When it comes to polygraph testing, most people use the service to prove their honesty in a matter. However, there are also cases when someone takes a polygraph test even though they know they cannot possibly pass.

Cancellation in Cases of Suspected Cheating

In many cases of suspected cheating in relationships, the partner who is suspected of cheating may offer to take a polygraph test to prove their innocence. However, the suspicious partner may believe that simply agreeing to take the test is a sign of their partner’s innocence. If the suspected partner cancels the test, it may be seen as a sign of guilt, but if they go through with the test, they will likely fail.

The Dilemma

So, the suspected partner is faced with a dilemma: should they confess now or take a chance on beating the polygraph? Some guilty parties believe that offering to take a test may pacify their partner, but they are prepared to take a chance on booking a test with the expectation that they will not actually be required to go through with it.

Use of Counter-Measures

This is when some examinees may resort to using counter-measures, such as trying to control their breathing or intentionally altering their physiological responses to questions. However, any experienced examiner will quickly pick up on these tactics and be able to detect any attempts to beat the test.

Confession After Failing the Test

In over 90% of cases, failing a polygraph test will result in a subsequent confession. The examinee may protest and wonder why they would take the test if they knew they would fail. However, the results of the test can often push them to confront the truth and admit to their actions.


While it may seem counterintuitive to take a polygraph test that one knows they will fail, there are various reasons why someone may do so. Ultimately, a failed polygraph test can be a powerful motivator for a guilty party to come forward and confess, leading to closure for all parties involved.