Questions and Answers

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"Lie Detector" is the popular but misleading name for the polygraph. In Greek, polygraph means "many writings", and the instrument was so named because it makes various ink recordings of a person's bodily functions.

Actually, the polygraph should be called a "Truth Verifier", since statistics show that in the majority of instances the examiner's opinion is that the individual is truthful.

There are many misconceptions about a polygraph examination. The purpose of this page is to answer questions about the polygraph in a forthright, simple manner. Each of the following questions has been asked many times, not only by persons about to take an examination, but by merely those interested in the subject.

Q: What does a polygraph measure?

A polygraph examination consists of three separate and distinct phases. The "Pre-Test" interview, the "In-Test" phase and the "Post-Test" interview.

During the pre-test interview, the polygraphist will explain your legal rights and the voluntary nature of the examination. Also discussed is your medical, physical and psychological background as well as your knowledge of the investigation and an explanation on how the instrument works.

The in-test phase is the point where the examiner reviews all of the test questions with you and then will conduct a "Demonstration Test" to help assess your suitability for additional tests. Several tests will then be conducted which will include the reviewed questions. There will be no surprise questions on any of the tests. The examiner will then analyze the results of each test to arrive at an opinion.

During the post-test interview, the examiner will discuss the results of the test and provide you with his/her opinion.

Q: What if I am telling the truth but I am nervous?

It is normal for an innocent person to be nervous, and the examiner is aware of this.

Q: I have high blood pressure, won't that look as though I'm lying?

No. While blood pressure is one of the recordings, high blood pressure does not invalidate the results of the test. If you are currently under a doctors care for any medical condition be sure to tell the polygraphist about it.

Q: Does the test hurt? Will I get an electrical shock?

No, the test does not hurt. Also, there is no possibility of your getting an electric shock.

It is most important that during the examination you are as comfortable as possible. The only discomfort experienced may be on the arm because of the blood pressure cuff.

Q: What type of polygraph instrument does CNY Polygraph, LLC use?

CNY Polygraph, LLC uses Lafayette Instruments Computerized Polygraphs.

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