Are there errors in polygraph examinations?
False positives and false negatives can occur. While the polygraph technique is highly accurate, it is not infallible and errors can occur. Errors are usually referred to as either false positives or false negatives. A false positive can occur when a truthful subject is reported as being deceptive; a false negative when a deceptive subject is reported as truthful. Since it is recognized that any error is damaging, examiners utilize a variety of procedures to identify the presence of factors which may cause false responses, and to ensure an unbiased review of the polygraph records.
These Protective Procedures include: