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Modern Education

Some Features of Conducting a Screening Examination Using a Polygraph

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

Boiko Natal'ya Vladimirovna

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

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










Abstract: In their work, the authors consider issues related to the peculiarities of conducting special psychophysiological studies using polygraph devices during the personnel selection for work and service of persons in respect of whom polygraph specialists use complex technologies of screening checks, allowing, based on its results, to obtain an objective picture of the presence or absence of circumstances preventing entry into service and employment in law enforcement agencies of the Russian Federation. The current approaches of specialists to conducting polygraph testing according to the tasks of the initiators are studied, the most important practical developments in this area are considered, allowing to effectively organize the work of personnel departments when hiring candidates for service. In the study conducted, the authors consider important components of complex procedures for professional personnel selection of candidates for work. The methods of screening have been studied, the requirements imposed by employers to specialists of personnel apparatuses and services aimed at preventing the employment of persons with restrictions or actual circumstances have been analyzed, which prevent entry into the service, including the law enforcement agencies of the state. Attention is paid to the methodological and tactical and technical requirements of the organization and conduct of the polygraph examination procedure, taking into account the competent and professional compilation of thematic questionnaires, tests, which in turn allow to identify fraud attempts with maximum accuracy during the procedure of passing special polygraph examinations.


polygraph, screening, research, activity, personnel, specialist, training, employer, right, conclusion

This article is automatically translated. You can find original text of the article here.

Currently, in the civilized world, serious importance is attached to the problems of improving the system of selection and training of employees and employees of various law enforcement agencies and organizations to perform important functions in accordance with their official duties. It is important for the head of the department to make a decision on hiring reliable, proven employees who do not have circumstances in their life history associated with certain risk factors, such as antisocial behavior, propensity to commit illegal acts, corruption risks, etc.

In turn, the risk factors included in the screening program are determined directly by the initiator, and the creation of thematic issues is the prerogative of the polygraph examiner, together with the use of a number of effective tools from the field of pedagogy, psychology and jurisprudence [6].

As we have already noted, the immediate risk factors included in the screening program are determined by the customer (employer), and the technical and methodological aspects of creating questionnaires included in the battery of tests are handled by a professional polygraph examiner.

Screening (from English screening - screening, screening) is the process of screening a candidate for a position in order to identify risk factors that hinder the quality performance of their duties and contain threats to the employer and the staff as a whole.

Screening checks are of a specific nature and in many respects have certain differences depending on which proposed position the person being examined on the polygraph plans to occupy. An important aspect is the circumstance related to whether the employee will have access to material values, financial, operational, official and secret information. Hence, the relevant recommendations follow that such checks must necessarily be carried out when appointing or moving an employee to senior positions.

The promptness of obtaining results is ensured by the use of ready-made forms of classical questionnaires in the course of personnel selection, employee loyalty checks, and the proven successful practice of a psychological questionnaire to assess the characteristics of the behavior and activity of the subject in extreme situations. A wide range of thematic issues focused on checking the contingent of a specific professional orientation is attached in accordance with the needs of the customer. These can be, for example: a police officer, a manager, a management team, a driver, a security officer, etc.

Polygraph (from Greek. a lot and to write, a synonym: "lie detector") is a technical tool used in instrumental psychophysiological studies for synchronous registration of respiratory parameters, cardiovascular activity, electrical resistance of the skin, as well as, if necessary and possible, other physiological parameters with the subsequent presentation of the results of the registration of these parameters in digital form, designed to assess the reliability of the reported information.

Since psychophysiological reactions, as we know, are "indicators" of images that have formed in a person's memory, as a result of the study, it is possible to establish causal relationships of reactions to significant stimuli with the images being diagnosed [2]. These images reflect the events that gave rise to a special psychophysiological study using a polygraph.

Carrying out recruitment in the traditional way, personnel departments and departments of their own security note that many facts from the life of a job candidate cannot be revealed either by interviewing his former employers, or by checks on previous jobs, or during an interview. At best, a former employer can tell about an employee who worked for him only what was noticed during his work, or provides information that is beneficial only to him (if the question concerns the transfer of a "negligent" employee from a division and he just wants to get rid of him) [1].

