A polygraph, widely known as a lie detector, is the test created to determine whether a person tells the truth while answering or not by means of the analysis of physiological reactions to questions.
Piece of Advice How Beat a Polygraph Test
A polygraph, widely known as a lie detector, is the test created to determine whether a person tells the truth while answering or not by means of the analysis of physiological reactions to questions. Despite the fact that many psychologist and scientists have been criticizing the accuracy of the test, it still remains one of the most well-known and widespread ways to detect lies. The accuracy of the polygraph is pretty high, but mistakes may take place too.
There is always a certain risk that truly honest people may have false positive test, and on the contrary, someone can conceal their lies and thus beat the test. Not only spies and suspects are detected by the lie detector test. The test is also used in everyday life, in particular, many employees apply it to candidates while hiring.
How Does It Work?
Taking the lie detector test covers not only the time when the subject is hooked up to the machine, it starts much earlier. A professional polygrapher starts observing person’s behavior as soon as he or she has entered the test room. Nonverbal signals of lying may be noticed even at this stage. Concerning the polygraph machine, it perceives and records the physiological parameters of human body such as blood pressure, pulse rate, perspiration and breathing rate. The most innovative machines also include brain MRI. The person is asked irrelevant, diagnostic and relevant questions, when the machine records physiological responses, after that these responses are compared in order to identify lies. During the test the person may be asked to deliberately lie, as it helps to determine baseline, besides questions may be repeated for several times. In total, one to three hours are basically required to complete the test, it covers all necessary stages – background assessment, medical history, test explanation, actual polygraph, and next steps.
How Medicines and Medical Conditions Affect the Test
All these factors can have an impact on the results of the polygraph test, for that reason the subjects have to take drug test and screening questionnaire before the lie detector test. Many types of drugs, antihypertensive and anti-anxiety medications, sleep aids, allergy and cough remedies can affect heart rate and blood pressure, and this can lead to inconclusive results of the polygraph. The use of the polygraph is also limited for pregnant women, mentally incompetent people and people with mental illness.
Advice How to Beat the Polygraph Test
There is a huge number of advice in Internet how to beat the test, but frankly speaking, their efficiency doesn’t always justify expectations. For that reason let’s not waste time and focus on the most effective and (what’s more important) reliable points. Specialists argue there are two main rules of beating the polygraph, they seem pretty simple, but in practice they are difficult to follow:
- The subject should be completely calm (someone could call this condition – to be zen);
- During the test the subject should be distraught and confused.
To control emotions is the most crucial and at the same time the hardest thing, as many people feel nervous while taking the polygraph test. Physical responses can’t fool the machine, that’s why you have to deal with your emotions.
- If you want to succeed, you should be down, upset and fearful. Internal excitement can’t break out. Your aim is to control your own emotional condition – remember the worst situation in your life that makes you stressed. If you are afraid of one particular question, imagine that every question is that question. Even if you are accused of lying, use it in order to feel upset.
- Wait before answering. Classify questions on irrelevant (usually to confirm your name), relevant (the most important ones, include the essence of the whole test) and diagnostic (you would like to lie, but it’s better to tell the truth, e.g. Have you ever lied to your paretns?)
- Control your breathing. You should change your breathing at control questions and return to normal breathing before answering the next one.
- Answer clearly and firmly, without humor and hesitations.
- Give yes/no answers where it’s possible. Give details and explanations, but never explain your answers.