How to Pass a Lie Detector Test When It Matters Most
Even if you think that taking a lie detector test doesn’t really matter, you could be wrong since you never know what the future holds. This type of testing is often used by big corporations when hiring for a job, checking the staff or checking a client’s information before approving them for a loan or for insurance. This article will help you to pass it with dignity and keep your most important secrets with you.
Bright Side decided to find out whether the inner attitude affects the success of the test and if it’s possible to prepare your mind for it. At the end of the article, there is a bonus tip listing cases when you can refuse to take the test with a clear conscience.
How does a polygraph work?
Of course, a polygraph can’t detect the lie itself. It captures the physiological changes that occur in the body when a person is lying such as a fast pulse, sweating, breathing rhythm, and pressure.
Modern lie detectors can recognize up to 50 different types of reactions such as capillary expansion, which is an instant reflex to a shocking question. Nevertheless, most of the companies use a standard studying of reactions.
Experts say that the interpretation of results is more of an art rather than a science. All because the results strongly depend on the qualification and experience of a polygrapher. Their task is to select the right questions matching each personality, take into account the differences in different people’s physiology and be able to interpret them correctly.
6 ways to prepare your mind
1. Be physically ready
Get ready 24 hours before the test.
- Get a good sleep.
- Don’t come hungry or overeat.
- Feel comfortable in your clothes.
Stick to your usual regimen so that your body doesn’t feel changes — it will prevent your heartbeat from going awry. Do you usually jog in the morning? Don’t skip it. Do you always drink coffee? Drink it today too!
2. Let yourself feel nervous.
Feeling nervous is normal. Moreover, it can help you pass the test. The results of those people who feel nervous answering each question turn out to be the most accurate according to statistics.
If you feel that your results might be interpreted incorrectly because of your nervousness, then the following method might help.
To check your basic physiological reactions, you will be forced to lie by using controlled questions. It is quite easy to distinguish them from relevant questions because they have a common, not particular, sense.
Be careful at this stage. If you start feeling nervous answering controlled questions, then later the polygraph will interpret your answers to relevant questions as “truth”, especially if you try to keep calm answering them.
- An example of a controlled question: “Have you ever stolen anything?”
- An example of a relevant question: “Did you steal anything at your previous place of work?”
Also, you can make yourself feel nervous by thinking about something unpleasant or scary, or by trying to solve some difficult problem in your mind.
3. Try not to lie about details.
If there is nothing to feel shameful about or to hide from, try to answer all of the questions honestly. The more true things you say, the more precise the results will be. People often tend to lie about small things, which most people don’t take seriously anyway. They worry about being asked trap-questions while passing the test which is what they should actually be careful about.
But experts say that all questions are very simple and there shouldn’t be any unexpected moments; at least that’s what the ethics of testing say. Moreover, you’ll be allowed to get familiar with the questions before the test. This is done to eliminate the reaction to novelty.
4. Don’t hurry.
Each question can be asked from 3 to 6 times during the testing. That’s why there is no need to hurry to give answers; the feeling of hurry itself can distort the results.
Listen to each question till the end, try to understand it, and take your time with the answer.
By keeping a pause before giving the answer, you’ll give yourself an opportunity to determine what kind of question you’ve been asked: insignificant (“What’s your name?”), controlled (“Have you ever lied for getting benefits?”) or relevant (“Have you ever faked documents at your previous job?”).
5. Imagine something pleasant.
This method is considered successful but only for those who can really control themselves. All because being nervous and causing negative reactions is easier than thinking about something positive.
While thinking upon a question and realizing that you have to lie, think about something extremely pleasant, or try to feel relaxed during the entire test. Create some kind of careless world in your imagination to help you keep calm. That way, your body will react perfectly!
6. Don’t use any physical tricks.
As a rule or trick, getting negative body reactions while taking the test can be achieved. “Put a pin into your shoe and press it every time you need to get the right reaction. You can also bite your tongue or strain your muscles.”
These tricks don’t baffle experienced experts. On the contrary, such manipulations are very noticeable and very often experts can ask you to take your shoes off as they are very well aware of this trick. Also, a polygraph is capable of distinguishing a reaction to physical pain.
If you get caught red-handed, the testing might be rescheduled. Or the results at the end of the testing might be evaluated more strictly taking into consideration all of the tricks that you pulled.
Bonus: When should you not take a polygraph test?
In some cases, taking a polygraph test is contraindicated, as its results will be distorted or the process itself might affect a person negatively. Apart from mental illnesses, these exceptions are:
- heart disease
- diseases of the respiratory system (even a simple cold)
- general pain
- forced test-taking
Have you ever experienced this kind of testing? How was it? Please share your experience in the comments!
Illustrated by Natalia Kulakova for BrightSide.me