Polygraph research (lie detector) is primarily associated with films about the CIA. In fact, it is in use in many Russian organizations - from government to commercial. In Moscow, polygraph examiners often turn to people who suspect their spouses of infidelity, and such a study is quite affordable and the middle class. About this Life around was told by a polygraph examiner with five years of experience, currently working in the civil service.
What you need to become a polygraph examiner
I graduated from the Military University with a degree in military psychology and the FSB Academy (operational activities), then worked for several years in the army on a contract basis. When my position was reduced, I went to study as a polygraph examiner. In principle, in order to learn how to work with a lie detector, you do not need to have any special higher education - this is done by both engineers and former employees of law enforcement agencies. I was lucky that I am a psychologist, I did not have to spend a lot of time to master the psychological part of the curriculum.
Training with practice took nine months, and for five years now I have been working in a new profession.
In all schools, training for a polygraph examiner is different. I myself bought equipment, and along with paying for the courses my expenses for retraining amounted to 250 thousand rubles. My polygraph is inexpensive - 120 thousand rubles. The most expensive lie detector in Russia costs 350 thousand. This is all domestic equipment. The alternative is American, but we do not work on it, because, firstly, the entire interface is in English, and secondly, the Americans have the same principles, but ours went further.
All polygraphs, regardless of price, look approximately the same: a device weighing about 500 grams, in a plastic or metal case, is connected on one side to a computer, on the other hand sensors that are mounted on a person depart from it. The difference between an inexpensive and expensive polygraph is how they deliver results. It is clear that krivulki are the same everywhere, but one of the devices simply builds scales, and the other immediately gives out a person’s stressful state. In more expensive models, you can open several windows at once, make a comparative description, and in those that are simpler, you yourself have to count something. Some polygraphs already contain a database of questions and automatically throw them into tests, but in some you have to do it manually - a person is sitting in front of you, waiting, time is running out. Not to mention the fact that some models do not work with the latest "Windows". By the way, Americans have lie detectors that work with a Mac, but we don’t.
The most advanced Russian polygraph is Diana, especially version 7. Even the Americans say that this is a very worthy polygraph. I worked with the latest American Lafayette polygraph - it didn’t surprise me, our sensors are even better for reading information. For some reason, the Americans are now trying to leave for wireless polygraphs - in my opinion, this will not lead to anything good. They want the sensors to be attached to the person, and the polygraph itself would not be connected to the computer. But the signal can still be lost, and how accurately then will the detector show the results?
Chats with Americans and the sect "Magnet"
According to my information, about 30 people graduate from Moscow polygraph examiner schools every six months. Issues have been going on since 1997. We have a chat in Telegram, there are about 500 regular participants there. Taking into account those who do not communicate, it turns out, I think, about 2 thousand.
In addition to Moscow, in Russia they are taught to become a polygraph examiner in Novosibirsk and Krasnodar.
There is a strong school in Novosibirsk; they often invite specialists from abroad, including Americans. And in Krasnodar they teach according to their own method, which was developed on the Magnit network. It is considered quackery here, but they work on it, and if someone in Krasnodar departs from their teachings, they take it with hostility. Such is the sect "Magnet".
In an international chat on WhatsApp, we have 180 active participants (you can’t make a group of more than 200 people there). But the sanctions on communication between Russian and American polygraph examiners have greatly affected. Recently, I was at an international conference of polygraph examiners, the Americans came there and very restrainedly told us what we basically already know: "Oh, we haven't had our developments for several years." But the Czechs and Bulgarians who attend international conferences in Europe say: “Yes, they all talk, share,” but probably not with us.
Well, God bless them, because recently, to be honest, the Americans have not completely gone to that steppe. For example, if we list possible murder tools — a screwdriver, an ax, a handle, a fork, a hand — and a person has a physiological reaction to a screwdriver, this does not mean that he is lying. Maybe he has some personal memories associated with a screwdriver. Americans immediately say: this is a lie. Our psychobiologists work based on the works of the famous Soviet scientist Alexander Romanovich Luria, and everything is simple for him: significance is a reaction, that is, something can be significant for a person because it is a memory, an association, a fear of false accusation, a traumatic factor. It is very difficult for a person to get out of a state of trauma, especially if he has witnessed violence, especially sexual, - they will definitely give a reaction to the polygraph as involved. The Americans immediately conclude that being involved means guilty, a lie has been revealed. We do not make a final conclusion on a person, even if all his reactions add up to one. It is very difficult to break this traumatic factor.
