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Keywords:

  • Psychophysiological detection of deception;
  • Polygraph;
  • Guilty knowledge test;
  • Electrodermal responses;
  • Respiration changes

Abstract

Two mock-crime experiments were designed to examine the effects of question repetition and variation on the efficiency of the guilty knowledge test. In the first experiment, two factors (single vs. multiple questions, and high vs. low motivation) were manipulated and in the second experiment, which was an analog study conducted in a police laboratory using field equipment, only the first factor was examined. Similar detection efficiencies were obtained in both experiments when a single question was repeated 12 times, and when each of four different questions was repeated 3 times. The results also showed that accumulating information across repetitions and across physiological measures tended to increase detection efficiency and reduce false positive errors. The results of Experiment 1 suggest that motivation to avoid detection may be associated with better detection efficiency.