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Frequently Asked Polygraph Questions:


Q: What is a Polygraph instrument?

The Polygraph is a medical instrument which records a person’s internal physiological activity. The instrument continuously records and monitors respiratory/upper body activity, electro-dermal activity, cardiovascular (blood volume) activity, body movements, pulse and blood volume.

Q: How long does a Polygraph examination take?

Per American Polygraph Association guidelines, the minimum length of an administered Polygraph interview and examination should be 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 90 minutes. (Retake or periodic screening examinations may take less than 90 minutes)

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, acute pain, severe colds and acute respiratory problems. Juvenile subjects under the age of 14 are often difficult to examine due to a lack of maturity. Acute psychological and physical 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 avoid 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 valid Polygraph examination has been shown to be 90% accurate for a single issue (known allegation) diagnostic examination. Results for a diagnostic 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 (screening) Polygraph examination will be reported as Significant Response (SR), No Significant Response (NSR) or Inconclusive/No Opinion (INC or NO).  While most examinations will be determined with a high probability as truthful or untruthful, 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 or embarrassed about taking a Polygraph examination. During the pretest phase, the examiner will review all elements of the examination. The examiner will review all test questions and instructions prior to administering the examination. The examination will not begin until you consent and confirm that you understand the test questions and instructions. Nervousness will not cause you to “pass” or “fail” the examination. If the examinee does not cooperate or is unwilling to follows in-test instructions, the examinee cannot have a successful examination.

Q: Can you “beat” a Polygraph examination?

Studies show there is nothing an examinee can deliberately and consciously do to cause a diagnostic error if the examiner is qualified, employs best practices, and follows proper procedures. A well trained, competent examiner will be able to differentiate between truth and deception, and will be able to observe and confront 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. Each examinee should follow the test instructions provided by the examiner in order to have a successful outcome.

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

Yes. There are no surprises during a Polygraph examination. Each question will be reviewed prior to the examination and the examinee is given the opportunity to ensure that he understands each test question and the test instructions.

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 (PCSOT) trained examiner and has completed the requirements for conducting this type of examination.

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

Yes, in most cases. Following the examination, the examiner will usually discuss the examination results with you. However, there are some examinations which require additional quality control before the final results are given. A confidential written report can be provided if requested.

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

Make sure the examiner is licensed,  insured, is a member in good standing of the American Polygraph Association (APA), and attends annual continuing education on the most recent best practices. Make sure the examiner follows validated question techniques and scoring, and best practices, which have been researched by members of the APA and Association of Police Polygraphists (AAPP). If you are looking for an examiner to test on a sexual issue, make sure he/she is Post Conviction Sex Offender Testing (PCSOT) trained by an APA accredited school.

Kieso Polygraph Services is licensed in three states, is insured, and is a member in good standing of the APA and AAPP. He earned a certificate of Advanced and Specialized Training, is PCSOT certified, and attends annual continuing education.