Whilst writing this explanation I came across a magazine article describing how a person reacted after being called into their managers’ office and informed they were being made redundant. They recount, “It was interesting what happens to the body when it is in shock”. They go on to describe an “acute stress response” triggered by something called the “sympathetic nervous system.” Amusingly, they offer their take on the reaction by saying “You might think that a sympathetic system would try to calm you down, wrap you in a nice chemical blanket and offer you a choice between Green & Blacks Coco and a whiskey sour. It doesn’t”.
They continue to observe,” the sympathetic nervous system decides that what you need when you are really, really stressed is to be flooded with hormones that set your whole system on fire. It thinks that what is required while you try to keep upright (control) is to be stimulated to gallop over the savannah.” The writer was very observant not only did the author identify the involuntary reactions the body was going through, they also identified that the reactions were beyond personal control and they were unable to stop them at will.
During a polygraph (lie detector test) the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems automatically activate. The first to increase blood flow and oxygen levels to the body and the second to restrict an increase in either function to the point of injury. These changes in blood flow and breathing pattern together with a recording of changes in perspiration are all recorded during the polygraph examination.
When an examinee is questioned during the test, these same reactions (which as the author noted are beyond our conscious control) create a series of graph markings on charts used by the polygraph examiner. These reactions are then analysed by the examiner in order to reach a final decision on truthfulness or deceit. I suppose in a way, you could say that the test questions are answered by the “Inner you” and not the person you may present to the outside world.
One thing is for sure, the test is the easiest test you will ever take. Why? Because you do not have to study for it and all you have to do to pass, is tell the truth. That’s not so difficult. Is it?
Created By Mike Rumble, Senior Polygraph Examiner