Q- How accurate are polygraph exams?

A- A traditional physiological Polygraph exam is only as accurate as the examiner that is operating the instrument because it is their opinion that determines the results. Published studies will show accuracy rates from 85% up to 99% depending on the process . The algorithms claim accuracy up to 99%. Eye detect lie detection accuracy has published studies claiming the same, but when using both process on the same examine the out come can be increased significantly. Do your homework on your examiner. Do to lack of licensing restrictions in Minnesota, there are several so called examiners practicing out there that are not qualified to do so, but they will happily take your money with little or no repercussions, besides civil lawsuits. Good examiners will take an ongoing interest in your case and even get you referrals for additional services if you need them.

Q- How can taking a polygraph test help me?

A- You need to ask your self, what will you or the other party do if the examine passes? What will you do if they fail? If you get the same answer to both questions then you may be wasting your money. However, if the test will get you out of hot water or ease your mind, catch a predator, etc, then that’s what polygraph is for.

Q- I took a test with another examiner and I do not think the test was accurate, can you quality control check the examiners work?

A- Yes, if the examiner will release the information, we can check to see if the work was properly preformed and see if we agree with the results.

Q- What if I am nervous or scared?

 A- A properly trained examiner will be able to have you comfortable by the time you take the test do to the pretest interview assuming you intend to be truthful. It is common for people to arrive at the appointment nervous and scared at times. We can see that on the charts, but that is not what we are looking for. If you come to the exam intending to withhold information, than nothing we can do or say will calm your nerves.

Q- How much would the test cost?

A- Every examiner is different, most will be happy to give their prices to you over the phone. Be cautious if the examiner seems to cheap as that is usually the case for a reason that won’t benefit you. If I had a friend or family member who had to take a polygraph exam, I would tell them not only to make sure the examiner had the proper accreditation’s, but I would also tell them not to except a test form anyone charging less then $300.00 for a physiological polygraph or $200 for a cognitive or eye detect lie detector . Most tests from a qualified examiner will run 350.00 or more for physiological and 250.00 or more for eye detect depending on the company and location, type of test and conditions of the exam etc. Polygraph will change your life no matter what the outcome would be, and this is not a time to be bargain shopping. You may end up with a low quality or uneducated examiner that has to work for beer money because no one else will hire them.

Q- If someone or an agency is asking me take an exam, can you prepare me for it in advance?

A- Yes, that is where the consultation comes in. We can look at your case, and put together an opinion on what questions they would likely use on your test and run our own on you first so you will know if It’s in your best interest to take their exam.

Q- How long should the test take?

A- The APA requires traditional physiological polygraph exams to take minimum of 90 minutes for sex related exams. Other investigative exams shall not be required to be 90 mins, but good exams will be over an hour for sure. If any examiner tells you the test will take about an hour, then hang up the phone and call another examiner. However, If you are taking an eye detect exam, these exams typically take between 30-45 minutes by standard and that is excepted.

Q- How many questions will there be?

A- That would depend on what type of format the examiner uses, typically in each chart there will be 8-13 with only 2-4 being hot questions relating to the offence, although some may be repeated in that same chart several times.

Q- Can you use my questions?

 A- No, not directly anyway. The examiner will get the facts from you, or a third party and use that information to develop polygraph questions that will satisfy your concerns.

Q- What if I want my significant other to take a polygraph, but I don’t think they will agree to do so, what do I do?

A- Offer to take one also, or use that to help you decide if they are willing to do what it takes to keep your trust. If they have nothing to hide, they should not have a problem.

Q- Someone wants me to take a polygraph test, but I am not sure if I should. What should I do?

A- Call the examiner and chat with him or her and ask questions. Don’t walk in to it blind. Unless ordered by law, no one can force you to take a polygraph test, you may not like the repercussions of not taking it, but you can not be forced to by a private party under legal circumstances.

Q- Can I be present when someone else is being polygraph tested?

 A- In the lobby at best, but not in the room, typically unless an interpreter is needed, it will be the examiner and examine only in the room during the test.

Q- What is the APA, NPA, ASTM, MNPA, ?

A- There are no licensing standards in many states, so there are organizations that offer continued education and strict guide lines that examiners and training facilities must follow to hold these credentials. Your examiner should be a member of the American Polygraph Association at the least, and any others are a plus. If that’s not the case, no matter what excuse they have to not be a member, you should keep calling around. Do not be afraid to go to the APA website and verify the examiner is a member.  If you are taking an exam in Minnesota, your examiner must be a member of the Minnesota Polygraph Association for your own piece of mind.  And remember anyone can tell you anything on the phone and you do not know who you are talking to. Do your home work.

Q- How do I find the best examiner for my situation?

A- Ask questions, Make sure the examiner has experience in your type of issue, especially if you are going to be tested for infidelity as there are many complicated factors that come in to play. Not just any old examiner is the best choice for this issue. If the examiner cannot say they specialize in fidelity, keep looking for someone that does.

Q- Are polygraphs used in court? I heard they are not admissible.

