Psychophysiological Signs of Faking in the Phallometric Test

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Breathing and finger pulse rates were investigated as potential indicators of faking in a phallometric test procedure. Forty-nine heterosexual male university students with no admitted or documented history of sexual deviance were divided into two groups and administered a standard phallometric test for age and gender preference according to the following procedures: (1) instructed faking of a preference for female children (N = 23) and (2) a no-instruction control (N = 26). Results confirmed earlier research showing that the phallometric test was easily falsified. With respect to breathing and finger pulse, statistically significant positive correlations between penile volume and finger pulse rate were observed in the instructed faking group during conditions of faking. No significant correlations among the three measures (penile tumescence, finger pulse rate, and breathing rate) were found in the no-instruction control group. Subjects in the faking group were also assessed with respect to perceived success in response enhancement or suppression. Results are summarized with respect to clinical relevance.

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