Australia's Premier Polygraph Examiners & Lie Detection Specialists

Frequently Asked Questions About Polygraphs

Frequently Asked Polygraph Questions


We at Advanced Polygraph have included a few of our most frequently asked questions so you will have a better understanding of the Polygraph process, but feel free to contact us if you have any additional questions.

 

 


 

 

What is the Polygraph?

The polygraph is a scientific instrument capable of simultaneously recording physiological changes of an examinee such as blood pressure, pulse rate, respiration, electrodermal activity, and others, while the examinee is asked a series of questions pertaining to a specific issue under investigation. The charts generated during the polygraph examination can only be interpreted accurately by a Qualified, Certified Forensic Polygraph Examiner such as those employed by Advanced Polygraph.
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How many questions can a Polygraph Examiner ask?

You may have heard or seen a polygraph test on television where a barrage of questions is put to an examinee. That is merely for entertainment purposes. In a real polygraph test, the objective is to obtain the best and most accurate results. We at Advanced Polygraph narrow down each test to one particular issue. Then most tests are narrowed down further to 2 or 3 relevant questions about that single issue. The important part to remember is that issues cannot be mixed. An examinee may (for example) be asked about whether they stole oranges or whether they stole apples, but an examinee will not be asked if they stole apples and oranges in the same test; unless the objective was to know whether the examinee stole any fruit regardless of what kind.
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How much will the polygraph test cost?

The cost for each test will depend on the polygraph service package you have selected and includes GST, (plus travel, venue and other expenses. A total cost will be determined at your consultation. The total cost will depend on the type of test you are requesting and the amount of time that it will take) Advanced Polygraph require a deposit of half the polygraph fee BEFORE an appointment is made. If you do not appear for your appointment, cancel or reschedule within 48 hours of your test time, you will forfeit your deposit. If you call and cancel at least 48 hours prior to your appointment, we may refund your deposit or reschedule your test time if appointments are available. These prices apply primarily to the private sector. Multiple testing for a business or government agency will be negotiated separately.
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Do you accept credit cards?

Yes, Advanced Polygraph accepts all major credit cards via PayPal.
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Will you travel to me for the test?

Yes or you can travel to us. Testing will not be done at any examinee's private residence. The location must be quiet and undisturbed and will have to be approved by Advanced Polygraph prior to the test taking place. Should your location be outside a 30 kilometre radius of the Melbourne CBD, an additional fee will be added for travel expenses which will be determined by the final test location. This will be negotiated with you during your initial consultation and will have to be paid as part of the deposit.
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Why can't polygraph testing be done in New South Wales but can in all other states?

There is no legislation governing the application of polygraph testing in Australia other then in New South Wales. In 1983, the New South Wales State Parliament passed the Lie Detectors Act, 1983 (NSW) which places restrictions on the use, application and undertaking of polygraph examinations. Such restrictions include issues relevant to employment matters, honestly matters related to character, issues relevant to insurance related matters, any application for financial accommodation, and whether or not a person is guilty of an act or admission that is punishable by a fine or imprisonment under any statute or regulation in New South Wales. Reference to the Lie Detectors Act 1983 can be found on the internet where it presents the limitations of the use of polygraph examinations under the definition of "prohibitive purpose". In light of this, we strongly recommend the client of any prospective polygraph examiner or agency prior to their engagement should seek the following before any client considers engaging a polygraph examiner to conduct a polygraph examination in New South Wales and proof of the following.

1. The examiner is a Certified Forensic Polygraph Examiner with the Forensic Polygraph Association of Australia or the American Polygraph Association.

2. Is a qualified polygraph examiner having undertaken and successfully graduated from training at a Forensic Polygraph Association of Australia or the American Polygraph Association approved institution, institute, school or University.

3. That they have facilitated or been in involved in the conduct of a minimum of 100 polygraph examinations.

4. That a client always requests proof of their current certification

5. That the polygraph examinations are in an environment that is not going to place undue hardship on the examinee/interviewee. For example, conducting a polygraph examination at an airport location is NEVER appropriate and should not be accepted under any circumstances.

6. That they are using the latest forensic polygraph instrumentation and equipment.

7. Have a history of continued professional development If a prospective polygraph examiner at the point of engagement does not supply any of the above then we recommend that you engage an examiner that meets, demonstrates and proves the above criteria.
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Can I test my staff or employees?

Yes, you can, but we at Advanced Polygraph recommend that before you attempt to test any of your staff or employees, you should adhere to the following considerations.

1. You must have suffered a specific loss, such as in a theft of money or property.

2. You have commenced an inquiry or investigation.

3. The staff to be tested must have had access to the location from where the property was taken.

4. You must have a reasonable suspicion of the employee or staff member you want to test. Access alone is not enough. Did the property go missing and the employee didn't come to work for three days after? Do you have knowledge that this person has been having financial difficulties? These types of things are what you will need to determine for reasonable suspicion.