Then, we have completely different ideas about the judicial system. When criminal cases are going on, what happens to suspects in the US? A recognizance not to leave the place, detention for several days, then a person, as a rule, is released. We have a man sitting in jail. And what happens to him there? Some article is being glued to him. He lays down with this thought and wakes up, plus the traumatic factor of the prison. Of course, if you put him on a polygraph, he will give a reaction on this topic. But this does not mean that he is involved in this. Not necessarily mean.
The truth is actually a simpler process in the human brain, because it is associated with only one mental process - with memory. And when a person is asked about what he has done, but he does not want to talk about it, he must create in his brain a semantic construct that was not
Is it possible to fool a polygraph
The psychology of a person’s lies is such that a person lies only in one case - when the truth is dangerous. When a person is asked about himself, about the events of his past, about his character, about what he did, heard, knows or sees. When, during the capture of the Nord-Ost, the militants asked “are there any military?”, This simple question immediately turned into a stressful factor, because the military were shot first. External danger always forces a person to tell a lie.
The truth is actually a simpler process in the human brain, because it is associated with only one mental process - with memory. I ask you - were you born in Moscow? You look into your memory - yes, it is written in the passport, my parents told me that I was born in Moscow, everyone knows that. And when a person is asked about what he has done, but he does not want to talk about it, he must create in his brain such a semantic construct that was not there. That is, he is already working with two mental processes - with memory and imagination. And it is always more difficult. This is mimically expressed: fine motor skills of the muscles of the face, redness, vegetation. But if even by these signs it is impossible to determine the deception, because there are such impenetrable foreheads that lie, looking in the eyes, then for these purposes there is a polygraph.
Why is a polygraph hard to fool, almost impossible? Not a single person in the world could teach his heart to beat faster, make his blood thinner or denser, and regulate the production of sweat. I always give such an example for those who do not believe in the polygraph: here you are telling me about yogis who can walk on the coals - but the person prepared himself for this internally, and when external danger factors work instantly, not a single person can to prepare. If you lead a yoga man into a dark room and blindfold him and give burning charcoal to his hand, he will pull his hand away with a 99% probability. So, in the case of the polygraph, we, it turns out, work with provocation - that is, we put the person in the conditions of the experiment, when the questions act as an incentive.
When a dog is poked with a stick, her hair stands on end, she starts to growl - she is stressed. And here we need to make a person show stress. They will ask someone who has never used drugs in their life: have you tried drugs? He understands that drugs are bad, there will be a reaction, but not much. A person who tried drugs, but did not talk about it, will have a strong stressful situation, a strong peak of tension. Therefore, I always say to testees: you must be clearly aware that the truth stated before the polygraph and revealed on the polygraph are two different things. By and large, we don’t even need to distinguish the truth from the lie - we need to find out if the person is loyal to the investigation, whether he told everything.
About lying polygraph examiners
According to Russian law, in particular, documents of the Ministry of Justice, any expert examination carried out as part of judicial measures can be organized by any specialist if the parties to the prosecution or the defense prove that he is an expert using the appropriate document (certificate, advanced training courses, diploma). A polygraph study can be declared as a special psychophysiological examination - along with ballistic, graphological, forensic, psychological, psychiatric - if the defense or prosecution side proves that this is necessary.
Often, the polygraph is used in the ARD - operational investigative activities. As an aid to the investigation, it can be perceived. But only an investigator should make a decision on its basis. I don’t argue, it happens that a polygraph turns the investigation upside down. But polygraph examiners have no right to evaluate the investigation as part of the examination.
The worst thing that happens to my colleagues is that sometimes they do data spoofing. Sometimes there are nomenclature polygraph examiners, when they are told from above in some structure, "This person should be guilty," sometimes commercial ones who are flattered by money. I had cases when they offered me money: in the case of adultery, theft. But I just understand that if you do this once, you as a specialist will bury yourself right there, and there will never be any trust in you again. I know such people, and they are known among polygraph examiners. I had to double-check once for such a polygraph examiner, who found traces of a person in his memory that he had committed a crime, and he, in general, did not go on about the person, but only because that person did not have money.
