What Does A Real Polygraph Expert Say About David Dobrik's Lie Detector Test?

Dan Ribacoff conducts testing for criminal accusations, employee theft, insurance fraud, immigration issues, family issues, abuse allegations, media, and at Investigation Discovery's ID Con!

April 29, 2019
David Dobrik [Vanity Fair/screenshot]

Photo by: David Dobrik [Vanity Fair/screenshot]

David Dobrik [Vanity Fair/screenshot]

By: Christine Colby

We loved watching YouTuber David Dobrik squirm while taking a lie-detector test. There's something simultaneously hilarious and endearing about witnessing his giggly discomfort and vulnerability while submitting to some potentially embarassing and incriminating questions.

But, being the true crime addicts we are, we can't help but wonder how legit the test he's taking is. Is that actually a real, legal polygraph exam?

We asked expert Dan Ribacoff, CEO of International Investigative Group, who specializes in administering polygraphs and lie-detector tests in the New York City area.

Ribacoff has also appeared at past ID Con events, and will be at ID Con 2019 as well!

According to Ribacoff, "This polygraph is not real. This is only a demonstration for entertainment purposes."

He explains, "The instrument being used is very old — analog. Examiners use computerized instruments now."

And of course there is that matter of Dobrik's test being viewed by millions of people. Ribacoff says that real "polygraphs are conducted in private and the examinee is asked a series of questions that are only answered yes and no. The examinee can’t move and must answer by moving the mouth only to say yes or no."

Additionally, Ribacoff told CrimeFeed that "polygraphs tests take usually two hours each" — which would be a bit long to sit through for a cute YouTube video.

We also wondered if what we've heard — that it's possible to "beat" a lie-detector test — is true, and how it could be done.

Ribacoff explains, "A polygraph test can’t be beat. It is a medical test that tests the autonomic nervous system. You can’t control what I test or feel what I test."

He concedes that "there are many countermeasures listed on the internet," for anyone trying to learn how, but he elaborates that "none of them work with an experienced examiner."

So it turns out that it's not the test itself, that can be "beat," but the examiner who is administering it.

"It is possible for an inexperienced examiner to be deceived by some countermeasures," Ribacoff says. "Hence, you can beat the examiner. But you can never beat the test, actually."

We loved learning the real scoop from such an experienced expert as Ribacoff, but in the end, decided that it doesn't really affect our enjoyment in watching Dobrik's more theatrical exam. He's just so quirky and fun that we're willing to suspend our disbelief.

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