Myth 1 - The Polygraph is no good because it is not admissible in court, right?

Myth 2 - If you are nervous you will fail the polygraph test.

Myth 3 - I had a friend take a polygraph test and he failed it even though he was telling the truth.

Myth 4 - I thought the examination would only take about 10 minutes.



According to the dictionary the polygraph is a measuring device, which makes a permanent recording of various physiological changes taking place within the body of the test subject, as a result of certain psychological stimuli. These stimuli are brought about by asking questions, structured and phrased in a specific way, and by maintaining a certain environmental and emotional climate during the examination.

Two basic types of polygraphs are currently in use: analog instruments and computerized instruments. Both are state-of-the-art technologies, which, if properly maintained, and used by a trained professional examiner, in a satisfactory environment, can be extremely accurate in distinguishing between truth and deception.

Northeast Georgia Polygraph Services uses the latest computerized polygraph system-the same system currently being utilized by all federal agencies.

The polygraph has been in use for over 75 years. During that time approximately 250 studies have been conducted on the accuracy of polygraph tests. Since conditions and factors involved in research will vary, and since a polygraph examination is a very complex process, it is difficult to extract a precise accuracy figure from the data. Nevertheless, the preponderance of available information indicates that the accuracy of a properly trained examiner, utilizing established testing procedures, is around 95% for specific-issue investigations. Some independent studies, however, place the figure as high as 98%.

No other form of “lie detection” has undergone such stringent research and development as the polygraph. It is considered a true form of lie detection because it measures three separate physiological reactions: the cardio-vascular system, the respiratory system, and sweat gland activity or skin conductance, all of which are controlled by the autonomic nervous system.

Organized employee theft and deliberate impairment of company operations commonly exist, often without management’s knowledge. In most cases, profit losses point to internal dishonesty and operating deficiencies, many times with management having no way to pin-point the source of the problem.

The polygraph is one of the most effective loss prevention and recovery tools available. An examination is most helpful when shortages are discovered, a specific loss is identified, or a theft is known to have been committed. The use of polygraph in these situations has a decidedly positive effect on morale by protecting innocent employees.

Over the last 35 years, numerous courts have recognized the value of polygraph evidence. Stipulated polygraph evidence is admissible in many state courts. Some jurisdictions allow the admission of polygraph evidence under certain conditions, while others allow it at the discretion of the trial judge, either on stipulation or over objections. Currently, only the fifth and tenth districts, and the District of Columbia have prohibitions on the introduction of polygraph evidence.

In recent years, the polygraph has been extremely valuable in sex offender treatment programs, and many states now have programs in which polygraph is one of the central elements in controlling paroled sex offenders. Georgia is one of those states.

If your situation meets the following criteria, a polygraph examination may be beneficial to you:

Ongoing investigations involving economic loss. This investigation can either be a formal police investigation or within the company (In-House). Additionally, the following requirements must be met:

The employee under suspicion must have had access to the reported loss such as money or area central to the investigation. Access can mean physical presence or special knowledge, such as the combination to a safe or proprietary information known only to the company.

Employer must have reasonable suspicion that the employee was involved in the incident under investigation. Reasonable suspicion goes beyond merely having access, and incorporates such factors as a witness statement, suspicious behavior on part of the employee, contradictions between the employee’s statements and documented records, or dramatic life style changes. The Employee Polygraph Protection Act of 1988 is the law that outlines the criteria for employee testing.

Attorneys do not fall under the guidelines of the above criteria and therefore, are able to utilize polygraph to a greater extent. Many have use polygraph to determine whether clients are, in fact, telling them the truth. Such examinations are conducted with the highest degree of confidentiality.

Private polygraph examinations are conducted with individuals desiring to know the truth about certain situations. These could be domestic type tests or examinations involving private matters. Tests of this nature do not fall under the guidelines listed above.

Similarly, law enforcement agencies’ need for polygraph does not necessarily require adherence to this criteria. Agencies have been utilizing polygraph for many years. It has proven to be one of the most helpful tools available to the investigator, and has been instrumental in solving many criminal cases.

The goal of Northeast Georgia Polygraph Services is to provide the client, whether a law enforcement agency, attorney, a private corporation, or an individual, a fair, credible, professionally-conducted polygraph examination including detailed and accurate reports-at an affordable cost.

Home - About Us - Contact Us - F.A.Q's - Polygraph Myths