Below are questions people often ask about the polygraph test. The polygraph exam is different from the “lie detector” tests you see on TV. Read more below, and call Kenneth at 804-432-8650 for more information.

Which areas of Virginia do you serve?

Kenneth is based in the Richmond region. He also practices polygraph examinations throughout the state of Virginia, including the following areas:

  • Tidewater area to include Norfolk, Williamsburg and Virginia Beach
  • Charlottesville
  • Fredericksburg

What is the process of polygraph testing? How long will it take?

A polygraph test consists of several different phases: a pretest interview, the collection of charts, and an analysis of the polygraph charts. The average polygraph test will usually last two to four hours from beginning to end. The longest part of the polygraph test will be the pretest interview, which normally lasts anywhere between 45-90 minutes.

During the pretest interview, the polygraph examiner will explain your legal rights, explain the polygraph instrument and how it works, discuss the issue, develop and review all questions asked on the polygraph test, cover general background information, and will provide instructions for the actual testing phase.

How does it work?

The polygraph consists of three or more components: the pneumograph component that records respiration and movement, the galvanograph or GSR component records your galvanic skin response and changes in skin resistance, and the cardiosphygmograph component records your relative blood pressure and pulse rate. Once the pretest interview has been completed, the polygraph examiner will place four attachments on the subject’s person: two rubber pneumograph tubes across the upper chest and abdomen, two metal fingerplates across the ring and index finger, and a blood pressure cuff around the upper arm. During the collection of charts, the examiner will ask the reviewed questions two to three times, and run a minimum of two to three separate charts before rendering an opinion.

Will nervousness or health issues affect polygraph test results?

It is expected that anyone who takes a polygraph test will be nervous; however nervousness does not normally interfere with the test. Even though a person has high blood pressure, diabetes, etc., their body has a set of normal patterns on a daily basis. When a person decides to lie, however, physiological changes begin to take place in the body. Blood pressure begins to increase or decrease. Heart rate can increase or decrease. A person’s heart can skip a beat. Blood volume begins to change. These are just a few of the types of physical changes that can occur. In the case of deception, more than one type of physiological change usually occur. The person taking the test must decide whether or not they are going to tell the truth, or whether or not they are going to lie and withhold information about the relevant issues. Once a person decides to tell the truth, the body goes about its normal patterns with no significant or consistent changes.

How accurate is the polygraph?

According to the National Center for Credibility and Assessment and the American Polygraph Association, over 250 studies have been conducted on the accuracy of polygraph testing during the past 25 years and it is estimated that the accuracy of decisions is generally in the range of 85-95% for specific issue investigations. Some of the most frequent errors may be caused by lack of training,non-functioning equipment, failure to properly prepare the examinee for the examination, poorly worded test questions, failure to assess the examinee’s emotional and physical condition, improper use of testing techniques, a lack of quality control review, and misreading of the physiological data on the polygraph charts.

How much does a polygraph examination cost?

Fees for polygraph services usually depend upon the complexity and type of polygraph test to be conducted and the average polygraph test will take between two to four hours. The examination will include a detailed pretest interview, collection of charts whereby the examiner will administer a number of polygraph charts, and an analysis of the polygraph charts. If you select a polygraph examiner solely on the basis of rates, you should understand that shortcuts in time and service may lead to errors and future legal problems. The cost of a polygraph exam will vary and depend upon the issues involved.

How should a person prepare for a polygraph examination?

Most applicants become apprehensive when asked to participate in a personal interview and polygraph examination. Feelings of apprehension, uncertainty, and anxiety are common. As your procedure begins, you’ll become more comfortable and you’ll find that your examiner will make every effort to make this experience pleasant for you.

Your examination requires that you provide complete and accurate responses, and that you be completely truthful. None of us have a perfect history and all of us at one time or another, have participated in activities that were not totally appropriate. Your examiner understands that being human includes making mistakes.

Mandatory Instructions:

  1. Wear comfortable clothing to examination.
  2. Arrive 15 minutes early and make sure you have something to eat before your appointment. It is recommended you have at least six hours of sleep or you may not qualify for the exam.
  3. If you have received a polygraph questionnaire, you must bring the completed questionnaire with you to the exam.
  4. Bring your valid driver’s license, or other government identification.
  5. Allow yourself three hours from the time you arrive.
  6. No cellular phones or weapons of any kind are allowed during the appointment. Bring your cell phone with you, but leave it in your car during your appointment.
  7. Do not bring friends, relatives or children to your appointment.
  8. Please call in advance if you are pregnant, injured or ill (Flu, Colds, Etc.).
  9. If you need to change your appointment, you must call at least 24-hours in advance, or you will still be charged for the examination.

What are some applications of polygraph testing?

  • Criminal Defense
  • Clearing the Wrongfully Accused
  • Verification of Information & Statements
  • Domestic Disputes
  • Sex Crimes & Allegations of Sexual Misconduct
  • Law Enforcement
  • Government & Security Screening
  • Employee Thefts
  • International Examinations in Support of Vetting for U.S. Entities