Also known as a lie detector, a polygraph is a scientific device that monitors an individual’s psychophysiological responses, recording relative changes in selected physiological attributes, such as:
- arterial blood pressure,
- pulse rate,
- respiration rate patterns,
- galvanic skin response (electrodermal activity)
During a polygraph examination, the subject is asked a series of carefully selected questions, specially prepared to induce psychophysiological responses, which are continually recorded by the polygraph. Both the examination procedure and the subsequent interpretation of the subject’s responses are always carried out by professionally trained experts – polygraph examiners.
Did you know, that…
- …the first polygraph (lie detector) was invented as long ago as in 1922?
- …the polygraph is considered to be one of the most significant scientific inventions of all time?
- …the reliability of state-of-the-art polygraphs is over 98 per cent?
- …polygraph examinations are carried out under carefully defined conditions and exclusively by specially trained polygraph examiners so as to ensure utmost precision?
- …all examined subjects have to be informed in advance of all the questions they will be asked during the examination process?
- …polygraphs measure psychophysiological reactions that cannot be consciously controlled?
We are using the newest type of polygraph: LX 5000-SW. The computerized Polygraph LX5000-SW is the world’s most advanced polygraph (lie detector) designed to record, store, and analyze physiological changes during a polygraph examination. With the basic system a total of nine channels can be recorded at one time. More informations about polygraph equipment can be found on our polygraphs product page
A typical polygraph examination will include a period referred to as a:
- pre-test interview
- chart collection phase
- test data analysis phase
During the pre-test, the polygraph examiner will complete required paperwork and talk with the examinee about the test, answering any questions the examinee might have. It is during this phase that the examiner will discuss the test questions and familiarize the examinee with the testing procedure.
During the chart collection phase the examiner will administer and collect a number of polygraph charts. The number of questions and the number of charts will vary, depending on the number of issues and technique employed.
Following this, the examiner will analyze the charts and render an opinion as to the truthfulness of the examinee.
The examiner, when appropriate, will offer the examinee an opportunity to explain physiological responses in relation to one or more questions presented during the test.
Our range of services focuses on polygraph examinations for the purpose of lie detection (distinguishing truthful answers from deceptive ones). Such examinations are typically required by:
questions that a polygraph might give you answers to include:
- Is there a risk of information leakage in my company?
- Is it possible that my key employees might be cooperating with my competitors?
- Who is responsible for my company’s high overhead costs?
- Are my subordinates loyal?
- Who is answerable for the disclosure of confidential information?
- Which of my employees are wasting the company’s financial resources the most?
- Are the company’s employees honest or are they prone to accept bribes?
common people can benefit from polygraph examinations because they provide answers to questions such as:
- Is my wife/husband cheating on me?
- Does my son sell drugs? Does my son possess an illegal gun?
- Does my husband/wife have an extramarital relationship with someone else, e.g. via a social network?
- Has my wife/husband ever driven a car while intoxicated?
- Is my daughter/son bunking off school?
- Has my partner lied to me about his/her past?
- Are my partner’s reasons for staying with me emotional or is he/she taking advantage of my financial situation?
ministries, government institutions, public offices, schools, health care providers, prosecuting authorities, police, etc. Typical topics include:
- Loyalty, bribery, official misconduct, old school tie, illegal activities, etc.
Polygraph examiner training
Become a polygraph examiner
Argo-A Security EU offers, as the first company in European Union, special education in polygraphology through well-known and accredited international polygraphological school – Chicago Polygraph Institute.
Basic course – Polygraph examiner training – is led by experienced trainers, members of International League of Polygraph Examiners, American Polygraph Association and the training is provided by accredited organization Chicago Polygraph Institute. Polygraph examiner training is guaranteed by one of the most experienced and well-known polygraph examiners in Europe, and the most frequently mentioned and quoted polygraph examiner by the media worldwide – Dr. Andriy M. Volyk.
Applicants must meet strict education, ethics, and moral requirements and will be also interviewed. Moreover, they must be of excellent character and reputation, and have no felony or misdemeanor convictions.
What is Polygraph?
The polygraph (lie detector) is a scientific instrument capable of simultaneously recording changes in several physiological variables such as blood pressure, pulse rate, respiration, electrodermal activity, and others, while the subject is asked a series of questions pertaining to a specific issue under investigation. The charts (polygrams) generated during the polygraph examination are interpreted by a polygraph examiner. The literal meaning of the word “polygraph” is “many writings”.
Who is the inventor of the polygraph?
