Unless you have full control over your body, when you lie, your heart starts to race. Yo start to breathe heavier. You start to pant. Your blood pressure starts to go up. You start to sweat. These are physical signs that anyone can easily see – a polygraph machine detects these same sings, at a much smaller scale.

The machine picks up and records changes in a person’s blood pressure, pulse rate and strength, galvanic skin response (sweat gland activity), and upper and lower breathing patterns. It does not matter if the person being tested becomes “nervous” during the examination – that is very common. The polygraph records significant changes from the subject when specific questions are answered. A person intending deception to a particular question will activate his/her Sympathetic Nervous System (SNS) as a “self defense” mechanism when that specific question (threat) is asked on the test. The SNS activation will cause recognizable changes in one or more of the physiological responses.

On this article, we’re going to answer and address what goes into an examination. How long the examination usually lasts. How the test is setup. Lastly, what you can expect when you hire our team to conduct a polygraph examination.

Getting Started

Setting up the machine is not as simple as television makes it out to be – a plug and play scenario. We have to setup the machine, setup the examination environment, prepare the area, and schedule out enough time to conduct the examination. Because our machines detect physiological changes, we need to ensure the environment is as neutral as possible. We recommend scheduling the exam at least a weak in advance.

Starting the Examination

After the machine has been setup, the polygraph examiner is going to calibrate the machine by registering a baseline for your vital signs. The examiner will ask you a series of questions that he’ll use as a control. These questions will range from:

  1. Is your name John?
  2. Are you 27 Years old?
  3. Have you ever lied?
  4. Have you committed a crime?

There will be a few trick questions that will be thrown into the mix. These questions are used to help create a true control and baseline report for your vital signs.

How Long is a Polygraph Examination?

Depending on the type of polygraph examination, they can take about 90 minutes – sometimes more. If more questions must be asked, another polygraph examination must be designed and conducted following the first one. This usually adds to the time and cost involved. Finally, a healthy individual can only produce readable polygraph charts for a limited period of time. After this time has expired, it is impossible to generate a conclusive polygraph examination and any further examinations must be scheduled for a different day.

Can People “Beat” the Examination?

The polygraph instrument works by recording changes in a person’s Sympathetic Nervous System (SNS), part of the Autonomic Nervous System, which operates independently of conscious thought.

For example, your lungs and heart continue to operate even when you are asleep – you don’t have to think about it. These systems can be consciously controlled only very slightly, and attempts (countermeasures) to change these systems are usually picked up by the polygraph examiners, who are trained to identify countermeasure techniques. It is highly unlikely that someone can alter the outcome of a polygraph examination, but it is not impossible. A verified accuracy rate as high as 95% attests to this fact.

Use of certain drugs and medications can also affect the polygraph examination, but such use generally results in an “No Opinion” (inconclusive) polygraph examination. It is virtually impossible to change a result from “deceptive” to “truthful” through the use of drugs or medications prior to a polygraph examination.

Are Polygraph Examinations Admissible in Court?

It depends. Some courts have allowed the introduction of polygraph evidence while others have not. Each jurisdiction must be checked to determine admissibility standards. One of the greatest fears keeping polygraph evidence out of courts is the fact that such evidence would carry greater weight than other equally-important evidence and would tend to sway a jury in one direction even though other evidence may point the other way.

In most cases, polygraph evidence is used during pretrial negotiations, administrative hearings, and during sentencing rather than during the trial itself. Contact our team and request a free consultation. Our team can help you determine if a Polygraph Examination is the right fit for your needs.

Can Someone Under 18 be Administered an Examination?

Yes, but the polygraph examiner must first have written consent of a parent or guardian. However, most polygraph examiners will not test anyone under the age of 12 years old barring extraordinary circumstances.

Are The PI Agency’s Polygraph Deposits Refundable?

If the polygraph examiner does not administer your polygraph due to his/her choice or schedule problem, the deposit is refundable. If the client cancels the polygraph examination for any reason, the deposit and additional fees discussed above is forfeited and another deposit must be applied prior to rescheduling. As we stead at the start of the article, setting up an examination takes time. During this time, our polygraph examiners block off their schedule to ensure your needs will be met.

Why Should I Use a Polygraph Examination?

When the evidence is not simply enough from cheating family members to office theft, you should not make life changing decisions based on emotions or beliefs alone. Perform a polygraph test to get proven results, our expert investigators at The PI Agency have the experience to conduct a quick and effective polygraph test.

Reach out to an investigator today to find out how The PI Agency has been protecting people and businesses from the threats of malicious intent.