Inconclusive Lie Detector Results
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.