Tips & Advice
What kind of training does a polygraph examiner receive?
A polygraph examiner is required to complete an accredited polygraph examiner training program and get certification. Some employers, like the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), require specialized certifications. Many potential employers and state license boards require polygraph examiners to also have an associate's or bachelor’s degree in a relevant field, such as behavioral science or criminal justice.
When should a lie-detector test be refused?
Criminal defense attorneys advise that a lie-detector test should be refused when it is at the behest of the police and using their examiner. This is because they’re often trying to question the subject in a setting they control, and could lock the subject into a statement.Typically, the solution is to agree to set up a lie detector test through one’s attorney, at the independent test examiner of choice.
In the corporate world, generally speaking, most employers should not require applicants to take a lie-detector test as part of pre-employment screening or during the normal course of their employment. But there are exceptions--for example, applicants for security clearances may be asked to take a lie-detector test.
What are some common questions during a polygraph exam?
Common questions during a polygraph exam pertain to the person’s basic identity: “Is your name John Doe?”; “Do you live in Chicago?” Beyond those basic opening questions, the questioning path follows the situation that has led to the subject is being tested.
What are control questions?
Control questions are more general questions related to the person, and are meant to see see how your body responds to anxiety-provoking questions, like “have you ever betrayed someone?” They are not specific questions about whether the test subject actually did things related to the situation at hand,. Those are called “relevant questions.”
Are polygraph test results admissible in court?
Polygraph test results are admissible in some jurisdictions, and there are standards for admission--typically involving the consent of the defendant and counsel on both sides. In states that allow polygraphs, the decision to admit polygraph results is often ultimately up to the judge hearing the case.
How much does it cost to conduct a polygraph test?
Polygraph tests usually costs between $400-$900 per person tested, and typically run for two hours. On rare occasions, especially when there are few examiners in a state, the charge will be a bit less or a few-hundred dollars more.
How does a lie-detector test work?
Lie-detector tests works by monitoring a person’s vital signs, and sometimes other physical signals, with sensors, and establishing norms for each. The examiner conducting the test will observe how the person’s signals change while answering questions, and will use those physical signs of deviation from the normal vitals to detect when a person is possibly being untruthful.
How accurate is a lie-detector test?
Lie detectors, or polygraphs, are accurate in the range of 65%-90% depending on which experts you ask. They do well at picking up when people are lying, but they also tend to get many “false positives,” which is when a person is telling the truth, but the polygraph says it’s a lie.