A. de Clercq
- Concealed information under stress: a test of the orienting theory in real-life police interrogations
- Legal and criminological psychology
- Volume | Issue number
- 16 | 2
- Pages (from-to)
- Document type
- Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences (FMG)
- Psychology Research Institute (PsyRes)
Purpose. The concealed information test (CIT) is a polygraph test that assesses recognition of critical (e.g., crime) information. Laboratory studies showing stronger heart rate deceleration to concealed compared to control information indicate that the orienting response (OR) accounts for responding in the CIT. An important restriction to these findings is that laboratory circumstances impose little or no stress on the examinees, and that under real-life stress defensive responding may occur.
Method. To examine the validity of the CIT under realistic stress, we analysed the data from 65 card tests conducted during real-life police polygraph interrogations.
Results. Baseline heart rate was higher than that observed in the laboratory, confirming that the situation was stress inducing. As in the laboratory, the concealed cards elicited greater heart rate deceleration compared to the control cards.
Conclusions. The data support the OR theory of the CIT under real-life stress.
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