a much larger data set, multiple examiners, and more experience. I was WRONG! I have preached my perspective frequently with other examiners and as comments in trainings as I stood on my soap box talking about cautions of RLL. Here are the quick numbers on it. The group of us had collected a total of 483 charts. Of those 115 were feature scored and the vast majority were scored using RLL (368). Of those 368 charts 15% (56) were IC based on HCT. So inconclusive were relatively rare overall and slightly higher than what is reported in the MetaAnalytic Survey of polygraph research that reported roughly an 11% IC rate. I stated previously in my little sample of 20 charts there were 4 examples (20%) where the HCT created an inconclusive result when using RLL. It is problematic to make conclusions based of small samples because variations are overrepresented. It is important to gather as much data as possible. Research with a single examiner is also less valuable than multiple examiners because idiosyncrasies of the examiner may influence the numbers… but that being stated the point is not to publish formal research based on your individual experience, but to use the scientific method to analyze your process. What was found with this larger more methodical look at the dynamic of RLL pulling charts into IC showed that this happened 21% of the time. So at this point I can pat myself on the back for coming to the correct conclusion (like JD in my earlier example). But wait, when I expand my scope and look at it from another perspective (like Susan from my earlier example), there is something else that I can learn! 38% of all the inconclusive charts actually resolved using RLL. Almost 2x as many charts were resolved using RLL scoring than were created (my originally often preached bias). Should I be embarrassed about my previously held, and oft articulated, belief. I would argue “no.” Because we are all wrong about something. The danger is in not knowing what we are wrong about.
The scientific method gives us an empirical way to peer under the hood and check our perspectives and opinions. Those that are self-conscious and worried about their work product are not the examiners that make me nervous. It is the confident self-assured examiner that knows for sure every outcome is correct every time. I am not saying to be timid or not trust your charts, the odds are in your favor, but let’s be curious as we try to make decisions about how we do what we do. Just the other day I was at our local polygraph association semi-annual meeting. We were reviewing the most recent polygraph journal, scoring out some charts together, and connecting. During the discussion someone inquired as to the value of a photoplethysmograph (PPG/PLE) as a polygraph component. More specifically he wanted to know how often the PPG was able to resolve an IC chart. He was debating if it is worth investing financially to purchase one. The research on PPG is incontrovertible. It is a great asset in decision making, and is 2nd only to the EDA in providing diagnostic information regarding credibility. That is pretty exciting stuff. But the opinions in the room varied widely as to if and how valuable it is as a tool. One member in particular talked about his frustration with the discordant reactions between the EDA and the PPG. The assumption seemed to be (if I did not overgeneralize what he was trying to communicate) that they virtually always contradict one another. That is good questions. It sparks curiosity. Now what do you do with that curiosity. I would propose that a simple spread sheet that tracked positive versus negative reactions in all CQ/RQ positions comparing the PPG to the EDA (most diagnostic feature by far as beautifully described by Raymond Nelson in our last journal). If this examiner were to track that information for, let’s say, at least 100 charts. He would then have a wealth of information about his assumption. The numbers would easily tell the story. With a few quick calculations he would have a clear answer to the question.
That stated it is important to recognize to generalize the information it would be important to have a large sample from multiple examiners; otherwise it may just recreate the same confirmation bias demonstrated in the initial example. My invitation to all of us is that we be curious. We track areas that spark our interest. And we let the numbers tell the story. Don’t be embarrassed by errors, those are what make our theories strongest. The profession becomes better by individual examiners paying attention to their beliefs, testing them out, and adapting accordingly IN THEIR OWN POLYGRAPH SUITE! Professional researchers will always have a jump on us. We should pay attention to what they have to say. But we do not have to blindly follow. They learned the information through the same process that we can. So, let’s get out there and become micro scientific researchers of our own practice, looking to see where we can prove our opinions as incorrect with empirical analysis. Quite frankly, it can be exhilarating to learn something new based on your own efforts.
Workplace theft in London and elsewhere in the united kingdom has to be managed sensitively, its costing businesses across the UK over £70 billion annually according to the NFA (National Fraud Agency) it is a growing problem.