The polygraph was invented in 1921 by John Augustus Larson (1892-1965) a medical student at the University of California and a police officer of the Berkeley Police Department (Berkeley, California, USA). Dr. Larson, born in Shelbourne, Nova Scotia, Canada, was the first to simultaneously record more than one physiological parameter with the purpose of detecting deception. Dr. Larson developed and utilized the continuous method of concurrently registering changes in pulse rate, blood pressure, and respiration. In conjunction with his polygraph, Dr. Larson used a test/a scientific procedure originated by Dr. William Moulton Marston (1893-1947) in the Harvard Psychological Laboratory in 1915 and applied by him to various fields of investigation during World War I. Dr. Larson modified Dr. Marston’s procedure and applied it to the police procedure at the Berkeley Police Department beginning in 1921.
Do nerves affect the results of a polygraph test?
No. Nervousness does not interfere with the polygraph test. It is expected that every individual undergoing a polygraph examination will be nervous whether he/she intends to answer questions truthfully or not. Typically, an examinee remains nervous throughout the entire testing process not during one individual question. A polygraph examiner will look for action-specific responses over and above the examinee’s heightened level of nervousness or anxiety. If nerves affected the result of a polygraph test, then no one would ever pass a polygraph test.
How significant is the invention of the polygraph?
The polygraph is considered officially one of the greatest inventions of all time. For example, the polygraph (lie detector), invented by John A. Larson of the U.S. in 1921, is included in the Encyclopaedia Britannica Almanac 2003’s list of 325 greatest inventions. Originally published in 1768, the Encyclopaedia Britannica is the oldest continuously published English-language encyclopedia and one of the world’s most trusted sources of information.
Who is the most prominent polygraph examiner of all times?
Leonarde Keeler (1903-1949), born in North Berkeley, California, USA, is the most prominent polygraph examiner of all times. Having conducted over 30,000 polygraph examinations, Leonarde Keeler is one of the world’s foremost scientific criminologists, whose contribution to the stature of the field of lie detection is merely immeasurable and invaluable. In 1925, Leonarde Keeler (a Stanford University psychology major working at the Berkeley Police Department), developed two significant improvements to Larson’s polygraph: a metal bellows (tambour) to better record changes in blood pressure, pulse and respiration patterns, and a kymograph, which allowed chart paper to be pulled under the recording pens at a constant speed. In 1936, Keeler added a third physiological component to his polygraph – the Psychogalvanometer – a device for measuring changes in a person’s skin resistance. This version of Keeler’s polygraph was the prototype of the modern polygraph, and Keeler himself is therefore considered the “father of modern polygraph”.
What company is the leader in the manufacture of polygraphs?
Lafayette Instrument Company, located in Lafayette, Indiana, USA, is the unconditional global leader in the manufacture and sale of polygraphs. Lafayette Instrument Company, founded in 1947 by Max Wastl (1915-1990), has been manufacturing polygraphs since the 1950’s. Under the stewardship of the company’s current owners Roger B. McClellan, Christopher L. Fausett and Terrance G. Echard, Lafayette Instrument Company has achieved a global polygraph market share of approximately 92 percent.
How can I acquire a Lafayette Instrument Company polygraph?
Depending upon your location in the world, you can purchase a polygraph either from Lafayette Instrument Company directly or from Lafayette Instrument Company’s exclusive representative in your country. If you are located in European Union and in some other European countries (39 countries), you can purchase polygraphs from Argo-A Security EU (Košice, Slovak Republic) – Argo-A Security’s and Chicago Polygraph Institute’s representative.
What polygraphs are approved by the ILPE and why?
Approved ILPE polygraph instrumentation includes polygraphs and polygraph accessories manufactured by Lafayette Instrument Company. The polygraph exists to protect the public by verifying the truth and determining deception. It is ILPE’s concrete position that we can succeed in protecting the public by utilizing only the most advanced polygraph instrumentation, as in our profession there is no margin for error. The ever-objective market forces indicate that Lafayette Instrument Company manufactures precisely the superior polygraph instrumentation the polygraph market values the most. Market forces also indicate that Lafayette Instrument Company’s global hegemony in the manufacture and sale of polygraph instrumentation is due to the competitive advantage of its products and services. It is apparent to the ILPE that in countries where a polygraph purchasing decision is based on objectivity and not political, patriotic, corrupt, nepotistic or other motives, the overwhelming majority of polygraph examiners prefers Lafayette Instrument Company polygraph instrumentation.
What polygraph schools are approved by the ILPE?
The list of ILPE-approved polygraph schools includes all twenty (20) APA accredited polygraph schools and Chicago Polygraph Institute (CPI) – an ILPE accredited polygraph school from Indiana, USA, represented in European Union and some other European countries (39 countries) by Argo-A Security EU, located in Košice, Slovak Republic.
How can I become a polygraph examiner?
In order to become a polygraph examiner you must graduate from an ILPE or an APA accredited polygraph school. To be accepted by these schools, applicants must meet strict education, ethics, and moral requirements. Moreover, they must be of excellent character and reputation, and have no felony or misdemeanor convictions.
