The Perception of a Polygraph?
I have been in the security, private investigation and polygraph industry now for about 9 years. During this time I have been continually fascinated and amused by other people’s perceptions of my job. At present I am a Polygrapher.
Strangely a lot of people confuse this with a calligraphist - and although I am quite sure I would enjoy spending my day producing elaborately skilled fonts (justifying the ownership of my classic fountain Montblanc, perhaps) - I don’t get the pleasure of writing anything, other than my reports, and technically speaking the HP Office jet gets the luxury of that.
Once the polygraph is associated with a lie detector (not my choice of phrase), the penny always drops. I can safely say that people rarely have an accurate perception of the industry, with most becoming somewhat disappointed to learn that,
a) I do not perform said test with an audience and,
b) My results are not theatrically delivered in various paused stages, with intense deep stares and judgmental head shakes.
My profession is quite the opposite. The only intense pauses I observe are usually that of my examinee, during their (more often than not) painful recollection of their current situation. Often it is a situation which is very personal, private and more importantly consequential to them. Ultimately they are divulging information regarding family, relationships, careers and their life, which are rarely spoken about outside that circle - let alone to a complete stranger.
Polygraph is not entertainment. It is a very sophisticated tool that can - and does - assist individuals, companies and government agencies across the world.
Using the various types of examinations available (infidelity, criminal, screening and post convicted sex offender testing), polygraph can support decision making processes for a wide variety of individuals and collectives.
Polygraph can help improve lives, it can help employees and employers alike, and it can help prevent potential risk to the public and our respective countries.
Perception can only change with education.
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