As providers of polygraph services we’re specialists in combating theft in the office together with the minimal of unpleasant consequences.
No matter the situation, trust is an imperative factor between company and worker. If it’s apparent that you don’t have faith in a worker’s honesty you won’t receive the best from them. But if a worker is working contrary to the interests of your business and its branding you have got a massive issue.
Dishonesty can take many forms. It may be that an employee using date is misusing it. Or maybe they are embezzling cash, stealing from petty cash, or taking equipment or products without permission. No matter the situation, they’re in violation of your code of conduct and policies. What do you do to fight office theft in London with no leading to a whole raft of infringements in employment law?
Handling office theft in London
Left unchallenged theft in the workplace can span many decades. If the theft is minor most companies overlook it rather than become embroiled in the consequences of dismissal that could lead to an employment tribunal.
Employers have discovered to their cost that hidden cameras and any sort of coercion to receive evidence is fraught with legal complications. Nowadays workers are more aware of their rights than any time ever.
Nevertheless, minor stealing made to run its path can often result in significant fraud and information theft which can harm your company immeasurably.
Periodic lie detector tests
Any suspicions you have associated with theft at work demands proof. Periodic lie detector tests provide independent reports which may stop this criminal activity in its tracks.
By implementing them within your risk management plan you can achieve several items including:
Getting the employee to confess during a pre-test interview
Assessing the offender
Obtaining evidence that may be allowed in any resulting tribunal
Earning Different employees aware of how their colleague has let them down
Bear in mind that workers must agree to take lie detector tests. You can acquire such agreement by sending a memo out seeking their arrangement and getting them to sign it. It is possible to explain that random tests will take place as part of new risk management processes. Honest employees won’t object to them. They may be conscious that a colleague is involved in dishonest activity which reflects poorly on all of them.
Other preventative measures
It’s crucial to maintain accurate records of lost money or things and suspicious data handling. You should also look out for odd behaviour in a worker such as:
Reluctance to take holiday time because of them
Excessive ordering of office stationery and other supplies
Non-reconciliation of petty cash or other ordinary accounting
Workers accessing data that Isn’t necessary to their function
Include a lie detector test clause in employment contracts for new workers. This manner you have their consent to conduct them.
If you’d like more details about how polygraph services can subtly combat workplace theft in London and nationally please contact us. As fraud and theft increase more companies are using innovative methods to counteract this and to send an example to all staff..Read More
Its very important for a skilled polygraph examiner to gain a good rapport with his clients, this article discusses the reasons why, Lie Detectors UK employ fully qualified APA examiners who have been trained in the importance of gaining rapport with clients.
One purpose of polygraph testing is to obtain a complete, truthful, and accurate account of what happened through interview, as well as specific information about the event being investigated. Rapport is an essential element to achieve this goal. In the course of an interview, rapport must fulfil its primary objective: to favour good communication between sender and receiver of information, that is to say, between polygrapher and interviewee.
To date, there are many known tactics to establish rapport, such as treating the interviewee with respect or explaining the full procedure. This text intends to illustrate the alternative use of the technique devil ́s advocate. Regularly, this technique is used to evaluate the strength and veracity of a testimony or authentic beliefs individuals have about something.
What is Rapport?
Over the years, the term rapport has been given to a person’s ability to identify with someone and share their feelings, traditions, tastes, interests, customs, beliefs, ideals, and values at a given time. According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary (Merriam-Webster, 2016), rapport “is a state of sympathy that allows influence or communication”. In general terms, it is the environment generated between two people and all the elements that can influence the development of their interactions and can be established in different ways. In the case of an interview, rapport must be maintained and remain until the end of the encounter. The establishment of rapport makes it possible to influence behaviour and thus persuade other human beings to make decisions. In criminal investigations, it is useful because in conducting investigative interviews or polygraph evaluations, it helps generate confidence in the interviewee with the purpose of obtaining quality information that allows the resolution of a crime.