5. The employee or staff member to be tested must freely consent to undertake a polygraph test.

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How accurate is the polygraph test?

Recent research reveals that the accuracy of the new computerised 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 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 one of the most accurate means available to determine deceptive and non-deceptive (truthful) responses. Continued research and development is ongoing by Advanced Polygraph in the field of Forensic Psychophysiology to ensure we remain a leading agency in accurately identifying the correct outcomes of a polygraph examination.
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Can the results of my polygrah test be used in court as evidence?

In Australia the results of polygraph examinations may be admissible in any administrative tribunal (i.e. anti discrimination tribunal, VCAT etc.) where the rules of evidence do not apply. In criminal and family law court matters, polygraph results may be accepted by the court only in circumstances where the evidence of the polygraph examination is accepted for admission into evidence by all parties to the proceeding. There is a recent authority of the High Court relevant to the admissibility of polygraph evidence that can be accessed on the Internet.
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What should I look for when seeking a polygraph examiner?

It is important you choose a polygraph examiner in Australia, who has been professionally trained, accredited, certified and possesses academic qualifications and relevant experience. Every qualified polygraph examiner must attain certain competencies before certification(s) can be awarded. It is important to ensure that the polygraph examiner has attended an APA or an FPAA accredited polygraph school. Beware of unethical individuals who represent themselves as qualified polygraph examiners when, in fact, they do not have formal training or qualifications. We recommend you always ask to see a Polygraph Examiner's accreditations as a Certified Forensic Polygraph Examiner before engaging them.
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Can I 'beat' the polygraph test?

No, you cannot. If you know you are being deceptive, the polygraph will detect that deception. Any qualified polygraph examiner will certainly detect deception. Furthermore, the computerised Lafayette polygraph instruments used by Advanced Polygraph have a phenomenal accuracy rate of nearly 100 percent and are used in conjunction with highly effective polygraph accessories allowing an Advanced Polygraph examiner to detect any countermeasures an examinee may resort to in an attempt to influence the outcome of the polygraph examination.
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Will my medication affect the test?

Usually not. DO NOT stop taking your medication in anticipation of a polygraph test. Most medications will have no impact on the test. If you are concerned about this, call us at Advanced Polygraph and tell us what medication you are taking.
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What happens if I have a current mental Health condition?

If you believe that you may be suffering from a mental health condition, Advanced Polygraph recommends that before undertaking any polygraph examination, you have an assessment by an appropriate qualified mental health professional to determine if in fact you may be suffering from a mental health condition. It is Advanced Polygraph’s policy that if an examinee has been diagnosed with a current mental health condition that Advanced Polygraph will not conduct a polygraph examination in the interest of the client.
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How old do I have to be to take a polygraph test??

In Australia any child above the age of 10 that understands the difference between telling the truth and lying and knowing right from wrong, can be polygraph examined on any issue under strict statutory and supervised conditions. It is the policy of Advanced Polygraph not to polygraph a child under the age of 16 however this will be assessed on a case-by-case basis. Any examinee not yet obtaining the age of 18 will require parental or guardianship authorisation and approval.
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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 they intend to answer questions truthfully or not. Typically, an examinee remains nervous throughout the entire testing process not during one individual question. An Advanced Polygraph examiner will look for action-specific responses over and above the examinee's heightened level of nervousness or anxiety (behavioural baseline) when conducting a polygraph examination.
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What polygraph instrument should a certified examiner use?

We at Advanced Polygraph only use the latest state-of-the-art LX4000 and LX5000 computerised Lafayette polygraph instruments. This is because we believe that the Lafayette Instrument Company, located in Lafayette, Indiana, USA, is the unconditional global leader in the manufacture and sale of polygraph instruments and technology.
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Will I receive a written report of my test results?

Yes depending on the Polygraph service package you select.
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Can someone sit with me during the test?

No. You may have someone present with you at the test site, however during the actual test; it will just be you and the Advanced Polygraph examiners. The only exception to this may be for person's acting as interpreters or translators and person's assisting hearing impaired customers. In any case this will be determined on a case-by-case basis by the Advanced Polygraph Examiner at the time of your consultation.
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Can I stop a test at any time?

Yes. At any time during the Polygraph examination an examinee can stop and terminate the test, by telling the Advanced Polygraph Examiner that he/she does not want to continue with the test. In this case the full fees are still payable for the test and are not refundable.
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What are the possible results of my polygraph test?

Clients should be aware that there are three possible outcomes to any polygraph examination. They are:

1) NDI - No Deception Indicated (Truthful)

2) DI - Deception Indicated (Deceptive)

3) INC - Inconclusive (Insufficient physiological responses)

Those clients whose examination results have been assessed inconclusive may elect to engage and undertake a further examination to reach conclusive results.
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Other Questions?

If you have questions not answered, please contact Advanced Polygraph. We will be happy to answer them for you, and provide any further information you require.
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