For more than eighty years polygraph (a type of lie detector test) has been the gold-standard technique used to resolve criminal cases, but is becoming more and more popular to resolve non-criminal issues such as family disputes, infidelity, use of drugs or alcohol, gambling, cheating on exams in school, and fishing and bodybuilding contests.
Regardless of the type of case involved, selecting a qualified polygraph examiner can be a difficult process for the uninformed. Most states do not require licensing for examiners, placing the burden of checking the examiner纾?credentials on the shoulders of the client. Although price is often a significant consideration, it is more important to hire someone who will provide the best service possible. Important decisions may be based on the results of the exam, so this hiring process should not be diep io cheats hack taken lightly. Not all examiners are created equal, and some are outright frauds. To protect your investment and make an education decision, review the following considerations before hiring an examiner.
Polygraph examiners must complete primary training at an accredited polygraph training facility. Once the primary training has been completed, most examiners are required to undergo an internship period of up to one year, during which time they are under the supervision of an experienced examiner. Following this internship period, the examiner must have a number of exams reviewed by the training facility before final certification is issued. Since polygraph techniques and equipment continue to evolve over time, the examiner should also complete regular continuing education programs. This is also a requirement in order share here to retain membership in some polygraph organizations and associations.
Just as you wouldn纾?want to be your physician纾?first patient out of medical school, you need to be sure that your polygraph examiner has sufficient experience, not only overall but specifically in the type of case you need help with. As an example, an examiner with a great deal of experience in law enforcement may not have the finesse to handle an exam pertaining to relationships, or an examiner with experience conducting pre-employment (screening) exams may not be suitable for testing for sex offenses. Also, be sure the experience is relatively recent. An examiner may have gone through polygraph school 30 years ago but only conducted ten exams in the last 12 months. Finally, if you intend to use the test results in litigation, you should make sure the examiner has been previously acknowledged as a court-qualified expert. Don纾?be afraid to ask.
3. LICENSING AND PROFESSIONAL MEMBERSHIPS
Nearly half of all U.S. states require polygraph examiners diep io hack online to be licensed. When considering the services of an examiner in one of these states make sure that examiner possesses a valid license. Regardless of whether the examiner holds a polygraph license, the examiner should be a member of one or more of the established national or international polygraph organizations. The most credible of these organizations are the American Polygraph Association (APA), the National Polygraph Association (NPA), and the American Association of Police Polygraphists (AAPP). There are also statewide polygraph organizations, but only the national organizations establish accreditation and certification standards. In addition to establishing industry standards, these organizations sponsor continuing education training programs so examiners can remain current. BEWARE – If an examiner does not belong to at least one of the above organizations it is likely he/she is not eligible to join because they did not complete an accredited training school. It is also prudent to make sure the examiner has no adverse reports on file with the Better Business Bureau.
There are two basic types of polygraph instruments, digital and analog. Digital instruments record data through an interface onto a computer system using proprietary hardware and software systems. Analog instruments record information directly onto a scrolling roll of chart paper. Be sure the examiner is using fully-operational equipment. Some examiners try to get by with poorly maintained instruments, with some units barely working at all. Ask the examiner if all the recording channels on his/her polygraph are fully functional. If he/she is using analog equipment, ask how often this equipment is calibrated. Standards require that analog equipment be recalibrated each time the equipment is transported. If digital equipment is used, ask if the examiner is using the latest software version available. In the hands of a qualified examiner, both analog and digital equipment can be used effectively.
5. TECHNIQUES USED
There are several different polygraph techniques in use, and some will produce more accurate results than others. For serious issues, make sure the technique used has been “validated” by the American Polygraph Association. Validation of a technique requires a proven accuracy rate of better than 90% and an inconclusive rate of less than 10%. Keep in mind that test accuracy statistics are based on single-issue single-question exams. Generally speaking, as you add more questions the less accurate the overall results will be. Be very suspicious of any examiner who offers to ask more than 3 or 4 related questions in a single exam. The results are not likely to be reliable and certainly would not be defensible in any litigation setting. Some alleged polygraph examiners may try to convince you to use a less-expensive technique such as Voice Stress Analysis, which has no scientific validity other than the claims made by it纾?manufacturers.
6. MEMORIALIZATION OF TEST RESULTS
Do not trust an examiner who will not put his/her opinions in writing. This report should include the purpose of the exam, the relevant questions asked, the answers given, and the examiner纾?opinion regarding the examinee纾?truthfulness when giving those answers.
Michael Martin is President of the Global Polygraph Network