Academic journal article Canadian Journal of Behavioural Science

Specific and Reactive Sensitivities of Skin Resistance Response and Respiratory Apnea in a Japanese Concealed Information Test (CIT) of Criminal Guilt

Academic journal article Canadian Journal of Behavioural Science

Specific and Reactive Sensitivities of Skin Resistance Response and Respiratory Apnea in a Japanese Concealed Information Test (CIT) of Criminal Guilt

Article excerpt

Abstract

Reactive sensitivity in the psychophysiological Concealed Information Test (CIT) employed to infer criminal guilt refers to the degree to which autonomic responses of the examinee to propositions concerning details of the crime that are known to be true only by the guilty are greater than the responses to propositions that are not known to be true. The hypothetical psychological mechanisms through which reactive sensitivity in the CIT occurs are generally considered to be attentional, orienting, or cognitive, rather than emotional. However, there is a potentially measurable emotional component to the CIT, especially in the field rather than lab version. This depends on comparing questions that are more closely connected with the (serious) crime (and hence perhaps involve more emotional) with those that are less connected. In the present study (which is not an experiment in which independent variables are manipulated), the CIT results of 30 Japanese suspects later found guilty of serious crimes were examined both in terms of the conventionally used skin resistance response measure, and of a newly introduced respiratory-apnea response (which occurs rarely in the lab, but frequently in the field). Only the respiratory measure showed evidence for significant specific sensitivity; both measures showed nondifferential, and highlysignificant reactive sensitivity.

Résumé

La sensibilité réactive lors du test psychophysiologique appelé Concealed Information Test (CIT) utilisé pour induire la culpabilité criminelle se rapporte au degré selon lequel les réactions autonomes de la personne qui subit le test en réponse aux propositions rattachées aux détails du crime que l'on sait être connus seulement du coupable sont plus importantes que les réactions aux propositions dont on ne connaît pas la véracité. Les mécanismes psychologiques hypothétiques qui interviennent dans la sensibilité réactive au CIT sont en règle générale considérés comme étant d'ordre attentionnel, d'orientation ou cognitif plutôt que d'ordre émotionnel. Toutefois, le CIT comporte une composante émotionnelle potentielle, en particulier lorsque le test est administré sur le terrain plutôt qu'en laboratoire. Cette composante émotionnelle dépend des questions de comparaison qui sont étroitement reliées à un crime (grave et qui suppose par conséquent un contenu plus émotif) par rapport aux questions qui sont moins reliées. Dans la présente étude (qui ne relate pas une expérience faisant appel à la manipulation de variables indépendantes), les résultats obtenus sur le CIT par 30 suspects japonais ayant, par la suite, été trouvés coupables d'un crime grave sont examinés sous l'angle de la mesure conventionnelle de la résistance de la peau et d'une nouvelle mesure, introduite récemment, de la réponse respiratoire et apnéique (qui est rarement utilisée en laboratoire mais fréquemment sur le terrain). Seule la mesure respiratoire a démontré la présence d'une sensibilité spécifique significative; les deux mesures ont démontré une sensibilité réactive non différentielle et fortement significative.

The use of the polygraph or "lie detector" is, purportedly, a scientifically based application of psychophysiology. Psychophysiology is an area of psychology that employs subtle changes in physiological functions controlled by the autonomie nervous system (such as skin resistance, heart rate, and blood pressure) to differentiate among psychological states. These functions are neither under precise voluntary control nor normally detectable by the person in whom they occur. The commonly stated rationale of the polygraph, then, is that while our lips may protect us, our autonomie nervous system will reveal whether we are lying.

One polygraphic application, as it is widely used in North America, is also known as the "lie detector." The procedure includes measurement of physiological functions and a "post-test interview" phase, which is really an interrogation. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.