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Research Division Staff, Test of a mock theft scenario for use in the psychophysiological detection of deception: IV. March 2000, Report No. DoDPI00-R-0002. Department of Defense Polygraph Institute, Fort Jackson, SC 36205.

The study described in this report is a continuation of research to develop a participant manipulation to serve as a standard procedure for laboratory psychophysiological detection of deception (PDD) research. The manipulations used in this study were similar to one reported by Kircher (1983) of the University of Utah. In Experiments 1 and 2 two groups of 16 participants who were assigned to be either guilty or innocent of the mock theft of a ring were tested using the Zone Comparison Test, a PDD examination taught at the Department of Defense Polygraph Institute. Written and audio taped instructions were provided to all participants. All participants were promised $50 for participating in the study and an additional $25 if they were classified as nondeceptive following a PDD examination. Three human examiners evaluated each of the 32 sets of polygraph charts. For Experiment 1, the decisions made by examiners were correct 55% of the time, incorrect 23% of the time, and no opinion 22% of the time. Experiment 2 was identical to Experiment 1 except that participants completed two screening questionnaires prior to testing. Participants who did not complete the questionnaires satisfactorily were excluded from the study. For Experiment 2, the decisions made by examiners were correct 66% of the time, incorrect 10% of the time, and no opinion 24% of the time. It is concluded that the procedures used to manipulate participants in Experiments 1 and 2 did not meet the necessary requirements for a standard procedure, but that the screening procedure used in Experiment 2 did result in higher accuracy.

Key Words: mock crime scenarios, psychophysiological detection of deception, Zone Comparison Test