How Rapport is generated
Morgan & Cogger (1982) suggest that an affectionate greeting, a firm hand- shake, and a proper presentation of self will help to establish rapport. However, the reality is that not all interviewees are cooperative, sometimes the interviewer will face interviewees with a hostile and uncooperative attitude. In this scenario, the interviewer should not be affected by their performance, and as Acevedo (2007) mentions, “the first minutes of the interview are decisive to achieve success,” so decisions must be made.
To generate rapport, we must consider the basic needs of the interviewee, for ex- ample, we should explain the ground rules like what they can do inside the interview room, or their right to have basic needs such as going to the toilet or access to clean drinking water. Boyle and Vullierme (2019) suggest the following:
- a) Identify yourself and explain what the roles will be during the interview.
- b) Explain the motive of the interview clearly and precisely.
- c) Explain how and what the interview will consist of.
- d) Explain their rights.
- e) Instruct the interviewee that they can ask any questions in case of doubts, or in case they need anything (going to the toilet, drinking water).
This should be done in a clear, understand- able, open, and respectful way.
Other tactics to consider are the following:
- a) Decrease the tension in the person being evaluated. This can be achieved through trivial questions such as: How ́s your day going? How do you feel today? What do you think of the climate? Did you have trouble getting here? and so forth.
- b) Empathy: Let them know that the interview procedure can cause stress or nervousness, and that this condition is normal. For example: I under- stand that you feel nervous about being here because it’s something unknown to you, but don’t worry, when it’s your first time doing some- thing, we can feel anxiety, but as we talk you will see that this feeling dissipates. If during the exam you have any doubt about the process or the questions, let me know so that I can clarify immediately.
- c) Interview rules: Indicate the stages of the interview in a clear and precise way. Emphasise mutual respect.
- d) Fluid communication: This should be generated from the first moment through the application of open questions to reduce monosyllabic answers like “yes” or “no.”
- e) Authority: It must be made clear to the interviewee that we understand
his/her situation, however, he/she must also recognise that authority is solely and exclusively held by the interviewer, in order to avoid problems during the interview.
- f) Role: The interviewer must adjust their approach to the mental and emotional ability of the examinee, for example, if the interviewee has an intellectual disability, then the interviewer must avoid technical words, so that they can be understood by the examinee.
Once the above actions have been carried out, it is necessary to identify if rapport has been successfully established. An easy and effective way to do this is through the observation of non-verbal language in a mirroring way, that is, if the interviewer and interviewee match their movements, gestures, tone of voice, and attitudes in a similar way, this means that a good communication has been established and understanding was procured among the participants.
Textually, this concept refers to a person who defends a position directly or indirectly, as a lawyer may do in a court in defence of their client. Technically, it is the verbal expression of a person with the aim of a message to provoke a debate or test the opposed arguments versed by another person. In this sense, the concept has been applied to the field of identifying a true or deceptive judgement, when the theme is conceptual and not perceptual. These last concepts are intimately related. Both terms refer to cognitive processes that allow us to understand how we perceive reality from an event, and how that event is transformed into experience according to the sensations and perceptions that develop conceptions (conceived ideas) or ideas of thought, “realities subject to experience,” with prejudices, inferences, and biases. Thus, this tactical element makes it possible to evaluate the strength of a judgement, because the latter is a concept attributed to a mental process of the subject according to an idea conceived through the experience and interests of the person, and therefore could not be used to evaluate credibility in police interviews with suspects, because in these scenarios, conceptual truthfulness is not important. In fact, the objective is to examine the lack of veracity about the transgressions of the law which suggests the evaluation of acts and not of thoughts (Leal, Vrij, Mann & Fisher, 2010).
The described tactic above could be exemplified as follows: person one arrives at a meeting with co-worker’s, in place they observe that there is a group of people talking, including the general manager of the company for whom they work and other directors, a scenario that makes them think that it is a good opportunity to express innovative ideas to implement in their work, then secondarily standing out and get a salary increase or to improve their position in the company. When approaching the group, they hear that co- workers are talking about politics, and the candidate will have to make a comment against their own interests to observe the determination and strength of the beliefs and opinions of the group to identify their true political affiliation (Ex. I think the president has done well at his job), and perhaps some members of the group will have a different opinion. Acting this way, subject one will know with this tactic who can be allies without having revealed their political preferences. In this same sense, this technique will serve to develop rapport because it will help to identify related themes and political positions, and therefore will facilitate the communication process that will result in obtaining more objective information.
