A polygraph, more commonly referred to as a lie detector test, is a complex procedure which comprises of three main phases:
Pre-Test Phase – Information Collection and Relevant Questions Formulation
The pre-test phase is a preliminary step in the polygraph examination process where the examiner interacts directly with the client. This phase serves three primary purposes:
– To gather the client’s account of the circumstances or incident under investigation.
– To formulate and review the specific questions that will be asked during the polygraph examination.
– To provide the client with a comprehensive overview of the polygraph procedure, instrument, and its components.
In-Test Phase – Polygraph Examination and Chart Collection
The polygraph examination constitutes the core of the in-test phase. Here, the client’s blood pressure cuff will be inflated to 60 mmHg right before the test begins. The examiner then proceeds to ask the client a series of questions, previously reviewed during the pre-test phase. These questions are asked a minimum of three times as the client’s physiological responses are continuously monitored, measured, and recorded by the polygraph instrument. Between each series of questions, the client is allowed a relaxation period of approximately two minutes.
Post-Test Phase – Data Analysis, Scoring Procedure, and Results
Once the in-test phase concludes, the examiner analyzes and evaluates the collected physiological data using a scientifically-based numerical scoring system. Depending on the results of this analysis, the examiner will render one of the following outcomes:
– No Deception Indicated: The client is deemed to be telling the truth.
– Deception Indicated: The client appears to be deceptive.
– Inconclusive: The analysis of the client’s physiological data does not conclusively support either honesty or deception. This result is relatively uncommon, occurring in less than 5% of all conducted tests.
The Polygraph Instrument (Lie Detector Instrument)
The polygraph instrument collects, measures, and records physiological data from three major body systems regulated by the Autonomic Nervous System. These systems include the cardiovascular system (heart rate, blood pressure, blood volume), respiratory system, and electrodermal system (galvanic skin response, i.e., sweat gland activity).
The instrument connects to the client via various painless components strategically placed on the body, which house sensors to collect the physiological data as the client responds to the questions.
Before the polygraph examination begins, a stimulation/calibration test is administered. This test serves to establish the client’s physiological baseline at the time of testing and ensure that the client is a suitable candidate for the polygraph examination.
Polygraph Examination Report
Once the polygraph test is completed, a verbal result is provided to the client. Within 24 hours after the completion of the test, a detailed written report is provided at no extra cost, covering the information gathered during the polygraph process and the result of the examination.
Systems and Methodology
All polygraph examinations adhere to the Code of Ethics and Principles of Practice stipulated by the American Polygraph Association (APA), a global leader in the field. Our firm utilizes cutting-edge digital polygraph systems from Lafayette Instruments and Axciton Systems.
Booking and Confirmation Phase
The booking process is user-friendly and secure, designed to be completed in a few minutes. Once our services are retained and the required deposit is made, the client will receive a pre-examination assessment form, which needs to be filled out and submitted online within 48 hours. After the balance payment is made, the client will receive a confirmation email with the date, time, and location of the test.
The client must provide accurate information on the pre-examination assessment form as it forms the foundation for the polygraph examination. The formulation of relevant questions for the test will be done on the day of the examination during the pre-test interview with our accredited examiner. The client must establish all case facts to the examiner through a thorough investigation.
Confidentiality and Professionalism
Confidentiality is paramount in all our examinations. We understand the sensitivity of the information and the situations that necessitate a polygraph examination. As such, every stage of the process, from the initial booking to the final reporting, is handled with utmost professionalism and discretion.
The state-of-the-art technology used in our polygraph examinations ensures the highest levels of accuracy and reliability. The sophisticated Lafayette Instrument polygraph systems that we utilize are designed to collect precise readings of various physiological indicators, and are regularly updated with the latest software for optimum performance.
Trained and Accredited Examiners
Our examiners are highly trained professionals who have been accredited by recognized institutions. Their expertise lies not just in operating the polygraph instrument but also in creating an atmosphere of comfort for the examinee, framing appropriate questions, and accurately interpreting the polygraph charts.
The Importance of the Pre-Test Phase
A vital component of a successful polygraph examination is the pre-test phase. This is where the examiner sets the stage for the rest of the test. By obtaining the examinee’s version of the facts and formulating the questions that will be asked during the examination, a rapport is built with the examinee. This helps in getting more accurate responses during the actual test.
Understanding the Results
Interpreting the results of a polygraph test requires a high level of expertise. Deception, truthfulness, or inconclusive results are not just based on physiological responses but also on a variety of other factors, including the nature of the questions asked, the examinee’s understanding of the questions, and the examinee’s overall state of mind. Our trained professionals take all these factors into account while analyzing and interpreting the results.
Adhering to Industry Standards
Our procedures and practices are in line with the standards and principles set by the American Polygraph Association (APA), the leading authority in the field of polygraph examinations. This ensures that the examinee is treated fairly, and the test is conducted and evaluated in an ethical and professional manner.
The Post-Test Report
Our commitment to transparency extends to the post-test phase. We provide a detailed report which includes a comprehensive breakdown of the test results, allowing the client to fully understand the outcome of the polygraph examination.
In conclusion, the process of conducting a polygraph examination is rigorous and methodical, consisting of several carefully planned and executed phases. With advanced technology, trained professionals, and strict adherence to ethical standards, we strive to provide our clients with the most reliable and accurate polygraph testing services.