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Using more different and more familiar targets improves the detection of concealed information

Suchotzki, K; De Houwer, J; Kleinberg, B; Verschuere, B; (2018) Using more different and more familiar targets improves the detection of concealed information. Acta Psychologica , 185 pp. 65-71. 10.1016/j.actpsy.2018.01.010. Green open access

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Abstract

When embedded among a number of plausible irrelevant options, the presentation of critical (e.g., crime-related or autobiographical) information is associated with a marked increase in response time (RT). This RT effect crucially depends on the inclusion of a target/non-target discrimination task with targets being a dedicated set of items that require a unique response (press YES; for all other items press NO). Targets may be essential because they share a feature - familiarity - with the critical items. Whereas irrelevant items have not been encountered before, critical items are known from the event or the facts of the investigation. Target items are usually learned before the test, and thereby made familiar to the participants. Hence, familiarity-based responding needs to be inhibited on the critical items and may therefore explain the RT increase on the critical items. This leads to the hypothesis that the more participants rely on familiarity, the more pronounced the RT increase on critical items may be. We explored two ways to increase familiarity-based responding: (1) Increasing the number of different target items, and (2) using familiar targets. In two web-based studies (n = 357 and n = 499), both the number of different targets and the use of familiar targets facilitated concealed information detection. The effect of the number of different targets was small yet consistent across both studies, the effect of target familiarity was large in both studies. Our results support the role of familiarity-based responding in the Concealed Information Test and point to ways on how to improve validity of the Concealed Information Test.

Type: Article
Title: Using more different and more familiar targets improves the detection of concealed information
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1016/j.actpsy.2018.01.010
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.actpsy.2018.01.010
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
Keywords: Response conflict; Familiarity; Concealed Information Test; Guilty Knowledge; Target; Recollection
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science > Dept of Security and Crime Science
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10073081
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