Frequently Asked Questions

We receive many questions about Polygraph Examinations / Lie Detection Interviews, from general logistics to legal concerns. If your questions are not answered on this page, then please contact us and we will be happy to discuss the process in more detail with you.


General Questions

A polygraph(Lie Detector) (popularly referred to as a lie detector) measures and records several physiological indices such as blood pressure, pulse, respiration, and skin conductivity while the subject is asked and answers a series of questions. The lie detector test records changes in a persons physiological makeup during questioning. An examination is a combination of a psychophysiological testing technique and an interview.

The polygraph is highly reliable, providing the examiner is properly trained and using the latest validated techniques and computerised equipment. The American Polygraph Association (APA) has gathered over 200 studies on the subject. Based on twelve separate studies involving 2174 actual cases since 1980, evidence suggests that qualified polygraph examiners are 98% accurate in their overall decisions. The use of the polygraph has evolved over the last ten years, techniques are now backed by science and accuracy with the latest computerised equipment.

Using modern equipment and the latest techniques its highly improbable. The polygraph records changes in a person’s autonomic reactivity whilst they answer questions. If an examinee attempts to distort the polygraph tracings, it becomes evident to a trained examiner during the test. Its easy for a qualified examiner to spot when a examinee is attempting to alter the outcome of a test, this can result in the test being abandoned. Its expected most examinees will have spent some time researching the lie detector test on the Internet prior to the test and may attempt to use methods they have read about.

The polygraph test takes a minimum of 30 minutes for standard testing. More complex examinations start at 1 1/2 hours, but can take up to four hours depending on the issue being tested for. The test comprises of the following: The first section being the pre-test interview where a statement of consent to conduct the test is obtained. There is a explanation of the equipment being used, background data is gathered from the examinee. During this part of the test the examiner will fully discuss the questions being asked and will familiarise the examinee with the testing procedure. The second section is the data collection phase which includes attaching the components to the examinee, which includes upper body movement sensors attached to the chest.

A standard blood pressure cuff is attached to the upper arm and is inflated, to record reading of the examinees heart rate and pulse rate. Electrodermal activity finger cuffs are attached to two fingers to measure skin conductance (sweat gland activity). The examinee sits on a movement sensor mat. Once complete the examiner will analyse the results and provide an opinion as to the truthfulness of the person taking the test depending on the test type. You will get the results the same day verbally via a phone call, followed up by a written report emailed or posted.

An examiner should be professionally trained and have graduated from a polygraph school accredited by the American Polygraph Association and be a member of an approved association such as the American Polygraph Association or the National Polygraph Association. They should use the latest computerised equipment and the latest validated techniques as much has changed in the profession in the last ten years. Ensure that your examiner fulfills each of these requirements and ask if the examiner has completed the 2 year updated training as required by the APA.

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Being nervous before a polygraph exam is normal and not at all unusual. Being nervous wont cause a person to fail a polygraph test, telling lies will. It is quite normal for an innocent person to feel nervous and the examiner is very aware of this. Nervous reactions which are recorded on the polygraphic charts are not interpreted by the examiner as a manifestation of deception. Nervous reactions are completely different from those reactions that are recorded when a person is deliberately lying.

We work with the client to formulate questions that cover the test issue meeting the rules for the latest techniques. We will advise on what questions are recommended for the issue being tested for.


Common Use Cases

Personal disputes where one party is lying may involve family members, friends, and associates. Polygraph testing has proven useful in settling disagreements, and discovering deception.

Suspect your partner of cheating on you? Perhaps your relationship is suffering as trust between you both has broken down? Maybe abuse, addiction issues or other family accusations are being made. Confidential lie detector tests have proven to resolve such disputes, putting couples on the path to resolving their issues, and healing.

When theft or fraud is identified, be it in a private or business situation, all trust breaks down until the perpetrator is identified and dealt with appropriately.

Oftentimes businesses will hire a professional Polygraph tester to interview employees, sending a message that theft is not acceptable.

Penelope Polygraph provides expert assistance in investigations of any nature. Our highly trained examiners perform accurate polygraph tests on the accused and provide proven results.

Anyone who has managed a company knows that your employees can make or break your business. Dishonest staff can run a company into the ground, ruining many people’s livelihood in the process.

Many businesses today operate in ‘sensitive’ areas, such as those related to cyber security, and government agencies. In these types of cases more stringent pre-screening may be required.

As an expert witness out Polygraph examiners will provide specialized information about Polygraph Examinations, and specific testimony of any interviews carried out.

When providing Lie Detection Examinations for legal investigations, our staff can maintain records of the interview(s), and provide Expert Witness testimony in a court of law.


Media & News Appearances

Yes, Penelope certainly can accommodate television requests, news interviews, and other media appearances. Penelope is comfortable on camera, and will respect your dress code and other requirements.

Penelope would be happy to provide Polygraph Examinations on your videos, be interviewed, engage in joint ventures, and is open to both serious and comedic media appearances.

Yes, Penelope would be happy to provide Polygraph Examinations for your podcast, and is available for Podcast interviews and discussions.

Schedule A Polygraph TEst

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