A- True in many cases they are not admissible, meaning not admitted in to evidence for a jury to deliberate on, but it does not mean the case can not be heard by a judge and thrown out due to lack of incriminating evidence or be used to plea bargain your case to settle it before you are tried. They are used in pre trial type hearings and the pre stages of cases when they are trying to decide if there is enough evidence to proceed with a trial or an arrest. They are also used in law enforcement and county and state agencies, and for monitoring sex offenders out on parole or probation all the time. They are often used to help determine if there is any point in investigating someone on an allegation or to clear someone of an allegation before they are wrongfully charged. They are used because they are the most widely recognized method of obtaining the truth. No matter what anyone said about its accuracy or admissibility, if they did not work, the government agencies would not be using them.

Q- How can I tell if I should be skeptical of an examiners service when searching for the right examiner to help me?

A- Red flags for you to look for are as follows,

1. If an examiner offers to come to your home to give you a test. That’s against all standards and ethics and is not recommended.

2. If the examiner tells you that the test will take less then 90 minutes for sex related cases. That is a violation of the APA.

3.It is common to have to put down a deposit to guarantee you will show for the exam and you are not wasting the examiners time, however If you cant speak to an examiner before needing to pay a deposit, would be a suspicious situation. Know who your trusting your confidential information with. You need to make sure you agree with what the examiner is going to do, and that he or she can relate to your issue. Then book the appointment and let them secure the deposit.

4. Listen to your gut. If something does not sound right, it probably is not.

5. If the so called examiner tells you that they will do a voice test over the phone with you. You could be talking to a 16 year old computer nerd playing a PlayStation in his PJ’S that will flip a coin and give you their best guess for all you would know. Don’t fall for that one. If you want the truth, only use real examiners with real polygraph instruments, that you can meet with at a real office.

6. If the examiner tells you the test will only cost under 300.00 for a traditional physiological exam or less than 200.00 for an eye detect exam. Quality examiners don’t work cheap. It is known in the legal system that quality examiners charge around $350 to $500 or more for a trustworthy exam.

Polygraph can change the rest of your life no matter what the outcome is. This is not a time to be bargain shopping.


Q- How do I know the examiner will keep all my information confidential?

A- For the most part good private examiners know that if they get a reputation for ratting customers out on their confessions. They will not have a business very long. The main thing is to ask your examiner if they are a mandated reporter. Most law enforcement examiners have to deal with that issue. Make sure you ask the examiner if they are also a police officer or anyone else who would be a mandated reporter as many officers moonlight polygraph on the side. Even if they promise you they will keep everything confidential they are mandated by law to report things when children are involved. It’s up to you if you are willing to take that risk. We are not mandated reporters and we keep our clients confidential information strictly private within the law.

Q- How can a polygraph test help me in a divorce? I heard my state is a no-fault state.

A- Even if your state is a no-fault state, polygraph tests may be able to benefit you. It would depend on what the case is. I am not an attorney and I am not giving you legal advice, so you should consult your attorney. I can speak about some similar situation case facts. I have heard of clients that have used the polygraph test to show that their spouse had been financially depriving them with their involvement in spending money on inappropriate adult activities. Other clients used the polygraph to show their spouse gave them a sexually transmitted disease from their promiscuous behavior and sexual encounters with third parties. That may be enough to argue knowingly conflicting bodily harm or financial depriving. These and other types of situations may possibly give attorneys fuel to fight for additional spousal maintenance and or settlements at times. We also have used confessions when we have permission form one of the parties involved to show dangerous environment for children to help in custody cases. Again, We must have permission to release this information. Again, this is what I have witnessed but you should consult your attorney for legal advice.


Q- I am an employer and I want to test an employee for theft, can this be done?

A-You need to check if your state has restrictions set by the EPPA Employer Polygraph Protection Act. Most states are restricted to law enforcement and government pre employment and Armored car companies and pharmacy’s etc and are forbidden to be used any where else. In Minnesota, you can not even so much as suggest that an employee take or may be subject to taking an exam. If you do you can be Civilly sued and be prosecuted via Minnesota criminal code 181.75 . If you fire some one because they refuse to take a polygraph, I hope you have deep pockets because you will be needing an attorney if your employee finds out about this law.

Q- What is the difference between a traditional physiological and a cognitive eye detect lie detector exam?

A-  A traditional polygraph exam consists of 4 or more sensors placed on various parts of the body to collect data such as relative blood pressure, Pulse, respiration,and galvanic skin response. This exam when conducted properly will take around 90 minutes. It will give the examiner information showing whether the examine is displaying physiological responses that are indicative of deception. A Cognitive or Eye Detect lie detector exam has the same accuracy rates with many benefits, and can be conducted in around 30 minutes. The examine must be able to read and comprehend at a basic level. The examine will answer questions on a computer while an eye tracking device tracks and measures 17 or more features within the eye. This type of exam has been developed and  endorsed by the same scientist that developed the computerized polygraph and is used in sheriffs offices and agencies around the world and is growing in popularity do to it being less invasive and intimidating.

Q- Can I take an exam if I am Pregnant? 

A- YES if you want to use the Cognitive Eye Detect as there is no blood pressure cuff or chest tubes for the abdominal and upper thoracic areas. Most examiners administering a physiological exam that uses such devices will tend to not administer to pregnant women. However, it is ultimately up to the examiner. It is common to have to provide a doctors release for testing subjects that have medical issues.

Have more questions that need answers? Call me 612-501-0031