The application of subliminal priming in lie detection: Scenario for identification of members of a terrorist ring

Authors


  • This research was supported by the Department of Defense Polygraph Institute Grants DODP198-P-0001 and DoDPI04-P-0002 awarded to J. Peter Rosenfeld. We thank Andreas Keil and an anonymous reviewer for excellent suggestions regarding an earlier draft of this report.

Address reprint requests to: Dr. Ming Lui, Department of Psychology, National University of Singapore, SG117570, Singapore. E-mail: m-lui@u.northwestern.edu

Abstract

We studied a lie detection protocol immune to countermeasures. The 4 stimulus conditions were (1 and 2) supraliminal acquaintance name primed by subliminal acquaintance name (A-A) versus subliminal nonacquaintance name (N-A) and (3 and 4) supraliminal nonacquaintance name primed by subliminal acquaintance name (A-N) versus subliminal nonacquaintance name (N-N). In Experiment 1 and replication, principal components analysis-derived event-related potential components revealed significant differences between dishonestly answered supraliminal acquaintance conditions with differing primes (A-A vs. N-A). In Experiment 2 subjects were required to lie in A-N and N-N conditions, in contrast to Experiment 1, in which subjects lied in A-A and N-A conditions. No significant effects were found. In Experiment 3, the lying task was removed and no significant differences were found. We conclude that subliminal primes modulate ERPs in conditions with supraliminal acquaintance name when the task involves lying.

Ancillary