The data available in the information centers of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Russia, often cannot unequivocally indicate that a particular person has not committed administrative offenses or criminal offenses: their conclusion "does not pass through the records" means only that he was not detained at the scene of the crime, was not brought to any responsibility in accordance with current legislation. The only person who knows everything about the candidate is certainly himself. Therefore, special psychophysiological studies with the use of a polygraph can be one of the effective methods of checking the employed, as well as the working staff. With the help of this effective and proven technology, the employer, represented by a polygraph examiner who has prepared the appropriate conclusion, will own a whole range of information necessary and important for making a personnel decision.

I.M. Novokhatko, believes that for a comprehensive check of the reliability and competence of a future employee or employee, it is advisable to conduct testing, both with the use of psychodiagnostic tests and with the help of a polygraph device [3].

As I.P. Ishchenko notes in his work, a polygraph examination can be carried out at different stages of an employee's career and in each case has its own specifics: when applying for a job; in the process of periodic personnel checks related to moving through the service; when conducting official investigations, etc. [4].

In professional selection, the polygraph is used in combination with other assessment methods and significantly complements them. Its preventive effect is especially appreciated, encouraging the candidate entering the service to honest truthful answers concerning certain facts of biography, motivation for entering the service, bad habits, etc., in accordance with the requirements of the legislation of the Russian Federation.

According to foreign experts, this survey is the most effective method for identifying candidates with a high degree of risk (i.e. with a criminal past, bad habits and other possible risk factors).

Polygraph testing, with the most thorough preparation and conduct, undoubtedly takes considerable time, but the effectiveness in preventing negative illegal actions on the part of future employees is also great.

At the same time, any personnel testing when applying for a job must necessarily take into account the specific features of the employee's upcoming activities. Depending on the envisaged future functions, the selection criteria may seriously change, but the requirements for the professionally important qualities of the employee and his honesty remain unshakable. Here, the correct definition of a person's psychological characteristics, the definition of a personality type, regardless of his experience and work experience, comes to the fore [5].

Methods and tests help polygraph examiners with special skills to more fully explore the necessary personality qualities in professional selection and allow you to make the most complete picture, for example, in three aspects:

1) current psycho-emotional state and psychological characteristics of the individual;

2) features of behavior in the team;

3) diagnostics of behavior in extreme situations.

Drawing up a psychological portrait can be carried out in conjunction with conducting a polygraph test.

The main topics of screening tests, usually subject to verification by polygraph examiners, include the following:

1. Distortion of personal data.

2. Providing false documents.

3. Hidden criminal past.

4. Embezzlement at previous jobs.

5. Concealment of the true reasons for dismissal.

6. Disciplinary violations.

7. The presence of large unpaid debts.

8. Illegal possession of weapons and ammunition.

9. Forgery of official documents.

10. Disclosure of confidential information.

11. Hidden additional income at the main place of work.

12. Additional sources of income.

13. Participation in banned (political, religious) organizations.

14. Business relations with commercial structures.

15. Health status (hidden diseases).

16. Alcohol abuse.

17. Drug use.

18. Gambling.

19. Use of official position.

20. Negative motives for entering the service.

It is also possible to use other topics that are important for employment in the internal affairs bodies of the Russian Federation. The study and selection of candidates for particularly dangerous professions (in the Rosgvardiya, for example, detachments of special assignments, previously held in the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Russia), where the price of decisions and subsequent actions is extremely high, is also conducted on the principle of psychophysiological reliability.

In this regard, in studies using a polygraph, primary importance is attached to the type of nervous system and the peculiarities of emotional response. A direct contraindication to activities associated with prolonged stay in extreme conditions is a weak type of nervous system, low adaptive capabilities and emotional instability. During the polygraph examination procedure, polygraph examiners pay attention to the identification of persons who, although maintaining efficiency and self-control in a stressful situation, but internally overreacting to stressful loads, which are expressed in pathologically high blood pressure, a sharp increase in heart rate, unusually strong vascular reactions. Such employees who work for a long time in stressful conditions may develop diseases such as peptic ulcer, hypertension, eczema, vegetoneurosis, mental disorders, etc.

