Detecting concealed information with reaction times: Validity and comparison with the polygraph

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Abstract

The Concealed Information Test is used to assess recognition of information that the examinee cannot or does not want to reveal. Physiological measures recorded with the polygraph have shown to be highly valid measures of concealed information. Research suggests that a reaction-time (RT) based test may also successfully reveal concealed information. Due to its simplicity, an RT-based test has great advantages for applied testing. In the present study, we assessed the validity of the RT-based test for concealed information detection, and compared its discriminative power with the polygraph. Thirty two participants in a feigned amnesia study were promised a financial reward when successfully concealing autobiographical information. Participants performed an RT-based test, and a polygraph test. The data support the validity of the RT-based test for concealed information detection, and indicate its discriminative power is similar to the polygraph. Our data confirm the potential of the RT-based test. Copyright © 2009 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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