Alcohol and the physiological detection of deception: Arousal and memory influences

DENNIS O'TOOLE, JOHN C. YUILLE, CHRISTOPHER J. PATRICK, WILLIAM G. IACONO

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

15 Scopus citations

Abstract

Eighty male volunteers participated in an analogue study of the effects of alcohol intoxication at the time of a crime on the physiological detection of deception using control question and guilty knowledge techniques. Sixty‐four of the subjects committed a mock crime and half of these were intoxicated during the crime. Sixteen subjects committed no crime and served as innocent controls. We found that intoxication at the time of the crime had no significant effect on polygraph test outcomes, although it did affect anticipatory arousal before the crime and subsequent memory for crime details. Manipulations designed to influence memory for crime details and arousal during the crime had differential effects for the two polygraph tests. On the guilty knowledge test, primed subjects who rehearsed specific details following the crime were more detectable than unprimed subjects. On the control question test, primed subjects were also more detectable, but only when arousal during the crime was high.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)253-263
Number of pages11
JournalPsychophysiology
Volume31
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - May 1994

Keywords

  • Alchol
  • Control question test
  • Emotional arousal
  • Guilty knowledge test
  • Lie detection
  • Memory
  • State anxiety

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