The Concealed Information Test is Susceptible to Misleading Information

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An approach toward detecting hidden knowledge is the Concealed Information Test (CIT). It relies on the memory of crime-relevant information. This study investigated whether its validity is susceptible to memory distortion by misleading information. A misleading information paradigm was employed to distort memory prior to an interrogation with a CIT. Forty-one participants watched a video with specific crime-related information. After a 1-week retention interval, misleading information was introduced. Afterward, a CIT was performed, followed by a threefold memory test. When misleading information was presented, memory performance was reduced, and no physiological response differences between crime-relevant and crime-irrelevant information were found. Without presenting misleading information, physiological responses differed between responses to crime-relevant and crime-irrelevant information. However, responses in all physiological measures also differed between misleading and irrelevant information. The results indicate that the CIT is susceptible to misleading information, which reduces its validity in specific constellations.

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