Questions About Polygraph/Lie Detector Testing
The following list contains the most frequently asked questions and answers pertaining to our services. If you have a question that is not answered here, please feel free to contact the Accredited Polygraph Services office near you.
- How much does a Polygraph test cost?
- What are some of the issues that a polygraph test can be used?
- What geographical area do you provide your services to?
- Is a Polygraph the same as a "Lie Detector"?
- How accurate is a polygraph?
- What if I feel nervous about taking the test? Will it affect the outcome?
- Does high blood pressure affect the accuracy of the polygraph test?
- Will I know what the questions are prior to the test?
- Will I know the results of my Polygraph test?
- How long does it take to administer a Polygraph test?
- Why does the Polygraph test take so long?
- Who should and should not take a Polygraph test?
- What drugs can affect a Polygraph test?
- Are there Errors in Polygraph Examinations?
- Where is the Polygraph test administered?
How much does a Polygraph test cost?
Accredited Polygraph's service costs are dependant upon certain factors such as your geographical area, testing location and Polygraph test criteria. Please contact us for a free consultation and estimate.
What are some of the issues that a polygraph test can be used?
Accredited Polygraph Services is available to perform testing in the areas of but not limited to:
- Criminal Investigation
- Sex Offenders
- Civil Investigation
- Insurance fraud
- Employee screening
- Corporate theft
- Personal investigation
- Substance abuse
- Child Custody
What geographical area do you provide your services to?
Accredited Polygraph's services are available throughout Philadelphia and Eastern Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Staten Island, Delaware. Please contact us a free consultation to determine the cost of your test.
Is a Polygraph the same as a "Lie Detector"?
Yes. The polygraph instrument is a scientific diagnostic instrument which is often called a "Lie Detector." A polygraph simultaneously records physiological changes in the body, Blood Pressure, Respiratory pattern, and Galvanic Skin response on a moving chart.
How accurate is a polygraph?
The polygraph has been proven to be 98% accurate, a figure much higher than most other scientific tests.
What if I feel nervous about taking the test? Will it affect the outcome?
This is probably the most common question asked. Nervousness is not interpreted as deception.
Almost everyone is at least a little nervous about taking a polygraph Exam. It is up to the examiner to assure the subject that they need not be concerned with being nervous. Nervousness should never be mistaken to cause an innocent person to react guilty.
Does high blood pressure affect the accuracy of the polygraph test?
No. While blood pressure is one of the physiological reactions measured, it does not affect the accuracy of the test. However, if you are taking medication for it, be sure to mention it to the examiner so that he can evaluate its effect on the test.
Will I know what the questions are prior to the test?
Yes. Each question that will be asked during the test will be read, and explained to you before you take the actual test. There will be no surprise or trick questions, all questions are reviewed before the test is administered!
Will I know the results of my polygraph test?
Yes. The American Polygraph Association Standards and Ethics Committee require that the examinee be given the results if requested.
How long does it take to administer a polygraph test?
It usually takes from 1.5 to 3 hours to properly administer a polygraph test.
Why does the polygraph test take so long?
The test includes an Introduction Phase, where the Examiner will obtain general background information for assessment purposes and obtain medical history information to determine if any medical problems will interfere with the testing procedure. In the Evaluation Phase the Examiner will explain how the polygraph works. In the pre-test phase the examiner will discuss the facts of the case with the examinee to clear up any misunderstandings about the facts of the case. In the Actual Test Phase the questions will be asked, and the questions may be repeated 2-3 times.
Who should and should not take a polygraph test?
Who should NOT take a polygraph test:
- Anyone who is being forced to take it.
- Any person with a serious heart condition, unless his doctor has given written approval. A pregnant women, unless her doctor has given written approval.
- Any person who is determined to be mentally incompetent. Any person who has a respiratory illness or cold. Any person who has nerve damage or paralysis.
- Any person who has had a stroke or is an epileptic. Any person who is in pain (i.e., toothache, headache or a recent injury).
Who SHOULD take a polygraph Test:
- Anyone who is trying to prove their innocence in a relationship issue.
- Anyone who claims that something has happened to them and they can't prove it.
- Anyone who is trying to prove their innocence in a criminal matter.
- Anyone who has been accused of theft and wants to clear their name.
- Anyone who has been thought to have lied about something or someone.
What drugs can affect a polygraph test?
Anti-depressant medication such as Lithium, Prozac, Valium or Xanax DO NOT allow someone to 'beat' a polygraph, contrary to some claims. It will give skewed results that are immediately seen in the Pre-test Process. Only the Examiner, through the Pre-test Process, can determine if the subject can take a polygraph while on these drugs.
Are there Errors in polygraph Examinations?
False positives and false negatives can occur. While the polygraph technique is highly accurate, it is not infallible and errors can occur. polygraph errors may be caused by the examiner's failure to properly prepare the examinee for the examination, or by a misreading of the physiological data on the polygraph charts. Errors are usually referred to as either false positives or false negatives. A false positive can occur when a truthful examinee is reported as being deceptive; a false negative when a deceptive examinee is reported as truthful. Some research indicates that false negatives occur more frequently than false positives other research studies show the opposite conclusion. Since it is recognized that any error is damaging, examiners utilize a variety of procedures to identify the presence of factors which may cause false responses, and to insure an unbiased review of the polygraph records. These Protective Procedures include:
- An assessment of the examinee's emotional state.
- Medical information about the examinee's physical condition.
- Specialized tests to identify the overly responsive examinee and to calm the overly nervous.
- Control questions to evaluate the examinee's response capabilities.
- Factual analysis of the case information.
- A pre-test interview and detailed review of the questions.
- Quality control reviews.
Where is the polygraph test administered?
Contact us first so we can discuss your situation and location, but normally the polygraph test can be administered in our office, your office, or within the comfort of your own home.