What Questions Are Asked in a Police Polygraph Test

What Questions Are Asked in a Police Polygraph Test?

A police polygraph test, also known as a lie detector test, is a common tool used by law enforcement agencies to determine the truthfulness and credibility of individuals during investigations. These tests are typically administered to potential police recruits, witnesses, and suspects. While the specific questions asked during a police polygraph test may vary depending on the case, there are several common themes and areas of focus. In this article, we will explore the types of questions asked in a police polygraph test and provide a comprehensive FAQ section to address any additional queries.

Types of Questions Asked:

1. Personal Background: The examiner may start by asking questions about the individual’s personal background, such as their name, age, and address. These questions serve as a baseline for the individual’s physiological responses, allowing the examiner to establish a normal pattern of behavior.

2. Criminal History: The polygraph test often delves into an individual’s criminal history, including questions about previous convictions, arrests, or involvement in illegal activities. The intention is to assess the person’s honesty and determine if they are withholding any relevant information.

3. Job-Related Questions: For police recruits, questions related to their suitability for law enforcement are common. These may include inquiries about past drug usage, involvement in criminal activities, or associations with individuals involved in illegal behaviors. Questions about an individual’s integrity and moral character are also asked to gauge their suitability for the role.

4. Specific Incident: If the polygraph test is conducted during an investigation, questions about the specific incident will be asked. This allows the examiner to assess the person’s involvement or knowledge of the event. The questions may be open-ended or require a simple “yes” or “no” response.

See also  What Does 10 6 Mean in Police Code

5. Truthfulness: The examiner may also include questions to test the individual’s truthfulness and credibility. These questions are designed to gauge the person’s overall honesty, regardless of the specific incident being investigated. Examples include questions like, “Have you ever lied to a superior or authority figure?”


Q: Are polygraph tests accurate?
A: Polygraph tests are not foolproof and have limitations. While they can measure physiological responses, such as heart rate and blood pressure, they are not always accurate indicators of truthfulness. Factors such as anxiety, stress, and medication can affect the results.

Q: Can I refuse to take a polygraph test?
A: In some jurisdictions, individuals have the right to refuse a polygraph test. However, this refusal may raise suspicions and have consequences, such as exclusion from certain job opportunities or investigations.

Q: Can polygraph results be used as evidence in court?
A: In most jurisdictions, polygraph results are not admissible as evidence in court due to their unreliability. However, they can be used during investigations to guide further questioning or as a tool for law enforcement agencies.

Q: Can I fail a polygraph test even if I am telling the truth?
A: Yes, it is possible to fail a polygraph test even if you are telling the truth. Factors such as nervousness, stress, or physiological responses can be misinterpreted by the examiner, leading to an inaccurate result.

Q: Can I practice to deceive the polygraph test?
A: There are no foolproof methods to deceive a polygraph test. Trained examiners can detect countermeasures, such as controlled breathing or muscle tension, which may indicate an attempt to manipulate the test.

See also  How to Prepare for Law School Exams

In conclusion, a police polygraph test aims to assess the truthfulness and credibility of individuals involved in an investigation. The questions asked during the test vary depending on the purpose and context, ranging from personal background inquiries to specific incident-related questions. However, it is crucial to note that polygraph tests are not infallible and their results should be interpreted with caution.