While this tactic is not useful in a police setting interview to identify truth or deceit, it could be used to generate rapport with interviewees, whether they are witnesses, victims, or suspects, and it could be used in a polygraph test with the same objectives.
As we have noticed, there are various tactics to generate rapport. The use of employing a statement against one’s own interests has two positive effects within an interview process, the first is that it allows assessing the strength and conviction of a belief or manifestation, and the other is a strategy to identify allies can serve to create a good conversation and therefore, rapport, an essential element for good communication and the application of different models of existing investigative interviews, such as the PEACE Model of Investigative Interviewing.
A concise explanation of the Polygraph Test
Whether in the context of conversation, examination report, media contact or courtroom discussion it can be useful to have a well-constructed concise explanation of the polygraph test. A reasonably complete explanation will convey information about the theory of the test along with simple and usable information about psychological and physiological foundations of the test, in addition to information about the test data analysis and expected accuracy of the test. A highly useful explanation will quickly orient a reader or listener to the correct concepts and terminologies, will provide practical and convenient answers to common questions, and may help to deter occasional tendencies to engage in wishful thinking or naive expectations about polygraph testing. Fol- lowing is an example of an explanation of the polygraph test that may be useful to stimulate additional discourse:
Psychophysiological detection of deception (PDD) testing, also known as the polygraph test – sometimes referred to as “lie-detection” as a term of convenience – is a standardized, evidence-based test of the margin of uncertainty or level of confidence surrounding a categorical conclusion of truth-telling or deception. The analytic theory of the polygraph test is that greater changes in physiological activity are loaded at different types of test stimuli as a function of deception or truth-telling in response to relevant target stimuli. Adequately selected polygraph target issues will involve a behavioral act for which an examinee can know unequivocally whether one has engaged in that action.
A polygraph test consists of an of a pretest interview, test data acquisition, and test data analysis phases. Post-test procedures can include other ancillary activities, including additional discussion, testing and investigation. Completion of a polygraph test can take upwards of 90 minutes, and should take place in a controlled environment, so that an examinee can adequately attend to and concentrate on the test topic and test stimuli without distraction. In this way, changes in physiological activity, if they are timely and independent of other observable influence, can be reliably attributed to the test stimuli.
The psychological basis of responses to polygraph test stimuli can be thought of as involving a combination of factors including: attention, cognition, emotion, behavioral conditioning and other resources for self- control. Differences in deception and truth-telling can manifest in patterns of response that can become observable upon repeated iterations of relevant and comparison stimuli. Statistical classifiers can be calculated for observed changes in physiological activity.
Polygraph test data are a combination of physiological proxies that have been shown to correlate significantly with different types of test stimuli as a function of deception or truth telling in response to deception or truth-telling when answering relevant investigation target stimuli. Polygraph recording sensors include respiration activity, electrodermal activity, and cardiovascular sensors in addition to an optional vasomotor activity sensor. Polygraph recording sensors are autonomic – because activity in the autonomic nervous system has been shown to be correlated with differences between deception and truth-telling. Although each of the individual sensors is itself insufficient as a strong probabilistic indicator of deception or truth-telling, each of the different sensors contributes additional information to an optimized structural or statistical model. Standards of practice today require the use of activity recording sensors to help identify faking or countermeasures.
Suitability for polygraph testing re- quires that an individual is functioning reasonably within normal limits in terms of basic physiology, psychology, cognitive functioning or level of development, and language/communication skills. Probabilistic calculations may not apply in normal ways for individuals whose functional characteristics are outside normal limits, or those for whom the basic theory does not reasonably apply. Most persons who can work, drive, attend school, live in the community and function independently are suit- able for polygraph testing.
