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NCJ Number: 77133 Find in a Library
Title: Guilty Knowledge Versus Innocent Associations - Effects of Trait Anxiety and Stimulus Context on Skin Conductance
Journal: Journal of Research in Personality  Volume:14  Issue:1  Dated:(1980)  Pages:1-11
Author(s): M Giesen; M A Rollison
Date Published: 1980
Page Count: 11
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This experiment sought to determine the influence of trait anxiety and stimulus relevance on skin conductance responsivity and to assess the accuracy of the Guilty Knowledge Technique with stereotyped skin responders.
Abstract: The 122 psychology student subjects were grouped according to reported trait anxiety as measured by Lykken's Activity Preference Questionnaire and then engaged in either a mock crime or a neutral activity. The 'crime' gave subjects 'guilty knowledge,' and the neutral task provided 'innocent association' to relevant stimuli imbedded in each scenario. Subjects were then interrogated using Lykken's Guilty Knowledge Technique. Anxiety classification, guilty vs. innocent treatment, and type of stimulus were manipulated by a 2 x 2 x (2) factorial design. Results for differential responsivity scores showed significant main and interaction effects. Low-anxiety subjects showed almost no effects, but highly anxious subjects responded strongly in the 'guilty' rather than the 'innocent' treatment. Contrary to previous findings, results showed a substantial but qualified relationship between self-reported anxiety and electrodermal responsivity. In addition, the Guilty Knowledge Technique with rank scoring yielded 97.5 percent correct classification. It is suggested that information on a subject's self-reported trait anxiety would be useful to field polygraph operators and to researchers. Two tables,1 reference note, and 15 references are provided. (Author abstract modified)
Index Term(s): Behavior patterns; Behavioral science research; Polygraph techniques; Psychological research; Psychological stress evaluator
Note: This research served as the second author's Master's thesis.
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