Effects of repeated examinations on the ability to detect guilt with a polygraphic examination: A laboratory experiment with a real crime

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Abstract

18 male undergraduates who scored high on the MMPI Pd scale and 16 who scored low on the Pd scale took a written intelligence test on which they were urged to cheat by confederates posing as other Ss. Approximately 50% of the Ss cheated. The Ss were then given a guilty knowledge polygraphic examination concerning their possible cheating behavior, during which 3 physiological measures (heart rate, finger pulse volume, and skin resistance) were recorded. The examination was given to each S twice. Results indicate that (a) only skin resistance was effective for detecting guilt, thus suggesting that other physiological measures employed by examiners may introduce errors; (b) the procedure was only effective for detecting guilt the first time it was used, thus indicating that repeated examinations may be invalid; and (c) there was no difference in the detection rates for Ss with high or low Pd scores. (26 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2006 APA, all rights reserved)

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