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Features of training polygraph examiners in the effective use of psychological technologies in the process of pre-test conversation in the process of instrumental lie detection

Sadekov Rustem Rafekovich

ORCID: 0000-0002-2739-5490

PhD in Pedagogy

Deputy Head of the Department of Psychological-Pedagogical and Medical Support of the Department of Internal Affairs Activities at the Russian Institute of Officials Training and Education

142007, Russia, Moscow Region, Domodedovo, Fir street, 3

Other publications by this author

Senatorova Ol'ga Yur'evna

PhD in Pedagogy

Professor, Department of Psychological, Pedagogical and Medical Support of the Department of Internal Affairs, All-Russian Institute for Advanced Training of Employees of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Russia

142008, Russia, Domodedovo, Fir street, 3

Klochko Yuliya Vital'evna

PhD in Psychology

Professor, Department of Psychological, Pedagogical and Medical Support of the Department of Internal Affairs, All-Russian Institute for Advanced Training of Employees of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Russia

142008, Russia, Domodedovo, Fir street, 3










Abstract: The authors consider in detail the features of professorial training of law enforcement officers in tactical and special techniques for organizing and conducting a pre-test conversation as a key stage in the course of a special psychophysiological study using a polygraph. Attention is paid to the strategic goals of the polygraph examiner, who should receive objective data from the interviewee on risk factors during the research process.The fulfillment of this goal, depending on the intentions of the subject, and therefore it is important to teach the future specialist to act competently and clearly in the process of performing this procedure, to be able to use psychological means to overcome negative states in the examined person during the pre-test conversation. The novelty of the study lies in the fact that the paper considers current options for possible interaction between a polygraph examiner and the examined person during a pre-test conversation in the process of a special psychophysiological study, taking into account the use of psychological means to overcome negative emotional states in the examined person in their work. The authors note that the process of a special psychophysiological study is associated with the need to quickly navigate the psychological characteristics of the test subject, comprehensively analyze his behavior, emotional state and determine the strategy of behavior.Direct communicative interaction between the polygraph examiner and the subject begins during the pretest conversation and its effectiveness at this stage of work can be improved through the use of additional psychological attitudes that will allow the specialist to correctly build a pre-test conversation and possibly get the maximum amount of information even before the direct polygraph interview.


training, preparation, polygraph, psychological remedies, pre-test conversation, police officers, psychologist, specialist, test subject, psychological techniques

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Features of training polygraph examiners in the effective use of psychological techniques in the process of pre-test conversation during instrumental lie detectionThroughout the history of the internal affairs bodies, the task of staffing the internal affairs bodies with professionally competent personnel remains one of the most important.

Such negative moments as earlier dismissal, emotional burnout, violations of discipline and abuse of official powers, alcohol among the personnel, are mainly predetermined by insufficient consideration of personal and business qualities of candidates for service, determine the high relevance of improving the system of personal and business qualities assessment during the professional psychological selection of candidates for service in the internal affairs bodies of the Russian Federation.

Along with psychological methods of selecting candidates for service, a special role is assigned to conducting a special psychophysiological study using a polygraph, which has already successfully proven itself in the system of internal affairs bodies - it has found wide application both during operational investigative measures and in personnel work (personnel selection, promotion, promotion to the reserve for higher positions positions, appointments to senior positions).

Persons undergoing training under the professional retraining program for future polygraph examiners, of course, should learn to navigate qualitatively and professionally, including the use of psychological technologies in the process of pre-test conversation in the process of instrumental lie detection.

To understand all these subtleties and nuances, to have a sufficient set of competencies necessary for the organization and conduct of this multi-level, complex and painstaking work should be a trained specialist. In this connection, there is a pedagogical task to train such a specialist in all important areas of activity, who could in the shortest possible time, using all his knowledge and skills, quickly understand the goals and tasks set before him, understand them and solve these issues as effectively as possible, using all his intellectual and practical experience, apply all important knowledge in this area. Let's focus in more detail on those aspects that the student should learn and be able to implement in daily work, performing the functions of a polygraph examiner[7].

