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Article
The Comparison Question Polygraph Test: A Contrast of Methods and Scoring
Physiology & Behavior
  • Charles R. Honts, Boise State University
  • Racheal Reavy, Pennsylvania State University
Document Type
Article
Publication Date
5-1-2015
Abstract
We conducted a mock crime experiment with 250 paid participants (126 females, Mdn age = 30 years) 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.
Citation Information
Honts, Charles R. and Reavy, Racheal. (2015). "The Comparison Question Polygraph Test: A Contrast of Methods and Scoring". Physiology & Behavior, 143, 15-26. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.physbeh.2015.02.028