Theoretical Model of Polygraph Testing: Concerns and Prospects for their Solution



The problem of determining the constructive validity of the methodology for the mental and physical polygraph testing is currently particularly pressing due to the increased number of such testing procedures in various fields of social life. The possibility of labeling of mental and physical polygraph testing as one of evidence-based methods in investigative and judicial practice partly depends on defining a theoretical model that would be in line with the core scientific foundations and wouldn't contradict experimental data. In this review we are talking about possibility of considering a separate psychic process as an object of mental and physical testing. Criticisms have been cited for the earlier models of interpreting the psychological responses in individuals examined during a polygraph test. We look at the mechanism for the occurrence of physiological reactions during polygraph testing from the standpoint of the theory of functional systems proposed by Pyotr Anokhin. It is assumed that the systemic approach will set the right direction for defining a theoretical grounding of this methodology.

General Information

Keywords: polygraph, systemic psychophysiology, mental and physical testing, polygraph testing, systematic organization of behavior

Journal rubric: Forensic and Clinical Psychology in Legal Context

Article type: scientific article


For citation: Kuptsova D.M., Kamenskov M. Theoretical Model of Polygraph Testing: Concerns and Prospects for their Solution [Elektronnyi resurs]. Psikhologiya i pravo = Psychology and Law, 2020. Vol. 10, no. 4, pp. 126–138. DOI: 10.17759/psylaw.2020100409. (In Russ., аbstr. in Engl.)


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Information About the Authors

Darina M. Kuptsova, Department of Forensic and Clinical Psychology, Faculty of Legal Psychology, Moscow State University of Psychology & Education, Moscow, Russia, ORCID:, e-mail:

Maxim Kamenskov, Doctor of Medicine, Head, Laboratory of Forensic Sexology, V.P. Serbsky National Medical Research Centre for Psychiatry and Narcology of the Ministry of Health of the Russian Federation, Moscow, Russia, ORCID:, e-mail:



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