In Moscow, the usual cost of an examination on a polygraph is from 3 thousand rubles. I was offered three times more than the official cost for replacing the results of the examination. Another time I tested for 5 thousand, and they say to me: "Let us now list 25 thousand on your card." Naturally, I refuse such offers.
What customers want
The duration of the examination depends on the subject, on the specific situation, on the customer, because sometimes he needs very detailed information, and sometimes the answer "was" or "was not enough". The basis for the study is a conversation, because you need to set up a person to work, stir up his memory a little, you need to hurt those strings that can help the uncomplicated to avoid punishment, and the implicated, on the contrary, to hurt with verification questions. The conversation takes place even before the sensors, sometimes it lasts half an hour, sometimes 40 minutes, sometimes two hours.
My longest testing lasted from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. It was an investigation into the theft, but there were breaks for the test person, there was even a break for lunch. A man was sitting in my presence, there was a security service behind the wall, there were a lot of evidence that needed to be identified. In the end, it turned out that he was involved. He surrendered to himself, and further the power structures worked with him. It was an internal investigation: money was stolen from the company for which, to put it mildly, no records are kept. Naturally, the owner of the company wanted to solve this issue with the help of a polygraph, not the police. Further, they simply found a reason why this person should be taken into custody.
At the beginning of my career, I was interested in every case that they called me to, and now I just closed the door behind them and forgot. The first time I had a routine screening study when applying for a job. Risk factors are taken (alcohol, drugs, bad habits, gambling, tendency to embezzlement, theft, drunkenness at work, draining information, getting a job at the request of third parties, monetary fraud), presented to the test person, and we look at what he is reacting. This is not an investigation, we are just looking at a person’s inclinations. For example, we may ask: "Are you a member of a religious organization?" It seems to be what this has to do with the case? Actually direct. If a person is a sect, he is inspired. Tomorrow the sect will say to him: "Give us all your money, we don’t have enough of your sold apartment, go and find somewhere else." And this is a certain risk for the company.
Each employer has its own risk factor. I worked with a company of designers, where the director said: "If drugs come to light, it’s even good, because they’re better at creating drugs." And there was a security organization, the head of which said: "If there is drugs or alcohol, I generally will not let anyone close." I tested a personal driver for aggressiveness while driving - a very important factor when you trust him with your life.
What do polygraph examiners earn?
There are polygraph examiners in all state and business structures with a large staff, I know these people. They are loaded with work for the most do not spoil. All my friends test at least two people a day. It's very hard. Today I worked two people in a day — I don’t even have the strength to write a conclusion on them.
Officials must be tested every three years. Every day I have two officials tested, rarely when one. As far as I know, testing should also be conducted by employees of organizations subordinate to the state, starting with subway employees.
In private orders, I have most of all adultery - 50%, probably. Just because testing is a popular thing in Moscow. Theft is probably 30%, the rest is household and screenings when applying for a job. In the civil service, 80% of me is screening (when hiring or personnel, which is done every three years), and 20% are investigations.
State institutions have more full-time polygraph examiners, because they themselves send a person to study at public expense. Commercial entities usually hire outside polygraph examiners. Firstly, a full-time polygraph examiner in a commercial structure in Moscow will request 80 thousand a month, and secondly, some are afraid that there will be a close relationship between the polygraph examiner and the employees whom he should check. Or, for example, if you have identified a risk factor in a person, it is not at all necessary that the employer will fire him, he will continue to work, but at the same time know that it was you who identified his problems on the polygraph.
It is best to work in companies with a large staff in different cities - for example, a network of pharmacies.Then the polygraph examiner flies from city to city, no one really knows him in the regions, but at the same time he is an employee of the central office, for example. Many of my friends work for such companies. I had such a side job, I went to them once a year. I knew the directors, and the employees changed over the year. Of course, I remembered someone from last year’s testing, but this is not the same when you communicate every day at the office.