Frequently Asked Questions
Have some questions? We've got answers. Take a look at our most frequently asked questions!
1.) If I’m nervous, will that adversely affect my test?
No. Perceptive Polygraph LLC uses only high-caliber, state-of-the art, computerized polygraph instruments and components to conduct all polygraph tests. Via its component sensors, the polygraph instrument measures and records a person’s blood pressure, sweat gland activity, blood volume, and respiratory movements, in reaction to certain questions. The instrument also includes various motion sensor components that record an examinee’s body movements. When a person lies, their mind and body respond or react physiologically. This is due to “Differential Salience” or “Cognitive Load.” Cognitive load has been defined as “the total amount of mental effort being used in the working memory.” A person’s mind will typically exhibit greater stress or Cognitive Load to those questions that have the greatest threat and/or concern to them. This response has also been referred to as “fight or flight Syndrome”. These physiological responses occur unconsciously and are transmitted through the autonomic nervous system. NOTE: Any attempt on the part of the Examinee to control or manipulate their examination will be evident to the Examiner, and can result in test failure. Perceptive Polygraph conducts all polygraph examinations using only scientifically validated and American Polygraph Association (APA) approved test techniques.
2.) How accurate are polygraph tests?
A multi-issue or multi-question polygraph test is an "investigative" or "searching" type of examination. These types of tests typically have an accuracy in the 80+ percentile range. A single issue polygraph test is typically used for evidentiary and diagnostic type examinations. It will typically have an accuracy rate in the 90+ percentile range, depending. Remember, if anyone tells you that their tests have a 100% accuracy rate – they are not telling you the truth!
3.) Does it really matter who I hire to conduct my polygraph examination?
Absolutely! Many States require polygraphers to be licensed, but some do not. California, for example, does not require licensing. As a result, anyone can buy a polygraph instrument and represent themselves as a polygraph examiner. Certification from an American Polygraph Association (APA) approved school, ensures that a polygrapher has received important training and testing required to properly conduct polygraph examinations. A properly trained Forensic Psychophysiologist (Polygraph Examiner), will not only know how to properly operate a polygraph instrument and conduct tests, but will have received instruction and testing in several important, related subject areas. A properly trained examiner will also attend continuing education, offered through various polygraph associations and/or schools, as required by the APA. If an untrained polygraph examiner performs improper test techniques, the results could be disastrous for an examinee. Why take the risk? Perceptive Polygraph uses only properly APA certified and insured polygraph examiners to conduct its examinations! The American Polygraph Association sets the standards for the industry. If an examiner tells you he or she is "certified," ask them if and when they graduated from an APA approved school. The APA lists all approved schools and APA certified examiners on their website. Also, call the school to check; they will verify if an examiner is a graduate. There are so-called certified polygraph examiners out there who will claim to be "certified," charge you a very small amount of money, and then administer a faulty exam. If they tell you that the American Polygraph Association certification and membership are unimportant, BEWARE!
4.) How much does a polygraph test cost? Is it expensive?
It depends on who you hire, but it doesn’t have to be expensive. Perceptive Polygraph LLC recognizes how difficult it is just to get by in this world. Unplanned car expenses, appliance repair costs, or unexpected medical bills, can create financial burdens that may take years to pay. For this reason, we make every effort to be very reasonable with our pricing. Remember, however, you very often get what you pay for, or don't pay for. Pricing is usually predicated upon various factors, such as certifications, training, and experience. If pricing is critical to you, please shop around first before obtaining our quote. You will find that our prices are very competitive. The only thing we ask, however, is that you compare “apples to apples.” In other words, please obtain quotes from APA certified examiners who are willing to provide proof of their APA school certificate and continuing education certificates. All legitimately certified examiners should be willing to provide proof of their certifications.
5.) What’s included in a polygraph exam and how long does it take?
A polygraph examination consists of the following: a.) Paperwork and final payment b.) A Pre-test Interview c.) A Polygraph Acquaintance or Practice Test d.) The Polygraph Test (which includes the recording of 3 to 5 charts) e.) Test Scoring f.) A Post-test Interview, which includes the verbal test results and subsequent discussion g.) A Written Report, sent later to each client (unless declined) The American Polygraph Association requires a minimum of 90 minutes for a properly conducted polygraph examination. All test questions are reviewed with the Examinee prior to the exam; there are never any surprise questions. Our exams typically take from 2 to 3 hours, but can occasionally take longer for various reasons. Only completed tests are scored.
6.) Where are you located?
Our office is located at 1640 Second Street, Suite 206, Norco, CA 92860, in Riverside County, in the Inland Empire of Southern California. Our office building is conveniently located just off of the Second Street exit, North of the 91 freeway and I15 freeway interchange. Our building is located behind the Black Horse Tavern restaurant. (Directions and a map are also included on the Directions page of this web site.)
7.) Are polygraph exams admissible in court?
If there is a possibility that you want your polygraph exam admitted as evidence in court, there are important legal issues that may be involved. For that reason, we highly recommend that you obtain legal advice from an attorney regarding those issues, prior to paying the deposit and scheduling an exam. In California, both parties to a court action must usually stipulate, or agree, to admit polygraph results into court.
8.) Should I take a polygraph test if I'm pregnant or have any other serious medical condition?
Polygraph testing should never be harmful to either a person or a fetus, however, due to potential liability issues, we require that a pregnant examinee provide either a signed waiver, or a doctor's written authorization to take a polygraph examination. We will also require either a signed waiver or a doctor's written authorization to test, if an examinee has any serious medical condition or issue.
9.) Can I bring children with me to the exam?
For reasons of child safety, and to eliminate the possibility of Examinee distraction, we ask our clients not to bring children to the polygraph office. We thank you for understanding.