Special psychophysiological examination (hereinafter SPFI) with the use of a polygraph is a procedure for the use of special knowledge, skills and abilities associated with the use of technical means that do not harm the life and health of people, aimed at analyzing (evaluating) the dynamics of psychophysiological reactions of the examined person in response to the stimuli presented [1].

Conducting special psychophysiological studies is carried out in several stages: preparatory stage, pre-trial stage (finding out the possibility of conducting SPFI, pre-test conversation, obtaining voluntary consent from the interviewee), testing stage, preliminary analysis of the results obtained, final interview, final processing, analysis of the results, preparation of the conclusion.

The outcome of a successful SPFI using a polygraph is determined by a pre-test conversation, which is perhaps the most important stage of a polygraph test. At this stage, it is likely to draw certain conclusions, which will be based on the observation of the person being examined, the results of the conversation with him, a detailed study of his biographical data, which will later be confirmed or refuted by the results of the survey. Based on the availability of psychological knowledge and skills to evaluate, analyze and apply the information obtained during the pre-test conversation, a polygraph examiner is able to qualitatively optimize the entire procedure of instrumental examination and even obtain confessions from the interviewee before conducting the polygraph survey itself.

In their article, O.A. Venerina and A.P. Soshnikov write that "the need to quickly navigate the psychological characteristics of a person is one of the most difficult aspects in the work of a polygraph examiner. In a short period of time, he needs to understand how to interact with the subject in order to choose the most effective behavior strategy, efficiently and effectively solve the task. In particular, to be able to conduct a pre-test conversation in such a way as to win over the subject, motivate him to be sincere in communication, adjust to his individual personality characteristics. Moreover, understanding the psychological essence of the subject could allow a comprehensive analysis of his behavior as a whole, and finally, to complete the testing procedure without conflict, which is also important."

The importance of taking into account the individual characteristics of the subjects during polygraph examinations applies to all its stages, without exception, starting from the first conversation of the specialist with the customer and ending with the preparation of the conclusion [2].

As noted by S.I. Ogloblin and A.Y. Molchanov, "the ability to quickly isolate the characterological core of the subject, establish close psychological contact with him on this basis and introduce the subject into the optimal psychophysiological corridor distinguishes a highly qualified professional polygraph examiner from "polygraph operators" who conduct a formal check, without taking into account the characteristics of the character and personality of the person being examined, which is often leads to unreliable results."

Currently, there are many methods that allow you to identify individual psychological characteristics of a person: questionnaires, conversation, tests, personality questionnaires. But, at the same time, when conducting SPFI, there are certain limitations associated with the use of these methods [3]. So, a person does not always undergo a traditional psychological examination before being checked. In addition, the above methods take quite a lot of time. In this regard, it is natural to ask what modern approaches are appropriate to use, which in turn will be able to provide objective and clear information about the person being examined, while quite quickly.

Such opportunities are provided by rapid tests, visual psychodiagnostics based on direct observation and interpretation of a person's appearance, his verbal and nonverbal behavior.

It can be assumed that the personal characteristics of the candidate affect the SPFI process and, accordingly, taking into account these features and adjusting the process of the pre-test conversation in a certain way, it is possible to achieve the most reliable results of the examination, increase the effectiveness of the procedure.

The analysis of theoretical approaches and scientific research has shown that the field of studying the relationship between the pretest conversation and the psychological characteristics of the subject's personality, namely the degree of his sociability, information evaluation and the way of perception (extraversion introversion, sensorics intuition, thinking emotions, perception - evaluation) has not yet received its proper development. In this regard, we believe it is relevant to consider this topic, to increase the importance of this issue.

Psychophysiological examination using a polygraph is a procedure for applying special knowledge related to the use of technical means that do not harm the life and health of people, do not harm the environment, ensuring the analysis (evaluation) of the dynamics of psychophysiological reactions of the examined person in response to the stimuli presented, to verify the information reported by the examined, as well as to establish the circumstances, subject to proof in a specific case.

