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Original Research ARTICLE Provisionally accepted The full-text will be published soon. Notify me

Front. Psychiatry | doi: 10.3389/fpsyt.2018.00745

Validity of the Reaction Time Concealed Information Test in a Prison Sample

 Kristina Suchotzki1*, Aileen Kakavand2 and  Matthias Gamer2
  • 1Department of Experimental Clinical and Health Psychology, Universität Würzburg, Germany
  • 2Lehrstuhl für Psychologie I, Universität Würzburg, Germany

Detecting whether a suspect possesses incriminating (e.g., crime-related) information can provide valuable decision aids in court. To this means, the Concealed Information Test (CIT) has been developed and is currently applied on a regular basis in Japan. But whereas research has revealed a high validity of the CIT in student and normal populations, research investigating its validity in forensic samples in scarce. This applies even more to the reaction time-based CIT (RT-CIT), where no such research is available so far. The current study tested the application of the RT-CIT for an imaginary mock crime scenario both in a sample of adolescent prisoners (n = 27) and a matched control group (n = 25). Results revealed a high validity of the RT-CIT for discriminating between crime-related and crime-unrelated information, visible in medium to very high effect sizes for error rates and reaction times. Interestingly, in accordance with theories that criminal offenders may have worse response inhibition capacities and that response inhibition plays a crucial role in the RT-CIT, CIT-effects in the error rates were even elevated in the prisoners compared to the control group. No support for this hypothesis could, however, be found in reaction time CIT-effects. Also, performance in a standard Stroop task, that was conducted to measure executive functioning, did not differ between both groups and no correlation was found between Stroop task performance and performance in the RT-CIT. Despite frequently raised concerns that the RT-CIT may not be applicable in non-student and forensic populations, our results thereby do suggest that such a use may be possible and that effects seem to be quite large. Future research should build up on these findings one the one hand by increasing the realism of the crime and interrogation situation and by further investigating the replicability and the theoretical substantiation of increased effects in non-student and forensic samples.

Keywords: Concealed Information Test, deception, lying, reaction times, inmates, Forensic sample

Received: 30 Jul 2018; Accepted: 17 Dec 2018.

Edited by:

Giuseppe Sartori, University of Padova, Italy

Reviewed by:

Laura Visu-Petra, Babeș-Bolyai University, Romania
Galit Nahari, Bar-Ilan University, Israel  

Copyright: © 2018 Suchotzki, Kakavand and Gamer. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

* Correspondence: Dr. Kristina Suchotzki, Universität Würzburg, Department of Experimental Clinical and Health Psychology, Würzburg, Germany,