The number of fraudulent and criminal activities is on the rise in today’s world. This is especially true in the corporate sector. The exponential rise in illegal activity has led to the increasing use of polygraphs in a corporate setting. Some employers refer to it as a pre-screening or pre-employment method to test potential employees.
What is a Polygraph?
A polygraph machine is a powerful instrument that measures and records electrophysiological activities simultaneously. The physiological and involuntary body movements are recorded with reference to the timing of the questions asked by the polygraph examiner. Some of the collected data include heart rate, perspiration (skin conductivity), and respiration rate. The behavior of the cardiovascular, respiratory, and sweat gland systems is carefully analyzed individually and in association with each other. The polygraph device records an individual’s body reaction to the fear of being caught by speaking a lie.
When a person is lying, the physiological activities in his/her body go on increasing and this directly reflects in the score given by the polygraph machine.
The Polygraph Test Process
In reality, in a corporate environment, the polygraph tests conducted are different from those you might have seen in old movies or TV shows. A polygraph test is conducted by a specialist and trained individual or company. Kendall Investigations is one such company that conducts polygraph tests to help reveal the truth in a corporate setting.
The polygraph test process is divided into three phases:
- Pre-test phase: During this phase, a person is made to feel comfortable and get acclimatized to the examination room where the polygraph test will be conducted. They are asked some general questions and explained the entire procedure that is going to be followed.
- Testing phase: The various components are set up and a professional Polygraph company like Kendall Investigations conducts the test. The responses to the desired question are recorded.
- Post-testing phase: The polygraph examiner completes the analysis and interpretation shown by the polygraph machine and documents the final opinion.
Uncovering the Truth
In a corporate setting and several workplaces, polygraph tests conducted by Kendall Investigations can be used to uncover the truth. However, professional advice is to proceed with extreme caution. This is because there are labor laws that protect the rights of employees, job applicants, and workers. Administering polygraph testing without prior consent or approval may result in a lawsuit being filed against the organization.
If an employer suspects an employee to be involved in criminal or fraudulent activity, he/she can be asked to take a polygraph test if there has been economic loss and the suspected employee has access to facilitate it. There must also be reasonable suspicion that the employee has some involvement in the activity. However, it is important to understand that the employee is also well within their rights to refuse to take the polygraph test. The Employee Polygraph Protection Act (EPPA) prohibits any organization from taking legal action against any employee who wishes not to undertake a polygraph test.
It is important to note that a polygraph test is not 100 percent accurate to interpret the guilt of an employee for financial fraud, theft, and dishonesty. However, when conducted by a professional and expert company like Kendall Investigations, it approaches an accuracy of 95 – 98 percent.
For businesses and corporate organizations who are looking to conduct a polygraph test on employees, it is best to first take advice from an experienced and professional agency like Kendall Investigations to avoid any legal consequences later on.
Uncover the truth!
Ken Shull served as a Special Agent with the FBI for almost 25 years and was head of the FBI Polygraph program until his retirement in 2001. At that time he set up the Kendall Investigations practice as a private investigator in Knoxville, TN offering Polygraph services, private investigations, and security guards. Ken is a member of the American Polygraph Association and The American Association of Police Polygraphists.