The effectiveness and efficiency of SPFI with the use of a polygraph depends on each stage of the examination, but the greatest burden, in our opinion, is borne by the pre-test conversation.

As a rule, based on the information received during the pre-test conversation, the polygraph examiner makes an objective decision about the feasibility and effectiveness of the study, selects the most effective way to establish psychological contact with the subject, selects the details of the survey procedure that will optimize the conditions and obtain reliable research results.

According to many polygraph examiners, this stage is of particular importance, since the sincerity of the examinee will depend on its effective conduct, it also allows you to establish contact with the person being checked [4], prevent many difficulties associated with the manifestation of opposition from the examinee during the polygraph test, update significant information in his memory, remove negative emotional state, in particular tension, anxiety, arising within the framework of a polygraph examination, which in turn determines the quality of the result that will be obtained.

At this stage, the formation of an optimal psychological attitude for testing takes place: the conviction of a person not involved in the event under investigation that he will pass this test without problems, and of a person involved that he has no chance of passing this test [5].

It is preferable to conduct a pre-test conversation in a room designed for polygraph tests, where the device itself is located and further examination is expected in order for the test subject to adapt most to the office, its environment, the appearance of the device and sensors. In situations where a specialist does not have confidence that a voluntary consent will be obtained to participate in a polygraph examination of a person, for example, if a conflict arises during an internal investigation, for example, then it is possible to allow a conversation to be held in another room.

You should prepare thoroughly for the conversation: take into account the life experience of the subject, his knowledge related to the topic of the survey, the peculiarities of thinking. Consciously tune in to his level. Prior to the interview, it is advisable to fix in memory all the most important data of the subject's biography (age, education, marital status, work and social activities, life circumstances) and refer to them during the conversation.

There is often an opinion in the literature that the first impression that a polygraph examiner receives during a pre-test conversation has a significant impact on the course of the examination in the future, as well as the interpretation of the final data, which cannot but affect the results and reliability of the study as a whole.

An analysis of the literature shows that the pre-test conversation is superior in its significance to the polygraph test itself. From the point of view of Harold Feldman , this stage is of particular importance for the following reasons:

1. A pre-test conversation allows you to establish contact with a person, and thus win him over, get important information from him, remove tension.

2. Helps to determine the presence of any instability of the physical or mental plan, which can make the check risky, or give a distorted result.

3. In the pre-test conversation, the polygraph examiner explains to the examinee the specifics of the inspection, the device and operation of the polygraph, the methods used in testing, thereby preparing the person for this procedure.

4. The pre-test conversation is aimed at informing the examinee about his rights, to obtain consent to conduct this procedure.

5. During the pre-test conversation, information that requires analysis is checked, and control and verification questions included in the tests are also considered.

6. The analysis of all those hundred is carried out, in order to avoid those x questions that may lead the person being checked into uncertainty.

7. In the pre-test procedure, all elements of the event under study and risk factors are rechecked. The questions are analyzed in detail: whether a crime was committed, the nature of the crime and the date of its commission, the participation of the subject in it, as well as why the interviewee is suspected of committing a crime.

To successfully conduct a pre-test examination, a polygraph examiner must have a certain set of professionally important qualities, possess tactical techniques for conducting it.

Attentive and friendly attitude to the person who is undergoing polygraph examination, his personality, the manifestation of professional sensitivity in combination with the skillful, competent use of effective psychological techniques of influence, will certainly allow achieving objective results of a special psychophysiological study.

The accumulated experience of working on a polygraph at the disposal of specialists for more than one year in identifying possibly hidden information of interest allows us to formulate clear requirements for the procedure of the pre-test conversation:

1. The specialist must clearly understand that a trial is being conducted, and not a judicial interrogation is being conducted. In case of difficulties in contact communication with the person being examined, it is necessary to ask him in a narrative way to tell, for example, about his biography.

2. The information volume of the examined person must be unchanged. In the process of information exchange, the technology should be carried out on the principle of one-way communication - from the polygraph examiner to the subject.

