Frequently asked questions
An overview of polygraphs.
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What is a polygraph?
Polygraph, also commonly referred to as a “lie-detector test,” derives from the Greek words poly (many) and graph (writings) – many writings. The polygraph instrument measures physiological data that is simultaneously recorded, veritably a case of many writings. A polygraph examination will involve three phases: pre-test phase, in-test phase (data chart collection), and a post-test phase (test data analysis).
The pre-test phase involves the completion of required paperwork, reviewing of personal history, familiarizing the individual with the polygraph instrument, establishing the purpose of his/her examination, and reviewing all test questions prior to the in-test phase.
During the in-test phase, appropriate and non-invasive components will be attached to the examinee to collect and record physiological indices such as respiratory, blood volume/pulse, and electro-dermal activity. Concurrently, the examinee’s involuntary physiological responses to previously reviewed questions along with chart data will be collected.
The post-test phase is the conclusion of this highly sensitive testing process and the examiner will carefully evaluate and interpret the physiological data and render a professional opinion as to the veracity of the examinee.
Who uses a polygraph?
It is important to note that polygraph is a very effective tool in determining the truthfulness of a person but can only be used when one voluntarily agrees to participate.
The following polygraph examinations are utilized in various situations and facets of life that include but not limited to:
- Pre-Employment applicant screening from local, state and federal investigative agencies and certain private security companies
- Commercial businesses and corporations that have suffered economic loss or other disconcerting matters such as fraud, theft, embezzlement, harassment, etc. under the restrictions and limitations of Employee Polygraph Protection Act (EPPA).
- Private citizens with relationship cheating/infidelity concerns, family issues of drug use, theft, sexual/physical abuse, addictions, child custody cases, and other specific personal disputes, etc.
- Attorney and their client concerning all criminal matters
- Military personnel whose conduct/behavior is in question
- Post-convicted sex offender in coordination with treatment providers, supervision specialists (probation/parole) or any other agency under the order of the courts
- Internal affairs investigations
- Insurance companies seeking to verify fraudulent claims
- Professional sporting / athletic events with competitors involved in Fishing, Golfing or natural Bodybuilding
- Confirming the innocent and clearing their name of false allegations, untruths, and offenses they did not commit
Are the results and information confidential?
Prior to the commencement of the polygraph test, you will be asked to sign an authorization to release the interview and result of the test to whomever you specifically designate in writing, the company, or governmental agency that requested the examination and others as may be required by law. All members managing and treating each post convicted sex offender will have access to the same relevant information (i.e. polygraph report and test result). Smith & Associates Pre-Employment and Polygraph Services (SAPPS) honors your right to privacy. We adhere to very strict confidentiality and privacy standards, and we will not disclose any information to unauthorized persons.
Why do I have to put down a deposit? Do you give refunds?
Our time is valuable, and so is yours. Our company’s dedication to our work translates directly into the quality of service we provide our clients. We are committed to presenting you with a high level of personal service, including addressing your concerns and honoring your time by giving you plenty of ours. SAPPS testing fees depend on the complexity of the private matter and the testing location. Tests for businesses and government agencies will be negotiated separately.
Refunds or partial refunds due to cancellations may be authorized depending on the circumstance.
What forms of payment do you accept?
We accept cash and major credit cards with the convenience of PayPal services offered directly from our website.
Can the use of medications affect my test results?
Prescribed medication does not affect the validity or outcome of the polygraph results. Get a good night’s rest and take your medication as prescribed. Any issues will be discussed with the examiner in the pre-test phase of your polygraph examination.
Can a pregnant woman be tested?
Based on the American Polygraph Association of Standards and Principles of Practice, we will conduct examinations on pregnant examinees on a case by case basis. A consultation is needed to determine if the woman is amenable at that particular time for a polygraph.
Can I bring someone into the room with me?
No. A polygraph examination is a controlled interview process and a person’s privacy consideration. Distractions in the examination room can interfere with the test and will be prohibited unless there is an interpreter. A provisional may be made for an attorney/client representation through the device of audio/video.
How should I prepare for my polygraph?
Complete all necessary paperwork if requested, take your prescribed medication as required, refrain from alcohol consumption (and obviously illegal drug use) 24 hours prior to your examination and arrive on time. A polygraph examination can typically take up to four hours; therefore it is advisable you are fully rested and eat before you arrive to your scheduled examination.
“My first polygraph experience was great thanks to Mr. Smith. He ensured that I understood how the test would progress as well as the history and science behind the polygraph. I could not have had a better experience.”
“Extremely professional and courteous. Explained the process from start to finish. Took his time and listened to the needs and the purpose of the test. Would recommend to anyone!”
“I more than highly recommend Smith and Associates. Robert made the polygraph process simple and non-threatening. He explained the process on the phone and really took his time. Not proud I had to get a polygraph and I was nervous at first because it’s the last place I wanted to be. However, after explaining the situation, he took the time to understand it from both sides. Robert really did his best to make an intimidating process less intimidating. Extremely professional and really knowledgeable.”