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How To Fail a Lie Detector Test While Telling The Truth

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lie-detector-test-1108Don’t get caught telling the truth! There is a reason why lie detector officials ask only short and direct questions. Making their best effort not to smile or frown or give any indication of how the answers were perceived. Deviating just slightly from a question can cause a “false positive”. Recently, a very good friend of mine decided to apply for a police department position. One of the requirements to take the job was that she take a lie detector test. Unfortunately, she failed. At first she was asked direct questions but soon further questions about drug use were asked and elongated by asking how did she feel about drugs and can she explain her position on it. She answered by saying she never used drugs because she saw first hand how it destroyed her family through her step father and brother’s use of hard drugs when she was very young but quite aware what was going on.

 A couple of days later, after she was being fitted for her new uniforms and bullet proof vest, she was asked to come back for a meeting with the original recruiting officer. He told her that she failed the most crucial part of the voice analyzer test. When she was asked on two separate occasions about drug use, she answered the question with over an 80% chance that she was lying. Asked again by the recruiting officer if she ever used drugs she denied again ever touching drugs. His reply was “come on, you had to have tried it at least once, I even tried it. I just didn’t lie about doing it during the lie detector test”.
 Distraught, she left his office, shaken. When she repeated this story to me and others, she kept repeating how she felt, her integrity was taken from her and crushed at that moment.
The next day she lobbied to be retested. Grudgingly, she was sent to a larger town to take a professional Polygragh test. When the tester notice her apprehension he asked her why she was taking the test. After she explained her story, he put her at ease by saying it was probably a “false positive”. When you ask a two part question, sometimes the stress results from the second part of the question is read as the full answer, giving a false positive reading by a novice who only sees the question and what they perceive is the only answer.
Needless to say, she passed the new polygraph test but still struggles with the perception of the recruiting officer she will have to work with on an ongoing basis.

 

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