4. The tone of the conversation should be calm, sustained, humane. The specialist, while remaining neutral, is obliged to show interest in the person of the person being interviewed. The pre-test itself should not be emotionally radical, carried out in any "hard" or "calm and soft" style. Softness will cause excessive politeness, sympathy and delicacy on the part of the specialist who conducts the pre-test conversation. The "hard" style is usually effective for suppressing the opposition of the interviewee, who may be prepared for the interview, and will also allow him to open emotionally closed areas. At the same time, we must not forget that the interviewee is under constant stress. The stressful situation seriously distorts the measurements recorded by the polygraph and interferes with the objectivity of the future assessment.

5. It will also be unacceptable if the polygraph examiner begins to catch the subject on any words, cling to it, build up the tactics of the survey. This will cause a sense of excitement and bias . Any information should be purely informational in nature, and becomes the ground for accusations or accusatory bias.

The analysis of the literature shows that the decision by a polygraph examiner of each of the above-mentioned tasks and the fulfillment of the requirements for the pre-test procedure is directly related to the successful passage of the polygraph test by the examined person.

It should also be noted that during the pre-test it is prohibited:

- deviate from the main topic and discuss extraneous issues unrelated to the polygraph test;

- insert sensors on the examinee's body until the end of the conversation.

It is important to remember that the main task of a polygraph examiner is to form the necessary psychological attitude for testing in the subject. The implementation of this task is facilitated by the establishment of psychological contact between the polygraph examiner and the subject.

As part of the pre-test conversation, and the entire survey using a polygraph device, a polygraph examiner is faced with a variety of emotional states of the subject, which can affect the course of the procedure, cause difficulties and errors.

The stage of the pre-test examination is a very important stage that allows you to formulate, create assumptions (hypotheses) based on the observation of the subject, the analysis of his behavior, the study of biography, which, according to the results of not mediocre testing, are confirmed or refuted. Having professional psychological knowledge, understanding personal differences, being able to evaluate and use the important information obtained during the pre-test conversation, the polygraph examiner improves the efficiency and quality of the entire procedure and, yes, receives confessions from the examined person at the initial stage.

The Lusher color test is effectively used as an identification of the individual emotional characteristics of the personality of the test subject, taking into account which allows to optimize the procedure of pre-test examination.

Negative emotional states can seriously affect both the course of the examination itself, for example, significantly increasing the testing time, and obtaining high-quality polygrams, and, accordingly, the test result as a whole. That is why it is so important at the stage of the pre-test conversation with the subject to try to determine his emotional state in order to carry out measures to correct it.

In psychology, it is believed that all people, regardless of nationality and the culture in which they grew up, interpret facial configurations expressing fundamental emotions with sufficient accuracy. Paul Ekman identified six standard emotional masks. These masks are universal, they are characteristic of the population of any corner of our planet and accompany the following emotions: surprise, fear, disgust, rage, joy, sadness.

Often repeated negative experiences lead to the consolidation of unfavorable emotional states and negative personal qualities, such as irritability, anxiety, pessimism, resentment, which, in turn, negatively affects the quality of life.

The main ways of reacting in emotionogenic situations for most individuals are psychological defense mechanisms: withdrawal from the situation, projection on others, arousing guilt in others, rationalization by circumstances, inconsistency of others' behavior with expectations, autoaggression.

Emotions are mental formations fixed by habits, consciousness cannot grasp them in integrity, therefore a significant part of behavior is carried out unconsciously, automatically. Consciousness narrows and concentrates on one thing, missing the other, the opportunity to get useful information about the surrounding reality from the "emotional outburst" becomes blocked.

An important role in the diagnosis and determination of a particular emotional state and its dynamics in the subject is performed by observing the person being examined during the pre-test conversation. Observation allows, on the basis of behavioral reactions, to investigate the manifestations of negative emotional states in the subject. The high validity of the observation is due to the possibility of this method to preserve the naturalness of the conditions for the object of observation.

