Effects of attention, as indexed by subsequent memory, on electrodermal detection of information

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Abstract

Three closely related experiments tested the effects of attention, as indexed by subsequent memory, on electrodermal detection of information. A total of 62 male college students attempted to conceal 6 critical items of information from a polygraph examiner recording their electrodermal response (EDR). In the polygraph test the S was asked if any of a list of 24 words, 1 every 10–25 sec, were critical items he was concealing. The list was comprised of 3 semantically similar control words along with each critical word. Afterward, without forewarning, a 2nd experimenter asked the S to remember all the words he had been asked about on the test. Deceptive Ss who gave a larger EDR to critical than to control words more often than could be expected by chance (i.e., were correctly detected as deceptive) remembered more control words than did other deceptive Ss who escaped detection. Results are interpreted to mean that the less thoroughly an S processes the test words, as indexed by later memory, the less likely he is to be detected. (17 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2006 APA, all rights reserved)

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