For a full day, the students of the Palawan State University College of Criminal Justice Education underwent a training seminar that aims to enable them to be competent in state of the art polygraph technology.

Dr Vilma Venus G. Andoy, Dean of the CCJE, was very proud of how the students reacted to the chance to learn more about the new technology.

“The Criminology students are very participative. They are not just attending. They are interacting. They give additional comments as necessary and they have shown many indications of the willingness to learn,” said the Dean.

The polygraph machine, commonly referred to as the lie detector test is used in criminal investigations and is a source of supplementary information as to the credibility of a person’s testimony. Scientifically, there are patterns of behavior that can be observed in a human subject when he or she is giving a false statement. Although the polygraph machine does not absolutely determine the truth in a testimony, it is a tool that is universally used to provide directionality in an investigation.

For this particular seminar, the students are being oriented on how to use a Computerized Polygraph Instrument named the LX 4000 made by Lafayette Instruments. In the interest of providing relevant higher education to the PSU CCJE students, Dr. Andoy has pushed for the purchase of the exact same model for the Criminology Lab at the College.

As per industry standards, this new technology is a huge jump from the conventional polygraph machine. It measures the physiological reaction of a human body such as the breathing of the subject, electrodermal activity and cardiovascular tracings. The main advantage is that it has a computerized scoring system.

One of the weaknesses of the conventional or analogue polygraph is that it is a highly mechanical device which makes use of paper and pen. It does not have filters for radio signals, unlike in the computerized polygraph. The CPI which the PSU Criminology students are studying has activity sensor pads which determine whether or not the subject is trying to defeat the whole test. It is known that the analogue polygraph can be “fooled” by a few subjects who are talented or intellectual enough to do this.

Another key element in the CPI is that it minimizes the subjectivity that may be present in the examiner who may manipulate the findings in the conventional polygraph. The CPI provides information which is measurable, true and scientific.

The importance of a polygraph is not only to prosecute a criminal but also to exonerate those who are innocent, and at the same time to validate whether or not one’s statement is true. As some statements may be half-truth and half lie, the computerized machine was created to check validity of statements with this consideration.

There are only a few people here in the Philippines who know how to use the computerized polygraph machine and with this, the Criminology students of PSU are lucky to be the first few people to be exposed to the LX 4000.