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Frequently Asked Questions

Do You Offer Polygraph Exams to the General Public?

Yes, we offer exams to private parties on a case-by-case basis. 

What Is the Cost of a Polygraph?

Our fee schedule is based on the type of exam requested and other related factors.  Please contact us for more details.

What Is a Polygraph?

The term "polygraph" literally means "many writings." The name refers to the manner in which selected physiological activities are simultaneously recorded. Polygraph examiners use computerized instruments. It is important to understand what a polygraph examination entails. A polygraph will collect physiological data from at least three systems in the body. 

Sensors placed over the examinee's chest and abdominal area will record respiratory activity. Two small metal plates or disposable adhesive electrodes, attached to the fingers, will record sweat gland activity, and a blood pressure cuff or similar device will record cardiovascular activity. Some instruments also monitor other activity.


For example, a finger plethysmograph, which monitors blood volume in a fingertip, or motion sensors, which monitor general movements that might interfere with test data, are often used. It is important to note that a polygraph does not include the analysis of physiology associated with the voice. Instruments that claim to record voice stress are not polygraphs and have not been shown to work any better than chance (i.e. accuracy is similar to making a decision based on a coin toss).

A typical polygraph examination will include a period referred to as a pre-test interview, a chart collection phase and a 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. 

Who Uses Polygraph Examinations?

Three sectors of our society currently use polygraph examinations for a variety of reasons:

1-The Private Sector

Individuals, families, therapists, and employers use a polygraph examination to verify statements and to find the truth in a variety of issues, including but not limited to issues involving infidelity, drug use, addictions, sex offenses, employee thefts, criminal activities, physical abuse, and other criminal activities.

2-The Legal Community

The polygraph is used extensively by attorneys who wish to provide the best possible defense for their clients. Many attorneys will submit their own clients to a polygraph examination, while other will use the polygraph to verify statements made by witnesses and other parties to the liti­gation. Many polygraph examiners have a great deal of experience working with attorneys, both in private and government practice and have aided thousands of clients in preparing defenses that would otherwise have been unavailable to them. Based on the current polygraph research, the polygraph has improved its credibility with the scientific community. These standards, approved by a combined body of experts, now provide a template for the increased acceptability of polygraph test results


Contrary to popular belief, the polygraph is not per-se inadmissible in court proceedings. Admis­sibility standards are different in each jurisdiction. Some jurisdictions allow polygraph evidence, either stipulated or un-stipulated, some prohibit polygraph evidence altogether, and many others allow the judge to decide admissibility on a case-by-case basis. Polygraph tests have been used outside the courtroom in pre-trial negotiations, plea bargaining, sentence recommendations, and witness verification or impeachment.

 3-Local and State Law Enforcement Agencies, Federal Agencies, Military and Government

Local Police Departments, Sheriff Offices, U.S. Military Branches and Government Agencies such as the FBI, CIA, NSA, Homeland Security and the Department of Defense all use polygraph examinations for ap­plicant screenings, criminal investigations, and matters of national security.

How Accurate is a Polygraph Test?

The current polygraph research indicates that when a specific single issue polygraph exam, con­ducted by a qualified, trained, and experienced polygraph examiner, is properly administered the accuracy rate can range above 90%.  While no test is 100% accurate, this percentage is still higher than other forms of evi­dence, including psychiatric opinions, suspect identification as provided by victims and wit­nesses, and fingerprint identification. 


Is a Voice Stress Test (CVSA) More Accurate Than a Polygraph Test?

Federal law enforcement (FBI, CIA, NSA, Homeland Security etc.) and the Department of Defense use the polygraph, not voice stress, for detecting deception in applicants, criminals, and routine counter terrorism investigations.  The federal government has unlimited financial resources and has studied all available voice, eye, and polygraph products and have determined that only the polygraph has an accuracy rate that meets their standards.

The Department of Defense Polygraph Institute makes the following conclusions in their voice stress analysis position statement:

  1. To date, we have found no credible evidence in information furnished by the manufacturers [of voice stress analysis equipment], the scientific literature, or in our own research, that voice stress analysis is an effective investigative tool for determining deception.

  2. A very few studies have found that voice stress analysis worked better than chance at detecting deception. Unfortunately, these results are not consistent, nor are the reported accuracies nearly as good as those normally reported for the polygraph.

  3. The preponderance of evidence indicates the polygraph is far more accurate at detecting deception than is voice stress analysis. No Department of Defense agency uses any form of voice stress analysis for investigative purposes."


The position statement of the American Association of Police Polygraphists states, " The AAPP has found no scientific studies or independent research which support voice stress analysis as a method of discriminating between truth and deception. Until voice stress analysis is supported by scientific research that conclusively demonstrates its validity and reliability, and American Association of Police Polygraphists will not endorse the use of such equipment in the law enforcement community." It also identifies polygraph as "the only deception detection device which has the scientific support and has earned judicial acceptance for expert testimony [in court proceedings]."

Archived | Voice Stress Analysis: Only 15 Percent of Lies About Drug Use Detected in Field Test | National Institute of Justice (

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