Analysis of polygraph test data, like other test data, can be accomplished manually or via automated computer algorithm. Test data analysis involves several processes including: feature extraction, numerical transformation and data reduction, use of a likelihood function to calculate a statistical val- ue, and the use of structured rules to parse a categorical test result from the numerical and statistical test data. Whereas manual polygraph test data analysis methods may continue to rely on visual processes, comput- er algorithms offer the advantage of automated reliability. Reliability of manually scored test results may be strengthened when they concur with the results of automated computer scoring algorithms.
Published information indicates that event-specific single-issue poly- graphs can provide point estimate accuracy rates that exceed .90, depending on the test format and other factors. Multiple-issue polygraphs are both statistically and psychologically more complex than single-issue tests, with mean accuracy rates having point estimates that can exceed .80 for some polygraph techniques. Probabilistic estimates for polygraph test results can be calculated for both groups of cases (i.e. the observed frequency of correct or incorrect out- comes with groups of exams), and for individual cases (i.e., what is the likelihood that the data for a particular examination is correct or incorrect). Like other scientific tests, polygraph test results can be thought of as either positive or negative. Understanding and making use of polygraph test results can be thought of as a process of understanding the likelihood or potential for true-positive and true- negative in addition to the potential for false-positive and false-negative outcomes.
Polygraph testing does not detect, or measure, lies or deception per se. Actual detection of lies or deception – with deterministic perfection – and would be immune to both human behavior and random variation. Because deception and truth are not manifest- ed as unique physical phenomena there is no physical or linear measurement for deception or truth. Scientific tests are used quantify phenomena of interest for which neither perfect deterministic observation nor direct physical measurement are possible. For this reason, all scientific test results are fundamentally probabilistic, and are not expected to be infallible. Scientific tests are expected to provide a reproducible quantification of the margin of uncertainty or level of confidence that can be attributed to a test result or conclusion.
This description is by no means the only description or final word on the matter of polygraph testing. It is neither the most complete and comprehensive description nor the most abbreviated description. It is an evolution of numerous other at- tempts to describe the polygraph test in report writing, courtrooms and other areas of discussion with professionals that may wish to understand or make use of polygraph test data or test results. This description starts with an assumption of a blank-slate level understanding, and attempts the lofty goal of quickly and efficiently integrating basic concepts from psychology physiology, decision theory and test theory. Other descriptions of the polygraph are possible, and may at times be more useful than this one. This description is offered with the hope that it may be useful in prompting discussion and stimulating additional advances in written and verbal communication among professionals who use polygraph tests.Read More
Home Lie Detector Test
Yes we do visit home addresses to conduct Lie Detector Tests however we always prefer an office address when possible as we can control more factors in an office, we have our own offices in Kent where we can offer an appointment at any time of day including weekends. For some people a home address is preferred and makes this whole process easier, especially for a client who suffers with anxiety. We need a distraction free environment in which to conduct a home Lie Detector Test and a table and chairs, although we do carry a portable table and chairs. We like the environment to be free from loud noises and distractions like children or pets running in whilst we are testing as this can affect a home Lie Detector Test.
We would always run a single issue test in a clients home to achieve maximum accuracy for the test and the client, this test comprises of three questions on a single issue, we work with the client to develop questions best suited for the test. We only test on fact, not in intent or on emotion, being a single issue test the questions are very similar and are repeated over multiple charts and an average result taken. The result is either a No Deception being a pass, or a Deception Indicated being a fail or in 4% of cases we can end up with an Inconclusive result which fortunately on a single issue test is very rare.
All Lie Detectors UK Examiners are fully qualified experienced American Polygraph Examiners, we always recommend you check the examiner out first, they should be listed on the APA website here
Get in touch and discuss your case with us in confidence and see if we can help, we have run thousands of tests in a home environment so can advise if yours is suitable. Appointments can be made at a time to suit you including evenings and weekends.Read More
Lie Detector Test – What happens on the day?
