• Polygraphs
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Resources

What we Offer:

  • Pre-Employment Screening *
  • Post-Conviction Sex Offender Testing (PCSOT)
  • Civil Litigation
  • Criminal Defense
  • Internal Theft
  • Embezzlement
  • Infidelity Testing (Spouse/Partner)

* All employee screening polygraph examinations are conducted in full compliance with the Employee Polygraph Protection Act of 1988.

Mobile Polygraph Services Available

Frequently Asked Questions:

Here are a few essential facts about polygraph testing as presented by the American Polygraph Association.

What is Polygraph?

The term “polygraph” literally means “many writings.” The name refers to the manner in which selected physiological activities are simultaneously recorded. Polygraph examiners may use conventional instruments, sometimes referred to analog instruments, or computerized instruments. It is important to understand what a polygraph examination entails. A polygraph will collect physiological data from at least three systems in the body.

Corrugated rubber tubes (or electronic sensors) placed over the examinee’s chest and abdominal area will record respiratory activity. Two small metal plates or disposable adhesive electrodes, attached to the fingers, will record sweat gland activity, and a blood pressure cuff or similar device will record cardiovascular activity. Some instruments also monitor other activity. For example, a finger plethysmograph, which monitors blood volume in a fingertip, or motion sensors, which monitor general movements that might interfere with test data, are often used.

It is important to note that a polygraph does not include the analysis of physiology associated with the voice. Instruments that claim to record voice stress are not polygraphs and have not been shown to have scientific support.

What does a typical polygraph entail?

A typical polygraph examination will include a period referred to as a pre-test interview, a chart collection phase, and a test data analysis phase. During the pre-test, the polygraph examiner will complete required paperwork and talk with the examinee about the test, answering any questions the examinee might have. It is during the this phase that the examiner will discuss the test questions and familiarize the examinee with the testing procedure. During the chart collection phase the examiner will administer and collect a number of polygraph charts. The number of questions and the number of charts will vary, depending on the number of issues and technique employed. Following this, the examiner will analyze the charts and render an opinion as to the truthfulness of the examinee. The examiner, when appropriate, will offer the examinee an opportunity to explain physiological responses in relation to one or more questions presented during the test.

Can nervousness cause someone to “fail” a polygraph?

No. It is very common to feel nervous during a polygraph examination. An experienced examiner is adept by first putting the examinee at ease. Nervousness is a generalized condition that is present throughout the entire exam, it is expected and is totally normal and rarely interferes with the test.


  • E.P.P.A. (Employee Polygraph Protection Act)
    The Employee Polygraph Protection Act of 1988 (EPPA) is a United States federal law that generally prevents employers from using polygraph (lie detector) tests, either for pre-employment screening or during the course of employment, with certain exemptions.
  • APA (American Polygraph Association
    Established in 1966, the American Polygraph Association (APA) is the world's leading association dedicated to the use of evidence-based scientific methods for credibility assessment. The APA promotes the highest standards of professional, ethical and scientific practices for its 2700+ members through the establishment and publication of standards for professional practice including techniques, instrumentation, analysis, research, training and continuing education.
  • CAPE (California Association of Polygraph Examiners)
    California Association of Polygraph Examiners is an association of more than one hundred professionals dedicated to serving the cause of truth with integrity, objectivity and fairness to all persons.
  • CCOSO (California Coalition on Sexual Offending)
    The Coalition was founded in 1986 in response to California’s growing need for a formally structured resource for professionals working with persons involved in the commission of rape, child sexual abuse, incest, and other forms of sexual assault.