Having carried out serious preparatory work, having studied all the circumstances and motives for entering the service of candidates, a polygraph examiner with a professional level of training and well versed in legal specifics, the basics of psychophysiology, having sufficient experience in practice, will certainly be able to make the right decision, describing it in his conclusion, and if necessary, can always apply for advice to managers and experienced specialists of a wide profile of the system of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Russia.

1. Gamza, V. Does the bank need a polygraph? V. Gamza, Yu. Kholodny (Eds.). (2007). ., 11-2, 56-65.
2. Ishchenko, E. P. (2015). Let's talk about graphology. Handwriting is a mirror of the soul. Moscow: Prospekt. In EBS "Student Consultant". Retrieved from https://www.studentlibrary.ru/book/ISBN9785392164042.html
3. Novokhatko, I. M. (2014). Monitoring of visual activity as an effective tool of personnel security. Modern problems of science and education, 3, 377.
4. Ishchenko, E. P. Poligrafovich. Moscow: Prospect. Retrieved from https://e.lanbook.com/book/54975
5. Smirnov, V.N. (2017). Psychology in the activities of law enforcement officers: textbook. manual for university students studying in the specialty "Jurisprudence". Moscow: UNITY-DANA. Retrieved from https://znanium.com/catalog/product/1028554
6. Sadekov R.R. (2019). Theoretical aspects of training polygraph examiners to conduct a comparative analysis of special psychophysiological research methods used in the framework of screening. Policing, 5, 23-36. doi:10.7256/2454-0692.2019.5.30539 Retrieved from https://nbpublish.com/library_read_article.php?id=3053

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The subject of the research in this article is the possibility of using screening diagnostics in personnel selection. The methodology of the study is not specified by the author. But, judging by the content of the text, the work mainly uses theoretical research methods analysis of literature and normative legal documents on the problem under consideration, comparison, generalization, systematization, logical analysis. It can also be concluded that the author has experience in conducting screening diagnostics, and the study uses the method of included observation and analysis of the practice of using technical means of instrumental psychophysiological diagnostics. The relevance of the problem considered in the article is due to the high requirements for specialists who are employed in commercial organizations, financial structures, government agencies, law enforcement agencies. Due to the difficult social situation in Russia and in the world, the security of an organization and the ability to manage economic, reputational and other risks often depend on this. The scientific novelty of the work lies in the formulation of the research problem (minimizing the risks of organizations when employing new employees), in substantiating the possibilities of technical means of instrumental psychophysiological diagnostics to solve this problem, as well as systematization of the topics of screening testing to be verified. The style of presentation of the material meets the standards of scientific publication. The content of the text corresponds to the stated topic. The text has a traditional structure for scientific articles: the introductory part indicates the problem of the study, substantiates its relevance; the main part of the article outlines the theoretical foundations of the use of screening diagnostics by specialists of personnel departments of organizations; the conclusions of the article summarize the author's ideas about the conditions for the effectiveness of this diagnostic technology. However, it is necessary to make some changes to the content to enhance the scientific significance of the study: - specify the purpose of the study; - highlight two or three semantic parts in the text (providing them with appropriate subheadings), which consider the terminology of the study, its theoretical basis, practical methodological recommendations of the author on the organization of screening diagnostics in the personnel selection process; - expand the conclusions research; instead of one long sentence in the last paragraph, it makes sense to argue for each of the conditions specified in the nm for the effectiveness of screening diagnostics and analysis by polygraph examiners; - it is advisable to indicate in the conclusion what is the novelty of the research and the author's contribution to solving the problem; - eliminate some stylistic inaccuracies and punctuation inaccuracies. The bibliographic list includes works corresponding to the topic of the article. All sources are reflected in the text. But it is advisable to exclude source No. 2 from the list, since the EBS "Student Consultant" is not a sufficiently relevant source for the scientific journal "Modern Education". The bibliographic design of the list of references should also be adjusted. There is no appeal to opponents in the article, probably scientific polemic was not part of the author's task. This does not reduce its practical significance for researchers of personnel management problems, specialists of personnel services and departments of their own security of organizations and enterprises, as well as researchers of professional psychology, personality psychology and practicing psychologists. The work is of interest in the context of risk management and personnel policy of the organization and can be recommended for publication, provided that comments are eliminated.