Twenty-four hours before the Lie Detector Test no illegal drugs or alcohol please, if you have any concerns over prescription medication please discuss this with the examiner, very few prescription drugs will actually cause an issue. We will always advise you of the full address and postcode and give you a contact number so you can plan your journey, if you are running late you can directly advise the examiner so he is aware. Do try to have something to eat on the day if possible.
On arrival we complete some paperwork, a consent form and ask you a few questions to ensure we can test you. Then we discuss what will be happening and conduct a pre-test interview discussing the issue at hand and if appropriate talk to your partner, usually asking you to wait in the waiting room. We then discuss questions together formulating three questions on a single issue based on fact, and ensure the questions are fair and that your happy with them, the questions are fully reviewed for total clarity and will be a straightforward yes or no answer only.
All tests are filmed to protect the examiner and yourself, the video isn’t released and is totally confidential. The examiner will discuss the data retention policy with you during the pre-test.
A number of polygraph tests will then be run including a practice test followed by a minimum of three real tests. The result that’s taken is an average of the three tests, same questions that have been practiced are repeated on each chart, usually in a different order. You will then be asked to wait in the waiting room whilst the examiner scores the charts which can take twenty minutes, if a second opinion is required you will be advised at this stage and the result will be given to you followed by a full printed report and email copy if requested.
And always make sure you examiner is a member of the American Polygraph Association.Read More
Inconclusive Lie Detector Test Results – What does it really mean?
So you have taken a Lie Detector Test and the results came back as Inconclusive, what does this result really mean and how often do we actually see it. Give me a pound for every time a client says ‘I bet my results are inconclusive, it’s just my luck’ I would be a rich man when working with clients!
In Lie Detector tests an inconclusive result is actually very rare, when using the latest equipment and the latest single issue techniques we have a four percent chance to see inconclusive results. When a result is inconclusive the examiner can run more charts to get a conclusive result but first he must look at other factors that could be causing Lie Detector inconclusive results in the first place. Some good examples are below.
Examiner Experience and Qualifications
You need to ensure the examiner is a member of the American Polygraph Association and in the UK the British Polygraph Association. This ensures they have been trained and have graduated a recognised course and will be using the latest techniques and equipment. An examiner who isn’t a member is very dangerous for the results, they have no regulation and won’t be following any set path. All UK Police and Government Examiners are members of the American Polygraph Association.
If the questions haven’t been formulated correctly and haven’t been fully discussed with the client first so they fully understand them this can cause an inconclusive lie detector results. I have seen reports from non-qualified examiners and it’s a serious concern as to the questions and techniques they use. An example is we would never test on ‘Do you love your partner?’ Because what really is love, another example would be ‘Do you intend to cheat on your partner?’ Im sure you will agree that intent changes by the hour.
If someone sitting a Lie Detector Test had a severe mental illness and didn’t disclose this in the pre-test it could cause an issue with a inconclusive Lie Detector results. We are not talking about anxiety or depression here by mental illness like schizophrenia. A good examiner will pick up issues like this.
If someone is guilty and attempts to cheat a Lie Detector Test and the Examiner isn’t experienced enough to pick this up, then it could affect the results. Fortunately, most things people do is usually very obvious to the trained examiner, as many as one in ten would potentially try and cheat a test to try to alter the results.
Either illegal or prescription medication can cause an inconclusive Lie Detector results. Again a qualified and experienced examiner would ask the right questions to ensure this shouldn’t happen unless the person has taken drugs to try to alter the results which we have seen happen a few times. Fortunately, its very rare and usually results in some very odd charts which has us questioning the results and possibly giving a Purposeful Non Co-Operation PNC result. I saw this recently when a client had drunk four strong coffees one after the other and had a resting heart rate of 130 beats per minute and was very jittery. They were honest in why and explained its normal for them to drink so much coffee in one go. I suspect it was because they didn’t want to be tested.
So you can see above some of the reasons we may see inconclusive results on a Lie Detector Test. To alleviate this please make sure you use a company that employs fully qualified and experienced examiners, ask the name of the examiner who will be testing you, make sure they are listed on the APA and BPA websites as current members, even Google their name. I only take a booking when I have spoken to the client first on the phone and ensured that a Lie Detector Test is right for them and explained the process to them.
