A polygraph test is carried out by a professional polygraph examiner using a sophisticated machine. It also involves various stages — the pre-test, in-test and post-test phases. Undergoing a lie detector exam sounds complicated, right? And that is why you may be wondering if polygraphy can wreak havoc on one’s budget.

The cost of a polygraph test starts at around $200. Some polygraphs can be as high as $2,000 or more. Some of the factors that impact the cost of a lie detector exam include the kind of polygraphy, service provider and location. Some polygraph companies offer package deals and contracts that help bring down the cost of lie detection.

About to spend on a polygraph test for you or another individual like a relative, spouse, employee or job applicant?

In this post, we will discuss cost-related matters about a lie detector test. I will also give you some tips on how to look for a polygraph examiner who is perfect for the job.

Discount and Contracts

Companies and organizations that are not covered by the Employee Polygraph Protection Act (EPPA) usually require multiple polygraph examinations for the same issue. In order to conserve resources and avoid having to search for lie detector experts, they can enter into long-term contracts with service providers that offer discounts to clients.

In the US, the law prohibits most private entities from conducting lie detector exams on individuals either as a part of the pre-screening employment process or during the course of employment.

There are, however, private companies that can use a polygraph test for pre-screening purposes.

Some of them include those that provide security, manufacture drugs or offer services involving the safety and security of a large portion of the population. Employees who are reasonably suspected of involvement in a workplace-related incident, such as theft or embezzlement, may be subjected to a lie detector test without breaking any law.

Various federal, state and local government agencies can subject job applicants to a lie detector test.

Companies or employers requiring constant polygraph testing, in order to save money, may take advantage of discounts offered by professional lie detector service providers. In some instances, they will have to pay for a package deal, while at other times they will have to enter into a contract.

The amount of money that can be saved can vary from one provider to the next and from one deal or contract to the other. A professional testing company in Idaho, for instance, offers a 20% discount to return customers.

Included Services

A professional lie detector test doesn’t come cheap because it’s not as simple as the examinee answering questions with a yes or no. There are many other things that need to be carried out by the examiner besides interrogating the individual strapped to the machine, which, by the way, is something that comes with a steep price tag.

Before the test proper or the question and answer portion, the examiner will prepare the examinee for the exam.

In this phase, which is referred to as the pretest, the examiner will explain things such as the legal rights of the examinee as well as how the lie detector test will go about. It also involves some background analysis to determine whether or not the examinee is eligible for the test.

The in-test or testing phase follows. As the name suggests, this is the part where the polygraph examiner asks the examinee a series of questions. The number of questions can range anywhere from 3 to 10, depending on the purpose of the examination or the individual administering the lie detector test.

While the question and answer portion is on-going, the polygraph machine continues to collect and record data.

It’s during the post-test that the examiner analyzes the chart, which consists of all the physiologic changes gathered by the polygraph machine. A report is created, which usually takes at least 24 hours to complete. Sometimes, the result is available in less than 24 hours, while other times it can take a couple of days.

Cost of Lie Detector Home Test

The average cost of a lie detector home test kit ranges anywhere from $90 to $700, which is lower than the average cost of a professional polygraph machine, which usually starts at $1,000. Sadly, a lie detector instrument for home use isn’t that reliable. As a matter of fact, some of them are toys that should not be taken seriously.

It can be tempting to get your hands on your very own polygraph instrument no matter if you want to play detective or simply make sure that everyone’s going to have fun at the parties you hold.

Planning on using one to solve a conflict or dispute?

Then it’s a better idea to seek the help of a professional who administers lie detector tests because a polygraph home test kit is something that you can’t count on — the result is likely to be inaccurate and unreliable. Actual lie detector tests are not completely infallible, and the kinds administered at home using home kits are even more so.

Unless you just want to have fun, stay away from a lie detector home test kit that costs less than $50 and is advertised as an exciting party game. You can rest assured that it’s nothing but a toy that gives random results.

No polygraph instrument designed for home use on the market can replace the kind that an experienced examiner uses. Utilizing something with very little to no accuracy can ruin relationships and destroy trust and faith. But there is no denying that a lie detector home test kit can provide hours of fun, especially if it’s what everybody wants to have.

Finding a Reliable Polygraph Exam

Because a lie detector test doesn’t come cheap and the results can have serious implications, it’s of utmost importance for any company or employer or individual to opt for nothing but a reputable polygraph testing company.

In some states, it’s required for anyone who conducts a polygraph examination to be licensed. Needless to say, if you live where being licensed is a must, check that the examiner you are eyeing has a license. It’s for your own good — you can rest assured that the individual has completed an accredited program and passed the state licensing exam.

And speaking of completing a program, see to it that the polygraph examiner has actually gone to an accredited school and finished the necessary program. In some instances, he or she may have earned a bachelor’s.

Look for a polygraph examiner who specializes in the specific lie detector test you need.

It may not be a necessity, but someone who is affiliated with a professional association is a huge plus. The American Polygraph Association (APA) is arguably the most prestigious national association for polygraph experts. Many states have their very own association of professional polygraph exam service providers.

Hiring a licensed, if required by the state, and experienced lie detector test examiner is not enough. It’s also important that he or she is using the latest polygraph machine model, given that technology constantly changes.

These days, a computerized model is used by the vast majority of examiners as opposed to the analog kind.

Whether you are the owner of a private company or an individual who would like to settle a dispute with someone else, take your time when looking for a polygraph examiner. If you feel uncomfortable with the professional before or during the examination, it’s perfectly fine to have the test stopped.

Just Before You Pay for a Lie Detector Test

A polygraph exam doesn’t come cheap. More importantly, its result can have a considerable impact on your life or someone else’s. And that is why you should carefully choose a lie detector test service provider. Besides the cost, also consider the professional background and experience of the polygraph examiner before agreeing to anything.

Related Questions

Can you buy a real lie detector test?

Provided that you are running a registered business or agency that provides polygraph examinations, it’s possible to get your hands on an actual lie detector machine. But it’s also important to hire a licensed (depending on the state) polygraph examiner who will conduct tests and create reports afterward.

Can you take a polygraph examination on the internet?

Some websites offering online lie detector exams are designed to provide some fun and excitement. Some use what’s called voice stress analysis (VSA), which requires users to use a mic. But it’s important to note that the APA does not endorse the use of VSA in determining deception.

Disclaimer: The content is intended for informational purposes only and does not contain advice on criminal and investigative questions and inquiries. If you need professional help, please check with your state authorities.