• (407) 375-5692
  • polygraphoffice@cfl.rr.com

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a polygraph?
What can a polygraph do?
Who can require pre-employment polygraph testing?
Who can be tested?
What is the accuracy of a polygraph?
Is Polygraph admissible in Court?
Will nervousness affect the polygraph results?
Will I know the questions prior to the test?
Can anyone "beat" a polygraph?
Can a polygraph determine if a spouse or significant other is involved in an affair?
What to ask when retaining a Polygraph Examiner?

What is a Polygraph?

A polygraph examination (commonly referred to as a lie detector) is a test designed to collect and record physiological data generated by one's heart, breathing, and sweat glands (cardio, respiratory and endocrine systems of the body) with the intent of identifying involuntary physiological reactions associated with untruthful statements. These recordings are in graph format.

A polygraph examiner will review a set of carefully constructed questions with a polygraph subject or examinee prior to the actual test, soliciting truthful "yes" or "no" answers. The examinee is subsequently asked the same questions several times while attached to the instrument. Physiological data is then analyzed by the examiner who determines if these reactions are associated with truthful or deceptive answers.

What can a polygraph do?

Polygraph examinations may be used to resolve any issue requiring verification of the truth. It may serve to identify the guilty.

Polygraphs can be utilized for the following:

  • Employment Screening
  • Civil Litigations cases
  • Criminal Defense (murder - theft - arson and others)
  • Domestic Issues
  • Economic Crime Issues
  • Fidelity Issues
  • Insurance Fraud
  • White Collar Crimes
  • Child Abuse Allegations
  • Missing Persons Allegations
  • Security Clearance
  • Truth Verification
  • Sexual Harassment
  • Sex Crimes (rape - molestation)
  • Physical or Verbal Abuse Allegations
  • Drug Enforcement Investigation
  • Businesses with Control, Manufacturing and Dispensation of Drug Substances
  • Immigration Law
  • National Security

Who can require pre-employment polygraph testing?

In 1988, congress passed the Employee Polygraph Protection Act (EPPA). This federal law establishes guidelines for polygraph testing limiting the utilization by private enterprise. Some exemptions are: pre-employment testing done by City, County, State and Federal Entities, pharmaceutical firms, companies under control of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, any position that could impact national security, and certain security firms.

For more information on polygraph utilization by private enterprise, please visit the Employee Polygraph Protection Act website.

Who can be tested?

Virtually anyone that knows the difference between right and wrong can be administered a polygraph examination. Juvenile subjects must have parental / guardian approval. All polygraphs are voluntary.

What is the accuracy of a polygraph?

Validation studies have proven polygraph to be over 96% accurate, providing the examination is conducted by a competent certified examiner using a Standardized Polygraph Technique. The questions must be asked a minimum of two times and algorithmic numerical scoring should be utilized.

Is Polygraph admissible in Court?

Polygraph results are admissible in some federal circuits and some states. The United States Supreme Court has yet to rule on the issue of polygraph admissibility so it has been up to individual jurisdictions to allow polygraph results. In the majority of cases, pending polygraph results were stipulated to by opposing attorneys.

For more information on polygraph utilization by private enterprise, please visit the Employee Polygraph Protection Act website.

Will nervousness affect the polygraph results?

General nervous tension is to be expected during the polygraph procedure. Competent examiners account for the enhanced physiological parameters. An examinee's general nervous tension level is a relative constant through out the procedure. We all have the capability to respond over and above that tension level. Nervousness will not affect accuracy.

Will I know the questions prior to the test?

Every competent certified examiner should review the test questions in detail with the perspective examinee prior to conducting the examination. This will serve to reduce the examinee's nervousness and will insure complete understanding of the questions to be asked.

Can anyone "beat" a polygraph?

Honest people have no reason to attempt to beat the polygraph; this concept is a myth. Media hype has planted the idea that polygraph can be beaten and unfortunately, some people will try to do just that. An experienced examiner can identify attempts by the examinee to distort the test by observing the physiological reactions being collected.

Can a polygraph determine if a spouse or significant other is involved in an affair?

Again, the polygraph is used to verify truth. However, regarding fidelity issues, it is best if involved parties seek some type of counseling before the test. At D.Craig Harper and Associates, we prefer fidelity test requests be initiated by the counselor or attending professional. Please contact us for further information.

What to ask when retaining a Polygraph Examiner?

  • A qualified polygraph examiner should be a graduate of an American Polygraph Association, (APA) or American Association of Police Polygraphist, (AAPP) Certified/Recognized School.
  • Should be a Certified Polygraph Examiner by the APA and / or AAPP and / or State Association.
  • Should be an active member of a National Polygraph Association (APA - AAPP - NPA) and be an active member of his/her State of Residence Polygraph Association i.e.: Florida Polygraph Association (FPA).
  • A qualified polygraph examiner should attend yearly continuing education seminars to study the latest in truth verification techniques.
  • A qualified polygraph examiner has had court experience.
  • Adhere to APA and AAPP code of ethics and establishes standards of practice i.e.: confidentiality and personal moral ethics.