Jason Hubble the author has been a Polygraph Examiner for over five years, he owns Lie Detectors UK.Read More
Lie Detector Results
When you’re taking a Lie Detector have you considered what the results may be and how they are delivered to each client?
The results can be one of three and depending on the type of test they are reported differently however the consumer is looking for either a Pass or a Fail when the Lie Detector results are given. The third result is not one we see very often, when using the latest techniques and equipment we have a four percent chance of seeing an Inconclusive result, this means the scores aren’t sufficient to either pass or fail someone. An inconclusive result does not mean the person has done what they have been accused of, however what it does mean is we are unable to clear them either.
A Polygraph Examiner may refer to the results as No Deception Indicated (NDI) which is a Pass, or Deception Indicated (DI) which is a Fail. Depending on the type of test you could also see No Significant Reaction (NSR) which is a Pass or Significant Reaction (SR) which is a Fail.
A single issue Polygraph test conducted by a qualified American Polygraph Association examiner using the latest equipment and techniques will achieve accuracy levels of between 92% and 95%. We prefer not to run multi issue tests as we lose a significant amount of accuracy, a multi issue test would comprise of three questions that are not linked to the same issue.
In most situations the Polygraph Examiner will deliver the results at the end of the test, usually after four Polygraph charts have been run. The Examiner will need sufficient time to analyse the results and draw an opinion. They will also provide a full written report with the results and should run through this with you. If a client does fail a Polygraph Test we like the chance to speak to them to try and find out why they are failing. However, during the pre-test, we ask lots of questions to ensure there is no reason a client would fail unless they are coming to lie on a Polygraph test which would show up in the results.
To get the most accurate results for your Lie Detector Test please make sure you use a fully qualified and experienced Polygraph Examiner, in the UK a list of Examiners can be found on the British Polygraph Associations Website, or click here to take you there. Always make sure you know the name of the Examiner and you have verified they are qualified before parting with any money.
Lie Detectors UK Examiners are all BPA and APA members and will be delivering the most accurate Lie Detector Results available today. Click here to make a booking.
Polygraph Tests And The Law
The truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth: Polygraph tests and the law by Regan Peggs of Regan Peggs Solicitors
Are lie detector tests admissible in court
A question that often arises from clients is whether polygraph tests, commonly called ‘lie detector’ tests, can be used as admissible evidence in court or during other legal proceedings. So what exactly are polygraph tests, how reliable are they, and what does the law say about how they can be used?
What is a polygraph test?
A polygraph test, or lie detector test, can be used as a tool to assess the likelihood that an individual is lying, or being deliberately misleading, about a specific event or fact.
During a test, the subject is asked a series of questions whilst being monitored for changes in breathing patterns, heart rate and perspiration levels using a combination of sensors attached to the chest, arms and fingers. The resulting data is interpreted using a sophisticated algorithm that can predict the likelihood of the subject having answered the questions truthfully.
How reliable is a polygraph test?
Polygraph tests are around 80-95% reliable, depending on the type of test, the number of questions asked and various other factors.
People often ask whether it is possible to cheat on a lie detector test. While it is possible for an individual to consciously control their breathing and even their heart rate for a short time, it is extremely hard to maintain this control, and virtually impossible to prevent the tiny changes in perspiration that are produced as a result of the ‘fight or flight’ response of the nervous system.
While there are some medications that can affect measurements such as heart rate, these effects are generally accounted for during ‘pre-testing’ – the period before the test during which an examiner asks a series of neutral questions to provide a baseline response for the subject.
The exception to this is any psychoactive drug (including both cannabis and alcohol), the excessive use of which is likely to affect a subject to such an extent as to render the test results void.
However, not only are polygraph examiners are trained to spot the telltale signs of psychoactive drug use, but the levels of these substances that would be required to significantly skew the results of a polygraph test would mean that their effects would likely be obvious to even the most casual observer.
Polygraph tests as evidence in court Lie detector tests are not routinely used in courts in England and Wales. However, they can be used in some circumstances, depending on the type of court.
