How To Choose The Best Possible Polygraph Examiner For Your Test

April 19, 2010

If you have decided to take a polygraph test, it’s a pretty good bet that something very important, and possibly frightening, is going on in your life.  You may be facing criminal charges for a crime that you didn’t commit.  Your marriage or relationship is in trouble, and your decision to continue or end it will be based on the outcome of a polygraph test.

A polygraph test can be a life changing event.  Because of the importance of the test, you owe it to yourself to find the very best examiner that you can.  An unqualified or incompetent examiner can make your bad situation even worse!

Here is a checklist that will help you to find a truly qualified examiner:

1.  Your examiner should be a member of the American     Polygraph Association and should have graduated from a polygraph school accredited by the APA.

2.  Your examiner should have a minimum of 15 years experience – the more the better.

3.  He should have advanced training in Psychology (M.A. or Ph.D.), since a polygraph exam is a psychological test.

4.  He should have testified in criminal trials and be formally recognized by the judicial system as an expert in polygraph testing and psychophysiology.

5.  He should be known as an expert throughout the profession, having  published scientific research and written articles for professional journals and publications.

6.  He should use The Utah Zone of Comparison Test (UZCT).  Scientific research has shown that the UZCT is the most accurate of all testing techniques. 

Because the results of a polygraph test can change your life, it is vitally important that you choose the best possible examiner you can find.  And by the way, a low price should be your last consideration – in polygraph testing, you get what you pay for.

Dr. Rovner is a polygraph examiner with a private practice in Los Angeles, California.

A Polygraph Test Is Only As Reliable As The Person Who Gives It

March 25, 2010

All polygraph examiners are not equal.  This is particularly true in a state like California, where polygraph examiners are not licensed.  When there is no state license, anyone can say that he is a polygraph examiner, even though he has no formal training and doesn’t actually know what he is doing. 

In a future post, I will provide a list of things that are essential when looking for an outstanding polygraph examiner.  The most basic qualification, however, is that the examiner should be a member in good standing of the American Polygraph Association.  You can call or email the APA to check an examiner’s credentials.

Your polygraph examination, whatever it’s for, is too important to be conducted by an unqualified examiner.

Dr. Rovner is a polygraph examiner with a private practice in Los Angeles, California.

Are Psychologists Better Polygraph Examiners?

February 17, 2010

In my last post, I wrote that a polygraph test is actually a psychological test.  In the post before that, I made it clear that the polygraph instrument does not detect lies.  The polygraph examiner is completely responsible for an accurate polygraph test result.

It stands to reason that a polygraph examiner who knows a great deal about psychology will give better and more accurate tests than someone with little or no background in psychology.  Whenever I am asked to recommend a polygraph examiner in some other part of the country, I always look for someone who has a Masters Degree or Ph.D. in Psychology or a closely related field.

Dr. Rovner is a polygraph examiner with a private practice in Los Angeles, California.

Polygraph Test Is a Psychological Test

January 13, 2010

A polygraph test is actually a psychological test, particularly when the testing methodology is a Utah Zone of Comparison Test (UZCT).  When it is conducted properly, the UZCT is a diagnostic tool, like IQ tests or personality tests. 

A good polygraph exam has all of the elements of a psychological test.  When it is done “by the book”, the UZCT takes behavior samples, the polygraph examiner is completely objective, the testing procedure is standardized, scientific research has shown it to be valid and reliable, and it is truly diagnostic.  This is not necessarily true of all polygraph tests.

Dr. Rovner is a polygraph examiner with a private practice in Los Angeles, California.

Polygraphs Don’t Detect Lies; Polygraph Examiners Do

January 3, 2010

The polygraph is not a lie detector.  It is an instrument that measures and monitors parts of your body’s physiology.  It does nothing more and nothing less.  The polygraph examiner, however, can tell whether a person is lying or telling the truth by carefully evaluating physiological changes that the polygraph is monitoring.  For all practical purposes, the polygraph examiner is the lie detector.

The accuracy of any polygraph test depends entirely on the skill, knowledge and experience of the examiner.  If the examiner knows what he is doing, and does it well, the results of his tests will be accurate almost all of the time.  If the examiner doesn’t really know what he is doing, or if he conducts the test poorly, the result (pass or fail) will be totally meaningless.

Dr. Rovner is a polygraph examiner with a private practice in Los Angeles, California.

Immigration Polygraph Tests – Political Asylum

December 21, 2009

Arturo Alvarado* was being persecuted for his political beliefs.  He fled his country and came to the United States to avoid being executed for those beliefs.  If he was not allowed to stay in the U.S., he would be deported to his native country where he faced certain death at the hand of its government.

The United States Immigration authorities couldn’t be absolutely sure that Mr. Alvarado was telling them the truth.  He may have been honest or, then again, he may have been making up a story for the sole purpose of immigrating under false pretenses.  An Immigration Judge had the power to grant Mr. Alvarado political asylum and allow him to remain in the U.S.  However, the judge needed some objective evidence that his story was the truth.

