Encouraging the use of the Guilty Knowledge Test (GKT): What the GKT has to offer law enforcement

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

20 Scopus citations


Overview: The Guilty Knowledge Test (GKT) has gained favor with academic psychology, but outside of Japan, it is seldom used in the field. Although the low likelihood of false positives constitutes a major advantage of the GKT, this feature has not provided sufficient impetus for the GKT to be adopted in police work due to concerns about false negatives and the possibility that the GKT may not be applicable in many crimes. Largely ignored are the facts that failed GKTs provide strong prima facie evidence of guilt and that steps can be taken to increase the number of cases for which the GKT is applicable. In many respects, GKT results have properties similar to fingerprint evidence, and few would dispute the value of fingerprints in solving crimes. Emphasis on these aspects of the GKT could go a long way toward encouraging its greater use by law enforcement. It is a fitting tribute to David Lykken that a half century after the initial publication of his two papers that introduced psychology to the Guilty Knowledge Test (Lykken, 1959, 1960; also referred to as the Concealed Information Test, or CIT), this book is capturing GKT history and providing a foundation for the next fifty years of research on applied memory detection. It is not well known that when Lykken undertook these studies, his goal was not to provide an alternative to the lie detection techniques that were in vogue at the time.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationMemory Detection
Subtitle of host publicationTheory and Application of the Concealed Information Test
PublisherCambridge University Press
Number of pages13
ISBN (Electronic)9780511975196
ISBN (Print)9780521769525
StatePublished - Jan 1 2011

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© Cambridge University Press 2011.


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