People make the decision to employ a professional lie detector test service for a wide variety of reasons; it could be associated with your personal life due to difficulties or worries about infidelity in your relationship, or rumours or accusations being spread within your family.
You may want to arrange a lie detector test with regard to professional or working life and have concerns about a theft that has occurred and want to know who you can believe and trust, or feel that an employee has been dishonest about their conduct or history.
Whatever the reason for needing a polygraph examination, this can be a stressful and unfamiliar service to arrange and you will no doubt have lots of questions and queries about the process involved and the outcomes that can be achieved.
A guide to booking a polygraph examination or lie detector test, what you can expect from the process and what you will need to do, is provided below to try to relieve at least some of the uncertainty and anxiety around this. A polygraph examiner will be happy to talk to you and explore and work through any further queries or worries you may have about the lie detector test procedures:
- Find a company that can provide you with a professional, knowledgeable and ethical lie detector service. You can look online for this. Some lie detector providers will talk about being a member of an official or regulatory body but there is no regulation of lie detection in the UK and no official authority regarding this so be wary of such claims. The best approach is to pick a company that can demonstrate good knowledge and experience of undertaking lie detector testing and who have understanding and awareness of the psychological principles behind this. A good polygraph examiner will be happy to talk through any concerns or questions you may have.
- Ensure that you are comfortable with an ability to afford the fee for a lie detector test; polygraph examination is a long and complex process that goes way beyond the actual physical test that you see and take part in. As a result of this and the expenses incurred to the company in providing you with this service, lie detector tests are not cheap. You need to be certain that you can afford this expense without impacting your quality of life. You also need to be prepared to pay at least a 50% deposit by card when booking your test; any professional and ethical company will expect this from you as a great number of people book tests they never turn up to and the company need to be sure that you are fully committed to the process before they confirm your booking or start work on formulating your test.
- You can contact a polygraph examination company through the means directed on their website; this may be by telephone, email, contact form or social media. You can use the method you feel most comfortable with. You need to know your availability and understand that, although many providers can operate at short notice, it may not always be possible to book your test on the same day or at the exact time you would most want it. Have some different days and times in mind and some flexibility around this if you want to secure a test with the best and most accurate lie detector test companies.
- Once you have booked your test and paid your deposit, you will be contacted by the polygraph examiner assigned to undertake your test. The polygraph examiner will need to speak with the person who is requesting or booking the test (this is not always the subject who will be sitting the test and is quite often a partner, employer or friend or associate of the subject who wishes to gain clarity around the honesty of the subject for whatever reason). The polygraph examiner will need to know about the issue behind the request for the lie detector test (for example this might be questions and doubts around a relationship, worries about secrets and lies within a family or friendship group, or a theft that has occurred in which the culprit needs to be identified). The polygraph examiner will need you to explain what has happened and why you want a lie detector test to be undertaken and what you are hoping this will achieve.
- Lie detector tests can only address one specific incident or matter within one test. If you wish to gain clarity about two or more matters or incidents you may need to book more than one test; there is usually the possibility of a discount for two or more lie detector tests if they are to be undertaken at the same location and time. It is vital that the questions formulated for a lie detector test are not vague and are specific and clear in terms of the details contained within them; the polygraph examiner will need you to provide names, exact dates, times and locations in regard to the incident or matter you wish to address in order for questions to achieve the most valid and reliable responses for analysis.
- The polygraph examiner will also need to gain from you what questions you want to be asked within the lie detector test. Polygraph examination follows specific models of testing format and there will be a limit on the number of questions you can ask; the most usual being three questions. Failure to adhere to polygraph examination models will result in an invalid result so it is important that this is followed. If you wish to ask more questions than the set amount, you may again need to book more than one test. The structure of polygraph test questions and the wording or language used is also critical to the accuracy achieved within the test so the polygraph examiner will work through this with you and develop the questions you have in mind to ensure that they are most appropriate for the purposes of a lie detector test. If you know what issue you want to be clarified, but don’t have any set questions in mind the polygraph examiner can also explore this with you to draw out the questions that are best going to get to the truth of the matter you want to be resolved.
- You will also need to take the polygraph examiner aware of any physical health problems, physical or cognitive difficulties or disabilities, pregnancy or prescribed medication or substance use that you know is pertinent to the subject that will be undertaking the test. People under the age of 18 years or people with a significant mental health difficulty or learning disability are not suitable to undertake a polygraph examination. There is no need to worry if you do not have this knowledge of the subject, the polygraph examiner will ask the person sitting the test themselves on the day when the test is undertaken. It is important to the lie detector test result that honesty and openness are applied in regard to these matters so if you have any suspicion that these may apply to the subject it is crucial that you share this with the examiner. These issues do not all mean that a lie detector test is not possible, but they are factors that need to be taken into consideration within data interpretation to gain accurate conclusions.
- Once the polygraph examiner has spoken to you, they will then formulate the test that is unique and specific to the needs you have shared. They will attend at the time and location that you have booked to undertake the lie detector test(s) as you have discussed and will provide you with a full written report of the test and findings within a specified time period after the test has taken place.