When observing the subject during the pre-test conversation, a polygraph examiner can track external signs, such as:

speech activity: content, intensity, intonation of speech, etc.;

body movements and facial expressions;

the position of the body in space: movement, immobility, distance, speed, direction of movement.

As part of the training of polygraph specialists at our university, we note that assessing the degree of occurrence of nonverbal signs of negative emotional states, most polygraph examiners agree that most often these human states are given out by uncontrolled vegetative reactions. Although some of the test takers themselves verbally say to the polygraph examiner that they feel fear, excitement, anxiety, perhaps even express some distrust of the examination procedure before the examination begins. All these reactions are removed by establishing a trusting relationship, from the feeling of confidence and competence of the polygraph examiner as a specialist.

In response to the question about the possible relationship between the manifestations of negative emotional states of the examinee in the process of preparing for testing during a pre-test conversation and the identification of deviant (socially dangerous) behavior in this examinee as a consequence of risk factors or receiving recognition from the examinee, it most often has a direct relationship, because for such an examinee, the very situation of such a survey is stressful, because there is a real danger of exposure.

It is important to apply the techniques used by practicing psychologists and polygraph examiners to reduce the impact of negative emotional states in a pretest conversation. The employees interviewed by us talked about the need to establish trusting psychological contact with the subject from the first minutes of the conversation, with particularly identified cases of negative emotional reactions, some polygraph examiners conduct express autogenic training techniques during the pre-test conversation, which take no more than 10 minutes, and eventually give a positive result, expressed in establishing a trusting relationship with the subject, the test there is confidence in the professionalism of a specialist psychologist-polygraph examiner, as well as in the fact that the psychologist is also interested in a positive result of the procedure.

In the course of studying the opinions of specialists, we came to the conclusion that the Lusher technique helps to measure the psychophysiological state of a person, his emotional state, it is based on the concept that the choice of color occurs at an unconscious level, and, therefore, well reflects the real emotional state of the subject. The test taker was asked to choose a color card of the most pleasant color for him at the moment. This choice is made until all the cards with colors are over. A psychologist-polygraph examiner recorded the order of choosing cards with color and then automatically entered them into a computer program of calculation. Analyzing the testing data by a psychologist-polygraph examiner, a decision was promptly made on the need for additional measures during the pre-test conversation.

As part of the conducted testing, the purpose of the examination with the help of the Lusher color test was to identify negative emotional states that could interfere with the process of conducting a polygraph examination, and then, if they are possibly detected, express adjustments of negative emotional states within the framework of a pre-test conversation. At the same time, verbal and nonverbal signs of the manifestation of negative emotional states of the subjects were also constantly monitored.

Establishing and maintaining psychological contact with the person being examined at the stage of the pre-test conversation is of very important strategic importance.

However, as in any situation between people, it is not easy to establish contact between people who are communicating. According to A .P. Panfilova, this process can be compared with the construction of tools in front of the mouth. It is necessary for the initiator of the contact to develop a correct attitude to the interlocutor, the beginning of the conversation is a "bridge" I am waiting for the communicants.

During the first stage of the pre-test conversation, contact is established with the interlocutor; a pleasant atmosphere is created; attention is drawn to the subject of the examination; interest in the subject is born [6].

Effective ways to start be seda:

creating a comfortable environment that allows you to relieve tension, calm the interlocutor (pleasant tone of voice, encouraging words, compliments);

"clues" (comparison, personal impressions, shared memories, unexpected question);

the development of the imagination game (a lot of different questions at the beginning of the conversation on different topics );

"right in the forehead" (the conversation begins immediately after the me, without a preliminary introduction).

