Polygraph and disclosing academic history

Hi everyone,

I had a polygraph done this month and was asked if I have ever broken the student conduct. When I was asked I said no because I did not remember an incident that occurred almost 10 years ago. I genuinely forgot, specially because I was already nervous. I’ve been scheduled for another polygraph and will be asked this question again. I plan on saying the true I just simply would like to omit certain information. My record is already voided so if an investigator were to contact the school nothing would be on record, not even a voided notice. But I do have access to that record, could the investigator have me request this instead since they can’t have access to it? Has anyone experienced this before?

Any polygraph question about breaking a student code of conduct would have been a so-called “control” or comparison question. For example, one of the approved “control” questions under the Law Enforcement Pre-Employment Test polygraph screening format is “Did you ever cheat on any academic assignment while in school?” The expected answer is “no,” and the denial is secretly expected to be untruthful.

If the subject makes admissions, the question will be rephrased as, “Other than what you told me, did you ever cheat on any academic assignment while in school?” The subject’s denial is still expected to be untrue. To the extent that the subject makes admissions, and as a consequence exhibits less stress when answering the “control” question, the more likely he is to wrongly fail the polygraph.

Did they ask this during the actual polygraph? Doesn’t sound like one of usual questions.

So, since it’s a control question and shows as denial, does that mean they wouldn’t care if it’s shown as denial? Or would they at least try and confront me about it? So that they can gather as much information.

Correct. You shouldn’t expect to be interrogated about this in any “post-test” interrogation.

It was phrased differently, but yes, they did ask if I’ve ever failed to comply to the academic conduct/integrity of an educational institution

Next time you go in, you should have a chance to discuss the questions with the examiner before they “hook you up” and run the actual test. At that time you should be able to discuss it and hopefully get a positive result.

That’s going to be tricky. The polygraph examiner is not only trained to operate “the box” but also knows to question people. They may very well detect that you are holding back, and that won’t help.

It sounds like next time they might ask you "Have you ever driven over the posted speed limit? :smile_cat:

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Few things.

Firstly, omitting information is never advised, for obvious reasons.
Second, saying no to a certain question on your first polygraph and then saying yes on your second polygraph could definitely cause some issues for you. It’s always best to “stick to your story”. Now, you said that your record at the school has been voided, but you still have access to that record. If you yourself have access to that record, it’s safe to assume that a federal investigator would also be able to get their hands on that file.

Your best course of action would be to be honest and say you genuinely forgot - and hopefully they won’t take this as deception/dishonesty. Good luck!

If I would be you I would be truthful(!!), talk and explain to a polygraph officer straight up. If your record was expunged I guess it was not a ‘big’ deal. We all have something that we are not proud of… (no offense to anyone!) Just say as is. Don’t lie – it will hunt you. Also, possible that this question is the stumbling block and reason for the 2nd attempt. I took poly two times just to be cleared on one single question. Don’t think of what-would-be-if investigator will contact the school. You are not there yet. You need to PASS poly in order for the investigation to be initiated.
Best of luck!!

You are right. I shouldn’t omit anything. Well, I was already nervous with other questions that I didn’t even think far enough for when I was asked this. I’ll just be honest to him on what happened with as many details as I can remember. Thank you.

Well they do ask if you’ve ever lied :face_with_hand_over_mouth:

:wink: and we would all be liars if we answered no.

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Sure thing. Just for reference, I had a conduct issue from back in college as well (alcohol) and I was just straight with my polygrapher about it and it was never an issue. The only thing I’d worry about with you is not disclosing it the first time, but i’m sure if you explain that it was awhile ago and you just forgot it’ll all be good!

That question about whether you’ve ever lied was also a probable-lie “control” question.