Frequently Asked Questions
How Accurate is Polygraph Testing?
Polygraph Validity Research The executive summary reports that 38 studies satisfied the qualitative and quantitative requirements for inclusion in the meta-analysis. These studies involved 32 different samples, and described the results of 45 different experiments and surveys. They included 295 scorers who provided 11,737 scored results of 3,723 examinations, including 6,109 scores of 2,015 confirmed deceptive examinations, 5,628 scores of 1,708 confirmed truthful exams. Some of the cases were scored by multiple scorers and using multiple scoring methods. The data showed that techniques intended for event-specific (single issue) diagnostic testing produced an aggregated decision accuracy of 89% (confidence interval of 83% - 95%), with an estimated inconclusive rate of 11%. Polygraph techniques in which multiple issues were encompassed by the relevant questions produced an aggregated decision accuracy of 85% (confidence interval 77% - 93%) with an inconclusive rate of 13%. The combination of all validated PDD techniques, excluding outlier results, produced a decision accuracy of 87% (confidence interval 80% - 94%) with an inconclusive rate of 13%. These findings were consistent with those of the National Research Council’s (2003) conclusions regarding polygraph accuracy, and provide additional support for the validity of polygraph testing when conducted in accordance with APA Standards of Practice. Also see http://www.polygraph.org/polygraph-validity-research