The Development and Testing of an Implicit Lie Detection System

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2008-12-01

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A series of five experiments were conducted to explore whether Greenwald, McGhee, & Schwartz's (1998) Implicit Association Test (IAT), which purportedly measures implicit affective evaluations, could be modified to differentiate between honest and deceptive responding to forced-choice questioning. Experiments 1 and 2 demonstrated that a dual-discrimination task can in fact be useful in deception detection but that the relative reaction time differences run opposite in direction from those expected from the typical IAT bias pattern. Subsequent experiments assessed the procedure's susceptibility to simple countermeasures (Experiment 4) and tested variations to its trial sequence (Experiment 3) and stimulus presentation (Experiment 5). Neither of the two procedure variants was successful in producing above-chance predictions and instructions to delay reactions times to a constant latency sufficiently undermined the original procedure's efficacy. The applied limitations notwithstanding, the present research extends the relevance of dual-discrimination methodologies and supports the idea that biographical information is cognitively represented such that what is known to be true or false is implicitly associated with one's general concepts of "truth" and "lie" respectively.

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