The Act of Answering Questions Elicited Differentiated Responses in a Concealed Information Test

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Abstract

The concealed information test (CIT), a psychophysiological detection of deception test, compares physiological responses between crime-related and crime-unrelated items. In previous studies, whether the act of answering questions affected physiological responses was unclear. This study examined effects of both question-related and answer-related processes on physiological responses. Twenty participants received a modified CIT, in which the interval between presentation of questions and answering them was 27 s. Differentiated respiratory movements and cardiovascular responses between items were observed for both questions (items) and answers, while differentiated skin conductance response was observed only for questions. These results suggest that physiological responses to questions reflected orientation to a crime-related item, while physiological responses during answering reflected inhibition of psychological arousal caused by orienting. Regarding the CIT's accuracy, participants’ perception of the questions themselves more strongly influenced physiological responses than answering them.

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