How can I become an ILPE member?
Membership in the International League of Polygraph Examiners is a privilege. Only graduates of ILPE and APA accredited polygraph schools are eligible for membership in the ILPE. In addition, they must utilize ILPE and/or APA approved polygraph instrumentation meeting strict international quality standards. If you meet the above requirements, please feel welcome to contact us to apply for ILPE membership.
Who uses polygraphs?
Polygraph examinations are conducted by polygraph examiners in the private, law enforcement and government sectors in approximately 100 countries. The polygraph is most actively used in the United States of America, Mexico, Israel, Russia, South Africa, Ukraine, Colombia, Japan, South Korea, Singapore, Canada, India, and Poland to name a few. The USA leads the list with millions of polygraph examinations administered on an annual basis. The list of well known polygraph users in the USA includes: Department of Defense and its many investigative agencies of the Army, Navy, Marines and Air Force, National Security Agency (NSA), Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), United States Secret Service, Federal, Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Internal Revenue Service (IRS), Department of Energy, Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and numerous other intelligence and federal law enforcement agencies. The polygraph is also used by state and local law enforcement agencies, U.S. and district attorney offices, public defenders, lawyers, parole and probation departments, public and private companies.
How accurate is the polygraph?
Recent research reveals that the accuracy of the new computerized polygraph system is close to 100 percent. In the past 75 years, over 250 studies have been conducted on the validity, accuracy and reliability of polygraph testing (American Polygraph Association 1996 Polygraph Issues & Answers). Based on twelve separate studies involving 2174 real cases since 1980, evidence suggests that qualified field polygraph examiners are 98 percent accurate in their overall decisions (Norman Ansley, “The validity and reliability of polygraph decisions in real cases”, Polygraph, v.19, 1990). Research clearly indicates that when administered by a competent polygraph examiner, the polygraph test is the most accurate means available to determine truth and deception.
Are polygraph examination results admissible in court?
Polygraph examination results are admissible in court in some countries, for example, in Japan, India, and USA. In the United States of America, most states permit polygraph examination results to be used as evidence where parties have agreed to their admissibility before the examination is given, under the terms of a stipulation.
How do I know if a polygraph examiner is qualified?
The easiest way to make sure you are being tested by a qualified polygraph examiner is to ask if he or she is a member of the International League of Polygraph Examiners and/or the American Polygraph Association. We recommend that you contact the ILPE or APA to confirm your polygraph examiner’s membership.
What should I look for when seeking a polygraph examiner?
It is important you choose a polygraph examiner who has been professionally trained, accredited, and certified. Every qualified examiner must reach certain competencies before certification(s) can be awarded. It is important to ensure that the polygraph examiner has attended an ILPE or an APA accredited polygraph school as deemed by the ILPE and the APA. Beware of unethical individuals who represent themselves as qualified polygraph examiners when, in fact, they do not have formal training or qualifications. A charlatan will often charge you less for his/her services; however, you should always be skeptical of his/her polygraph examination results.
Can I beat the polygraph?
No, you cannot. If you know you are lying, the polygraph will detect the lie. Any qualified polygraph examiner, who graduated from an ILPE and/or an APA accredited polygraph school, will certainly detect deception. Furthermore, the computerized polygraph approved by the ILPE has a phenomenal accuracy rate of nearly 100 percent and is used in conjunction with highly effective polygraph accessories allowing a polygraph examiner to detect countermeasures an examinee may resort to in an attempt to influence the outcome of the polygraph examination.
How long does a polygraph examination take?
Depending on the complexity of the case and the number of issues being tested a polygraph examination generally takes 2-3 hours.
What does a typical polygraph examination entail?
A professional polygraph examination consists of three phases: the pretest interview, the collection of charts, and the analysis of the polygraph charts. The average polygraph test will generally last 2-3 hours from beginning to end. The longest phase of the polygraph examination will be the pretest interview, which normally lasts 45-90 minutes. In the pretest interview phase, the polygraph examiner will complete the required paperwork and discuss the test questions so that the examinee fully understands each question in advance of taking the polygraph examination. The examiner will also explain the polygraph testing process and answer any questions or concerns. The collection of charts phase takes place in a quiet room with no one but the polygraph examiner and examinee present to prevent distracting the examinee. The polygraph examiner will attach sensors to the subject and ask “yes” or “no” questions that have previously been discussed. Data is collected from the sensors in the form of polygraph charts. In the last phase, the examiner will analyze the charts and render an opinion as to the truthfulness of the person taking the test.
Some information for this section/chapter was taken from Argo-A Security website in compliance with the permission of Dr. Andrii M. Volyk