See Our Polygraph Technical Glossary
What is a Polygraph?
A polygraph(Lie Detector) (popularly referred to as a lie detector) measures and records several physiological indices such as blood pressure, pulse, respiration, and skin conductivity while the subject is asked and answers a series of questions. The lie detector test records changes in a persons physiological makeup during questioning. An examination is a combination of a psychophysiological testing technique and an interview.
Should I take a Polygraph test?
It is possible that you are looking for confirmation of innocence for yourself or someone you know. Submitting to a polygraph examination should not be entered into lightly as it may change your life, therefore you should fully understand why you or someone you know wishes to take an examination and be completely aware of how the outcome of any test may affect you. Taking a test is a voluntary action on the behalf of the examinee.
How reliable is a Polygraph test?
The polygraph is highly reliable, providing the examiner is properly trained and using the latest validated techniques and computerised equipment. The American Polygraph Association (APA) has gathered over 200 studies on the subject. Based on twelve separate studies involving 2174 actual cases since 1980, evidence suggests that qualified polygraph examiners are 98% accurate in their overall decisions. The use of the polygraph has evolved over the last ten years, techniques are now backed by science and accuracy with the latest computerised equipment.
What happens during a Polygraph test?
The polygraph test takes a minimum of 1.5hours but can take up to four hours depending on the issue being tested for. The test comprises of the following: The first section being the pre-test interview where a statement of consent to conduct the test is obtained. There is a explanation of the equipment being used, background data is gathered from the examinee. During this part of the test the examiner will fully discuss the questions being asked and will familiarise the examinee with the testing procedure. The second section is the data collection phase which includes attaching the components to the examinee, which includes upper body movement sensors attached to the chest. A standard blood pressure cuff is attached to the upper arm and is inflated, to record reading of the examinees heart rate and pulse rate. Electrodermal activity finger cuffs are attached to two fingers to measure skin conductance (sweat gland activity). The examinee sits on a movement sensor mat. Once complete the examiner will analyse the results and provide an opinion as to the truthfulness of the person taking the test depending on the test type. You will get the results the same day verbally via a phone call, followed up by a written report emailed or posted.
Can you fail a Polygraph test if you are nervous?
Being nervous before a polygraph exam is normal and not at all unusual. Being nervous wont cause a person to fail a polygraph test, telling lies will. It is quite normal for an innocent person to feel nervous and the examiner is very aware of this. Nervous reactions which are recorded on the polygraphic charts are not interpreted by the examiner as a manifestation of deception. Nervous reactions are completely different from those reactions that are recorded when a person is deliberately lying.
Is it possible to beat the test?
Using modern equipment and the latest techniques its highly improbable. The polygraph records changes in a person’s autonomic reactivity whilst they answer questions. If an examinee attempts to distort the polygraph tracings, it becomes evident to a trained examiner during the test. Its easy for a qualified examiner to spot when a examinee is attempting to alter the outcome of a test, this can result in the test being abandoned. Its expected most examinees will have spent some time researching the lie detector test on the Internet prior to the test and may attempt to use methods they have read about.
How much does a Polygraph test cost?
We are charge £450 all inclusive UK WIDE to visit you and £399 if you come to us in Sevenoaks in Kent at our offices. We are so confident our pricing is the most competitive in the UK. We strive to make Polygraph testing more affordable and work hard to keep our costs down, yet use the latest equipment and stay up to date with all the changes in the industry.
We can take payment by any means, our examiners carry point of sale terminals for card payments. When booking a test we do ask for a non-refundable deposit of £150. At this point we will send you a copy of our terms and conditions if requested.
Where can tests be run?
We cover the complete UK where possible, whilst we use offices in London we can arrange to use offices throughout the UK and Europe. If you prefer we can do home visits, however need a distraction free environment with a table and two chairs. At extra cost tests can be completed anywhere in the world and generally within ten days of the initial enquiry (subject to visa and other contractual requirements).
What should I look for in a Polygraph Examiner?
An examiner should be professionally trained and have graduated from a polygraph school accredited by the American Polygraph Association and be a member of an approved association such as the American Polygraph Association or the National Polygraph Association. They should use the latest computerised equipment and the latest validated techniques as alot has changed in the profession in the last ten years. Ensure that your examiner fulfills each of these requirements and ask if the examiner has completed the 2 year updated training as required by the APA.
Can someone under the age of 18 take Polygraph?
Yes, but the examiner must first have written consent of a parent or guardian. We wont test anyone under the age of 14.
What questions can be asked?
We work with the client to formulate questions that cover the test issue meeting the rules for the latest techniques. We will advise on what questions are recommended for the issue we are testing for.
What languages can test be run in?
We can carry out tests in any language via a team of highly skilled linguistic experts available to us, however there will be extra costs associated with this.