ABOUT THE POLYGRAPH
A polygraph test consists of several different phases:
a pretest interview, the collection of charts, and an analysis of the polygraph
charts. The average polygraph test will usually last 2-3 hours from beginning
to end. The longest part of the polygraph test will be the pretest interview,
which normally lasts anywhere between 45-90 minutes.
During the pretest interview, the polygraph examiner
will explain your legal rights, explain the polygraph instrument and how
it works, discuss the issue, develop and review all questions asked on
the polygraph test, cover general background information, and will provide
instructions for the actual testing phase.
The polygraph consists of three or more components:
the pneumograph component that records respiration and movement, the galvanograph
or G.SR. component records your galvanic skin response and changes in skin
resistance, and the cardiosphygmograph component records your relative
blood pressure and pulse rate. Once the pretest interview has been completed,
the polygraph examiner will place four attachments on the subject's person:
two rubber pnemograph tubes across the upper chest and abdomen, two metal
fingerplates across the ring and index finger, and a bloodpressure cuff
around the upper arm. During the collection of charts, the examiner will
ask the reviewed questions two to three times, and run a minimum of two
to three separate charts before rendering an opinion.
It is expected that anyone who takes a polygraph
test will be nervous; however nervousness does not normally interfere with
the test . Even though a person has high bloodpressure, diabetes, etc.,
their body has a set of normal patterns on a daily basis. When a person
decides to lie, however, physiological changes begin to take place in the
body. Bloodpressure begins to increase or decrease. Heart rate can increase
or decrease. A person's heart can skip a beat. Blood volume begins to change.
These are just a few of the types of physical changes that can occur. In
the case of deception, more than one type of physiological change usually
occur. The person taking the test must decide whether or not they are going
to tell the truth, or whether or not they are going to lie and withhold
information about the relevant issues. Once a person decides to tell the
truth, the body goes about its normal patterns with no significant or consistent
WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW
WHEN CHOOSING A POLYGRAPH EXAMINER
- Many States do not have polygraph LICENSING and
there are absolutely no controls over who provides such services! Before
you take a polygraph or choose a polygraph examiner, there are some important
questions you need to find the answers to!
- Was the polygraph Examiner professionally trained
at a polygraph school accredited by the American Polygraph Association?
- Is the Examiner licensed in any licensing state?
- Is the Examiner from an established business or
working out of a suitcase?
- Does the Examiner use state of the art computerized
- Is the Examiner bonded or insured?
- Does the polygraph service meet standards of the
American Polygraph Association?
- Does the Examiner use quality control procedures?
- Is the Examiner a member of the American Polygraph
Association and /or any state polygraph association?
- Has the Examiner completed advanced training and
continuing education programs in the field of polygraph?
- Has the Examiner been qualified as an expert polygraph
examiner in court proceedings?
- Is the Examiner familiar with legal issues for testing
under ADA and EPPA, if testing for an employer?
HOW ACCURATE IS
According to the American Polygraph Association,
over 250 studies have been conducted on the accuracy of polygraph testing
during the past 25 years and it is estimated that the accuracy of decisions
is generally in the range of 85-95% for specific issue investigations.
Some of the most frequent errors may be caused by lack of training, non-functioning
equipment, failure to properly prepare the examinee for the examination,
poorly worded test questions, failure to assess the examinee's emotional
and physical condition, improper use of testing techniques, a lack of quality
control review, and misreadings of the physiological data on the polygraph
HOW MUCH DOES A POLYGRAPH
Fees for polygraph services usually depend upon
the complexity and type of polygraph test to be conducted, and the average
polygraph test will take between 3-4 hours and will include a detailed
pretest interview, collection of charts whereby the examiner will administer
a number of polygraph charts, and an analysis of the polygraph charts.
If you select a polygraph examiner solely on the basis of rates, you
should understand that shortcuts in time and service may lead to errors
and future legal problems. The cost of a polygraph exam will vary and depend upon the issues involved. If you are interested in obtaining specific costs,
contact MICJ for a free initial consultation to evaluate your
How to Contact MICJ
To obtain an application or to find out more about the MICJ Accredited polygraph training program, contact the institute by telephone, fax or email at:
Phone - (410)987-6665
FAX - (410)987-4808
E-Mail - MDMICJ@aol.com
or by Mail at:
8424 Veterans Highway,
Millersvile, Maryland 21108
MICJ HAS BEEN PROVIDING POLYGRAPH EXAMINATIONS SINCE 1971 AND ALL EXAMINERS ARE PROFESSIONALLY TRAINED AND MEET ALL PRFESSIONAL STANDARDS.