Effects of diazepam and methylphenidate on the electrodermal detection of guilty knowledge

William G. Iacono, Guy A. Boisvenu, Jonathan A. Fleming

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40 Scopus citations


60 19-28 yr old male undergraduates were randomly assigned to 1 of 4 groups in an investigation of the effects of antianxiety (diazepam) and stimulant (methylphenidate) drugs on polygraphic interrogation. Ss assigned to the 3 guilty groups watched a videotape depicting the burglary of an apartment through the eyes of the thief. Each S was asked to imagine that it was he who was committing the crime and was given instructions to encourage his becoming absorbed in the videotape. Ss were given either diazepam, methylphenidate, or placebo capsules before a polygraph examination. Control Ss viewed a videotape depicting scenes from the interior of another apartment (no crime was committed) before being given a polygraph examination. Results show that drug status did not affect the validity of the polygraph examination. Ss who remembered more facts scored significantly more in the guilt direction. (31 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2006 APA, all rights reserved).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)289-299
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Applied Psychology
Issue number2
StatePublished - May 1984

Bibliographical note

Copyright 2009 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.


  • diazepam & methylphenidate, validity of polygraph detection of guilt, 19-28 yr old college students

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