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What is a polygraph lie detector test?

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You may have seen it in the movies or read it in a book – lie detectors are no myth. It is common knowledge that they are one of the most efficient tools in the hands of qualified officers. Being a size of a little box, a polygraph controls your body reactions while you answer questions. But perhaps, let us start from the very begging.

Prior to the exam taking place a secured and quiet location has to be determined. It is absolutely essential that the subject is not distracted by any third parties. After a location is established, the examiner needs to strap wires on the examinees body. These wires go to specific locations that are responsible for monitoring the body’s physiological reactions. These are the heart rate, electro-dermal activity and respiratory rate. The reason these are chosen is strictly for the fact, that we do it without realising it and it is an unstoppable process. People are unable to control the rush of blood in the veins when given a hard question, therefore it is agreed to be one of the most sophisticated methods.

The exam begins with simple questions such as name, surname, the day of the week etc. This approximately takes no more than a few minutes and is done for a specific reason. Thus the specialist needs to establish the bodies “normal” reaction, that is when the is no “rush” of blood.

After that, the examinee is asked a series of questions regarding the case he is being interrogated about. There is a variety of techniques examiners use and those depend on the character of the case. These could be criminal cases (for example murder or rape), money related issues (for example corruption, other financial frauds or stealing of goods) or family issues (for example disloyalty of one of the partners). In normal circumstances, a polygraph test lasts from about two to three hours, provided there are no complications. However, if given a hard to crack suspect, the integration may last for hours on end.

It is practically impossible to cheat on a polygraph examination. Every year inventors create newer, better, more accurate polygraphs that mankind has not seen before. With the criminal underworld and terrorist brotherhood on the rise, the biggest battles may be fought not in a war zone, but an empty room with two people in it.

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See also other entries.
What is a polygraph lie detector test?

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history of lie detector invention and evolution

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Can a polygraph test be cheated?

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Ancient methods of lie detection

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How a polygraph works.

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