All About the Polygraph Exams

Polygraph tests are vital to various departments and institutions because of their capability to prove the innocence – or guilt –of an individual. The results may not be acceptable evidence in court, but they can turn tables and influence people. It captures various physiological activities such as the following:

  • Blood Pressure
    • The heart rate or the blood pressure is measured through a cardio-sphygmograph cuff on the upper arm of the examinee. A length of rubber tubing is attached to the cuff and runs to the polygraph machine. If a digital polygraph is used, the signals obtained are converted to electrical signals.
  • Respiratory Rate
    • Two air-filled rubber tubes, called pneumographs, are placed around the examinee’s chest and abdomen. Displacement of air takes place inside the tubes as muscles of chest or abdomen expand.
  • Electro-dermal Activity
    • This measures the amount of sweat that appears on your fingertips. Science shows that the fingertips is one of the body’s most porous areas, hence a good place to observe sweating.
    • Fingerplates, also known as galvanographs, are hook onto the examinee’s fingertips to measure the skin’s capability to conduct electricity – more electricity is conducted by a sweat-moistened fingertip.

There are polygraphs that also study arm and leg movements, in addition to the three activities above. When the examiner provides the questions, the signals are noted on a strip of moving paper.

It may seem simple, but it’s better to entrust the lie detection to the experts. The results will have better chances of being precise and accurate when the test is performed by certified and knowledgeable examiners.

Here are some of the reasons why you would need to have a polygraph test done:

  1. It functions as an investigative aid. Polygraph exams only help with the investigation. It doesn’t aim to replace any investigative method in place. In fact, most courts don’t allow the use of lie detector test results as evidence. Still, polygraph test results may help support the claims of whoever finds it necessary.

The polygraph tests, especially the pre-test and post-test procedures, also help law enforcers determine whether an individual is lying or telling the truth.

  1. Employers are somehow assured of the accuracy of information given to them when they hire new employees. The polygraph tests can be made part of the pre-employment procedures or requirements. This is particularly important for companies that deal with sensitive transactions or whose businesses heavily depend on trust (e.g. banks and financial institutions).

There are companies that include lie detector tests in their internal security systems anti-theft programs as well. When these tests are regularly conducted, it could deter employees from committing any crimes in the company.

  1. Results are highly accurate. A polygraph test that’s performed by a qualified examiner will likely yield results of high accuracy – around 75 to 95%. You may think a 75% accuracy isn’t reliable, but in situations such as employee checks and infidelity scenarios, this is good enough and may already be considered acceptable.

Examinees try so hard to ace a lie detector test. People who have received favorable results easily get their life back on track – they get the jobs they want, they get their loved ones or simply redeem themselves after a polygraph test.

  1. It gives an employee the chance to prove his innocence and redeem himself. If an employee finds himself in a compromising situation and finds it difficult to get out of it, he can elect to go through a lie detector test to settle the issue once and for all. Initially, he may feel distrusted and threatened, but once he clears the tests, he can walk away with proves his innocence, then he can get out of it without a guilty conscience.

Conducting polygraph examinations in companies make employees more conscious about doing the right thing. Even new employees would think twice about doing anything that would cast doubts on their honesty and credibility.

  1. It proves a person’s trustworthiness.

Employers who perform lie detector tests see which employees are aligned with their company’s values. Those who are willing to undergo lie detector tests are more likely to be believed innocent, since they’re able to show that they have nothing to hide.

These types of people are preferred by employers, because they believe that these people can be trusted with sensitive concerns, e.g. large amounts of money or confidential discussions. It’ll be easy for employers to weed out those who aren’t aligned with the company values and visions.

Conclusion

A polygraph test is not just a machine you see in the movies wherein the villain is asked questions to prove that he’s the bad guy. There are many factors surrounding a polygraph, and there are different situations where a polygraph test can be done.

There are companies that specialize in providing lie detector tests. If you need to have the tests done for whatever reason, you may simply contact these companies for more information about the scope and prices of their services. If you are the one who needs to take the lie detector test, you really do not have anything to worry about unless you are not telling the truth.

 

 

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