The comparison question polygraph test: A contrast of methods and scoring

Charles R. Honts, Racheal Reavy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations

Abstract

We conducted a mock crime experiment with 250 paid participants (126 females, Mdn age=30years) contrasting the validity of the probable-lie and the directed-lie variants of the comparison question test (CQT) for the detection of deception. Subjects were assigned at random to one of eight conditions in a Guilt (Guilty/Innocent)×Test Type (Probable-Lie/Directed-Lie)×Stimulation (Between Repetition Stimulation/No Stimulation) factorial design. The data were scored by an experienced polygraph examiner who was unaware of subject assignment to conditions and with a computer algorithm known as the Objective Scoring System Version 2 (OSS2). There were substantial main effects of guilt in both the OSS2 computer scores F(1, 241)=143.82, p<.001, ηp2=0.371, and in the human scoring, F(1, 242)=98.92, p<.001, ηp2=29. There were no differences between the test types in the number of spontaneous countermeasure attempts made against them. Although under the controlled conditions of an experiment the probable-lie and the directed-lie variants of the CQT produced equivocal results in terms of detection accuracy, the directed-lie variant has much to recommend it as it is inherently more standardized in its administration and construction.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)15-26
Number of pages12
JournalPhysiology and Behavior
Volume143
DOIs
StatePublished - May 1 2015

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Behavioral Neuroscience

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