The only proven scientific technique that could verify Mr. Alvarado’s story was a polygraph examination utilizing the Utah Zone of Comparison Test.  If he passed the test, it would provide the necessary documentation of his persecution and his well-founded fear.  In short, the passing polygraph test provided corroborating evidence per the Federal REAL ID Act of 2005, and paved the way for Mr. Alvarado to remain in the United States, safe and secure from the government officials in his native country who would kill him for his political beliefs.

In order to impress an Immigration Judge that the polygraph test is legitimate, it should only be conducted by a leading professional examiner who has impeccable academic and professional credentials.  This test is too important to be done by anyone but the best!

For more information about Political Asylum polygraph exams, call Dr. Rovner at 818-340-6963. 

Dr. Rovner is a polygraph examiner with a private practice in Los Angeles, California.

*  Arturo Alvarado is a pseudonym

Immigration Polygraph Test: Happy Ending

December 7, 2009

Mr. Jones (not his real name) is an attorney in Los Angeles who is engaged to be married to Ms. Skupinsky (not her real name), a citizen and resident of Romania.  Mr. Jones filed an immigration petition with the United States immigration authorities seeking a visa for Ms. Skupinsky to come to the United States so that they could be married.  Due to a past transgression, however, the United States immigration authorities required Mr. Jones to demonstrate that he did not pose a threat to Ms. Skupinsky’s safety or well-being before his immigration petition could be approved and Ms. Skupinsky permitted to come to America.  

Mr. Jones asked me to give him a polygraph test to demonstrate the truth of his statements that he did not have any intention to harm, nor would he ever harm, Ms. Skupinsky in any way, whatsoever.   Mr. Jones took the test and passed it.   My report was submitted to the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service, along with letters and other materials submitted by Mr. Jones’ friends, family members and business associates to establish his good character and sincerest intentions for Ms. Skupinsky.

The happy ending to this story is that, after reviewing these materials, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service approved Mr. Jones’ immigration petition.  Mr. Jones and Ms. Skupinsky are now looking forward to getting married in Los Angeles in the very near future.

Dr. Rovner is a polygraph examiner with a private practice in Los Angeles, California.  He is the former Dean of the Professional School of Psychological Studies

Scientific Research Supports Polygraph Testing

November 13, 2009

Polygraph testing is supported by most informed scientists.  This is because they have read some or all of the scientific research that establishes polygraph’s accuracy rate.

Scientific research into polygraph accuracy has been going on since 1917, when a Harvard psychologist named William Marston published the first-ever experiments dealing with polygraph-based lie detection.  Since then, thousands of experimental reports and articles have been published around the world, in some of the most prestigious scientific journals. 

What this research tells us is that if a polygraph exam is done properly, by a skilled and experienced examiner, using the best methodologies, techniques and equipment, accuracy can be as high as 96%.

Dr. Rovner is a polygraph examiner with a private practice in Los Angeles, California.

Fidelity and Relationship Polygraph Tests-Part 2: Choosing the Right Examiner

October 25, 2009

A polygraph test can be the starting point for rebuilding or renewing a once-happy and fulfilling relationship.  If one or both partners have been unfaithful, getting the truth out in the open can be the first meaningful step toward rebuilding the relationship.  If the polygraph results show that the partner has been faithful (as they often do) the suspicious partner can put their fears to rest and start focusing, once again, on the things that have always made their relationship worthwhile.

When choosing a polygraph examiner to conduct a fidelity test, it is important to verify certain things about his professional background, since this is a type of test that requires a special emotional sensitivity.  Psychology training should be the first thing you inquire about.  Since the exam deals with relationship issues, the ideal polygraph examiner will possess an advanced degree in Psychology (Ph.D. or M.A.).  Professionals with that kind of training and education will fully understand the dynamics of your relationship.  Understanding those dynamics is critical for fidelity and relationship testing. Other basic qualifications of the examiner include solid knowledge of, and experience with, the Utah Zone of Comparison Test.  And, of course, membership in the American Polygraph Association (APA) is absolutely essential when retaining an examiner for any type of test.

Dr. Rovner is a polygraph examiner with a private practice in Los Angeles, California.  He is the former Dean of the Professional School of Psychological Studies

Fidelity and Relationship Polygraph Tests – Part 1

October 23, 2009

It’s an old story – you fear that your spouse or partner is having a sexual relationship with someone else, but they deny it.  All of the telltale signs are there: late night phone calls, suggestive emails, unexplained time away from home or the office, etc.  There is no actual physical evidence of an affair, but the circumstantial evidence is highly suspicious.

Polygraph tests can help troubled relationships

Psychologists and marriage counselors will tell you that truth and openness are the keys to building, or restoring, a successful relationship.  In a case where one or both partners have been unfaithful, it is very hard for them to openly admit their betrayals.  For some people, weeks or months of counseling are still not enough to make them admit the truth.  In the meantime, their spouse or partner suffers under the awful weight of suspicion.

 A polygraph test utilizing the Utah Zone of Comparison Test can be the starting point for rebuilding or renewing a once-happy and fulfilling relationship. 

Dr. Rovner is a polygraph examiner with a private practice in Los Angeles, California.  He is the former Dean of the Professional School of Psychological Studies.


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