Since the beginning of the pre-test conversation largely determines the effectiveness and effective component of all polygraph research, let's consider the practical techniques proposed in scientific sources to establish a trusting relationship between the polygraph examiner and the subject:

Demonstrate constant interest in the interlocutor, delve into what he tells;

Use clear, understandable, accessible phrases while formulating short and clear sentences, not allowing long re th, lasting be z pa ties;

Always address the subject by first name and patronymic. Only with his consent can you switch to the exclusive use of either only the first name or only the last name;

in the course of the conversation, take the appropriate appearance for this kind of procedure (be neat, be strict with yourself, observe etiquette); keep the necessary distance. During the conversation, the effective location to the interlocutor is angular, and the distance is up to 1.2 m. If the distance between the specialist and the interviewee is large enough, then a psychological barrier is created, which leads to an uncomfortable state of discomfort, a closer distance leads to a deterioration in perception for hygienic reasons (approximately 30-50% of people do not have a pleasant breath, about 9-10% of people have a strong sweat );

demonstrate sincere respect for the interlocutor, genuine interest in his view and opinion, so he will feel his importance both as a person and as a professional.

Psychological contact is the first phase of communication, during which there is a mutual adjustment of the goals and interests of the interlocutors, ensuring their further interaction.

Establishing and maintaining psychological contact, which a future polygraph examiner also needs to learn, is a purposeful, planned activity to create conditions that allow developing communication in the right direction and achieving the goals set. The basis for successful human contact is the ability to understand the goals and interests of a partner and demonstrate that they often coincide and are not alien to your own. As a rule, all this is the primary stage of building a trusting relationship, and only then follows the stage of development of deeper trusting relationships.

The methods of primary establishment of psychological contact are?:

scenario development,

creating installation conditions;

manifestation of benevolence: smile , respectful treatment, orientation of the body to the partner,

eye contact line, e


being in the comfort zone;

ensuring intimacy;

the mirroring of the pose.

The methods of developing psychological contact are:

psychological stress relief (I am neutral topic, clarification);

positive responses;

active listening;

the concession of the initiative of the conversation in the process of dialogue (the occasion is fraternity, service, tattoos, acquaintances); the criticality of their behavior; the use of positive qualities of the partner.

Establishing and maintaining psychological contact with the interlocutor is the most important task, it needs to be trained. It is important to communicate with a partner respectfully, correctly, objectively and humanely.

Always the primary impression of the interlocutor plays an important role.

This also causes an inner experience of the partner , which usually occurs at a subconscious level . It is important for a polygraph examiner to learn how to create a favorable , harmonious impression about her.

To arouse the speaker's interest in be se de and in general to communication, Yu.V. Chufarovsky recommends using the following techniques:

1. Do not be silent, participate in the be se de objectively. Always prepare yourself for the upcoming conversation.

2. For the interlocutor, be "open", imagining that he will tell you very confidential and important information.

3. Relax. The tighter you hold on, the more unnatural you look. Tension will manifest itself in facial expressions, posture, gestures.

4. You need to speak in simple language, using short and understandable sentences. It is necessary to avoid hard-to-understand words.

5. If the conversation turned to unpleasant things, then smooth out the sharp corners and discuss these topics carefully with the interlocutor.

6. Being able to listen is a very important component, you need to learn this.

8. Don't dominate the conversation. No one likes it when someone is in charge of the country.

9. Avoid a lot of monologues. A long monologue gives rise to the interlocutor's idea of his own stupidity, inferiority and inferiority.

10. Manage your emotions, do not interrupt the interlocutor, and even if you do not like what the interlocutor tells you.

11. Do not humiliate the self-esteem of the interlocutor.

12. Avoid defensive poses. Tense facial muscles, crossed arms indicate that you do not accept the speaker's ideas. The interlocutor feels your condition, and this is not in your favor.

The choice of ways to establish psychological contact within the framework of the pre-test procedure largely depends on the polygraph examiner (level of professionalism, individual psychological characteristics), and on the subject himself (taking into account personal characteristics, moral, communicative qualities, intellectual development, emotional state, etc.).

The use of special techniques for assessing the level of negative emotional states, as well as special exercises to normalize the general emotional background within the framework of a pre-test conversation with candidates for service, increases its effectiveness.

Thus, one of the most difficult aspects in the work of a polygraph examiner is the need to quickly navigate the psychological characteristics of the subject, comprehensively analyze his behavior and emotional state, and then decide on the tactics of conducting a pre-test conversation.


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