There are several different types of court, including criminal, civil and family courts, as well as employment and other tribunals. All of these are typically presided over by magistrates or judges (and/or juries), whose role it is to hear evidence from witnesses and submissions from advocates, to assess the credibility and arguments of all parties involved, and to issue a ruling based on their own interpretation of the law (and on their own personal judgement).
In civil courts and tribunals, polygraph tests are not used as evidence in their own right but can sometimes be used to add weight to the evidence of either party. In the criminal courts, lie detector tests are of little use as they are not allowed as evidence, supporting or otherwise.
Whatever the type of court (or tribunal), it is usually up to those presiding over the court on the day as to what types of evidence are allowed. So while polygraph tests can be a useful supplement to existing evidence, there is no guarantee that they will be accepted for use in any individual trial.
Other legal uses for polygraph tests
Aside from their use in court cases, lie detector tests can also be used as a tool in evaluating the potential for release of existing offenders from prison.
In the UK, polygraph tests are used by the National Offender Management Service to inform decisions about the early release and licensing conditions of convicted sex offenders. Individuals are tested every 3-6 months, and the results of the tests taken into consideration along with other evidence. The success or failure of a lie detector test does not guarantee a particular parole decision, and individuals have a right to appeal a licence revocation that has occurred as a result of evidence from a polygraph test.
A similar system has recently been proposed by the government for those convicted of domestic abuse, whereby offenders would be subject to polygraph testing as a condition of their licence following their release from custody.
In some other jurisdictions, more weight is given by parole boards to the results of lie detector tests. For example, in the US, polygraph tests are routinely performed on sex offenders who are due for release, the failure of which can result in additional time being added to the subject’s sentence.
Finally, the police in some countries use lie detector tests for investigative purposes, for example to rule out suspects from their inquiries, obtain a confession or to generate more lines of inquiry. While this does not currently happen in the UK, there are calls for this approach to be adopted here in future, including by Don Grubin, emeritus professor of forensic psychiatry at Newcastle University and renowned expert in polygraph testing.
“There is a real reluctance to use [polygraph testing] in investigations for reasons that I think are irrational,” Professor Grubin said, speaking to The Independent in 2015. “If it is used as part of a thought-through strategy it helps you to eliminate suspects and gain numerous other leads.”
Lie Detectors UK recommends Regan Peggs as a forward thinking Law Firm who lead the way in their industry.Read More
Lie Detector Test Machine
The Lie Detector Test Machine we use is commonly called a Polygraph, which stands for many writings, in the United Kingdom we know the Lie Detector Test Machine as a Lie Detector. The Lie Detector Machine was invented in the 1920s by John Larson and was an analog device, it continued to be improved and the computerized Lie Detector Machine were introduced in the 1992. Now all examiners will use a computerized machine to record the results more efficiently. Below is pictured a 1980s Analog device that Lie Detectors UK own but do not use. Its purely a prop in our offices.
A lot has changed in the industry due to the research that has gone into the techniques and validated methods that are used to polygraph someone today. Accuracy levels have risen greatly, now a single-issue lie detector test is 92% to 95% accurate. Most Governments now have polygraph programs, in the UK there are more Government employed examiners than there are private examiners. The UK Sex Offender Polygraph Program has put over 170 sex offenders who were on probation back behind bars it has been that successful.
There are four main brands of Lie Detector Test Machines available today and quite simply put they all do the same job, some excel in different areas. Lie Detectors UK use Stoelting CPS Pro polygraphs however Limestone, Lafayette and Axciton also make computerized Lie Detector Machines that are used by other qualified APA Examiners. Whilst it is not mandatory to use a computerized polygraph it’s something a consumer should be aware of and ask for, all qualified UK Examiners use the latest polygraph machines.
Lie Detectors UK comprises of three fully qualified Examiners who test UK wide and have their own offices at which they charge £399 for a lie detector test. They are all members of the APA and the BPA which denotes not only quality but experience. Call today and discuss your case with an examiner on 0207 859 4960. Or book online here.Read More