EFFECTS OF COPING AND COOPERATIVE INSTRUCTIONS ON GUILTY AND INFORMED INNOCENTS' PHYSIOLOGICAL RESPONSES TO CONCEALED INFORMATION*

  • Lisa Zvi
  • Israel Nachson
  • Eitan Elaad

Abstract

The Concealed Information Test (CIT) is a polygraphic technique for detecting concealed crime-related information. In the present study a mock-crime (theft) experiment assessed the effects of guilt and instruction type on CIT accuracy. Guilty participants who actually committed the mock-crime, and informed innocent participants who handled the critical items of the crime in an innocent context, were instructed to adopt either a coping or a cooperative attitude during the test. Results indicated that both guilt and coping instructions were associated with enhanced detection, whereas innocence and cooperating instructions attenuated physiological responding. Theoretical and practical implications of the results are discussed.

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