Concealed Information and its Effect on Heart Rate, Respiration Rate, and Electrodermal Activity
Journal of Advanced Student Sciences (JASS)
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Testing the efficacy of polygraphs can be especially difficult because it is hard to make someone lie in the same way one would during a criminal polygraph. We designed a simplified way of creating guilt and detecting deception. In this study, 22 UW-Madison students participated, and their respiratory rate, heart rate, and electrodermal activity were monitored to assess any significant changes from a negative control or baseline value. Using a simplified procedure, subjects were given a concealed information test (CIT). The CIT involved showing test subjects a two minute PowerPoint with words and pictures, having the subject choose a closed bag and examine an object inside, and view another two minute PowerPoint similar to the first but in a different order. It was expected that upon seeing the words that correlated with the object they “stole”, the subjects would respond with a measurable physiological change. Both respiratory and heart rates did not show a statistically significant change between the negative control and experimental conditions; however, electrodermal activity did show a statistically significant change (p-values: 0.00941, 0.0162, and 0.0157) for all three words used to probe for concealed information. These findings show that while time-intensive procedures for assessing guilty knowledge are more sensitive, the procedure featured in this study could be improved and used to replace the commonly used methods, or used as a pilot study to assess for any significance in a new physiological marker that hasn’t been studied.
Concealed Information Test
Guilty Knowledge Test