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Frequently Asked Polygraph Questions:


Q: What is a Polygraph?

The Polygraph is a sophisticated instrument that records a person’s internal physiological activity. The instrument continuously records and monitors respiratory activity, electro-dermal activity and cardiovascular (blood volume) activity.

Q: How long does a Polygraph examination take?

Per American Polygraph Association guidelines, the required minimum length of a properly administered Polygraph examination is 90 minutes in duration, however each examination depends on many things, including the complexity of the issue and the level of the examinee’s cooperation.  A person scheduled for an examination should plan on at least two hours.

Q: Can everyone be tested?

Most people are suitable candidates for a Polygraph examination. Physical factors that may prevent an examination include pregnancy, recent major surgery, paralysis, severe colds and respiratory problems. Juvenile subjects under the age of 14 are often difficult to examine due to a lack of maturity. On occasion, psychological problems may prevent an examination.

Q: What is the best way to prepare for a Polygraph examination?

A person should get an adequate amount of sleep prior to the examination, use prescribed medication as directed and do not use alcohol or illegal drugs within 24 hours of the scheduled examination.  If you have any questions, contact the examiner.

Q: How accurate is a Polygraph examination?

A properly administered valid Polygraph examination has been proven to be over 90% accurate for a single issue examination. Results from a single-issue Polygraph examination will be reported as Deception Indicated (DI), No Deception Indicated (NDI) or Inconclusive/No Opinion (INC or NO).  Results from a multiple-issue Polygraph examination will be reported as Significant Response (SR), No Significant Response (NSR) or Inconclusive/No Opinion (INC or NO).  While most cases will be determined as truthful or deceptive following the examination, occasionally an examination will be Inconclusive. This means that based on the physiological data no opinion can be rendered as to truth or deception.

Q: Will nerves affect the outcome?

All examinees have some type of general nervous tension and may feel guilty about taking a Polygraph examination. During the pretest phase, the examiner will review all elements of the examination and will review the test questions prior to administering the examination. By this time, the innocent examinee will be a bit more relaxed; nervousness will not cause the innocent examinee to be shown deceptive. However, telling a lie during the examination will cause physiological changes to occur.

Q: Can you “beat” a Polygraph examination?

Studies show there is nothing a person can deliberately and consciously do to cause a diagnostic error if the examiner is qualified and follows proper procedures. A well trained, competent examiner will be able to differentiate between truth and deception, and will be able to observe any attempts to defeat the Polygraph examination. The results of a Polygraph examination can depend on the skill and proper training of each Polygraph examiner.

Q. Will I know what the questions are prior to the test?

Yes. There are no surprises during a Polygraph examination. Every question will be reviewed prior to the examination and the examinee is given the opportunity to ensure that he understands and is comfortable with all test questions.

Q. Can anyone test sexual offenses?

The American Polygraph Association (APA) requires examiners who conduct Post-Conviction Sex Offender Testing (PCSOT) to have completed the necessary specialized training. If you have been convicted of or are under investigation for a sexual crime, Christian is a Post Conviction Sex Offender Testing certified examiner and has completed the requirements for conducting this type of examination.

Q. Will I know the results of my Polygraph test?

Yes, in most cases. After the examination, the examinee will usually can usually be given a verbal confirmation of the outcome. However, there are some examinations which require additional quality control.A confidential written report will be provided if requested.

Q. What should I look for in a Polygraph examiner?

Make sure the examiner is licensed,  insured, belongs to Professional organizations, and attends annual continuing education. Make sure the examiner follows the most recent validated techniques and scoring which have been researched by members of the American Polygraph Association or the American Association of Police Polygraphists. If you are looking for an examiner to test on a sexual issue, make sure he/she is Post Conviction Sex Offender Testing certified by the American Polygraph Association.

Kieso Polygraph Services is licensed and insured. Christian is a member of several professional Polygraph organizations and attends annual continuing education.