The polygraph is a scientifically based instrument used to determine the truthfulness and  accuracy of information reported by the subject.

A polygraph is a technical device with sensors that monitor the dynamic psychophysiological reactions of the examinee in response to stimuli presented (test questions) by recording physiological indicators of the state of the respiratory system, cardiovascular system, sweat gland secretion, etc.

The result of polygraph testing is a polygraph chart – a “coded hypothesis” that still needs proof.

The polygraph as a tool is not limited in its use to operative-investigative, investigative or judicial activities. It is actively used in various kinds of structures for purposes of working with human resources or conducting internal investigations, thereby acting as a tool to improve the efficiency of activities. With the help of polygraph testing, it is possible to determine the motives of a candidate for seeking a particular position in a company. Polygraph tests can thus be used to filter out jobseekers with nefarious motives which could lead to significant losses or even bankruptcy, such as insider threats and corporate espionage.

The presence of bad habits that the job candidate has not disclosed can be dangerous to both their team and the overall functioning of the company, as these motives can be a reason for misconduct. The reason for leaving a previous job is also of interest in the hiring process, as it may involve systematic violations of workplace discipline, moral or financial harm, or other reasons that could recur and create dangerous situations or negative consequences.

In in-house investigations, the polygraph can be one of the tools of the investigation. The polygraph can also be used not only when hiring employees, but also as a tool to monitor their compliance with official obligations, especially when it comes to employees who have direct access to material assets. In this case, a possible re-testing with the polygraph could be a preventive measure.

In the course of research on the polygraph, the textbook “Truth And Deception: The Polygraph (Lie-Detector Technique)” was translated into Russian. The authors of the book are John E. Reid and Fred E. Inbau.

Materials on the subject:

Testing methodology


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