Attentional bias of guilty and innocent participants in a concealed information test

Yu Na Hong1, Min Jin Jin1, Hyoen Gi Hong2, Hee Song Kim2, Hyung Ki Ji2, Myoung-Ho Hyun1
1Department of Clinical Psychology, Chung-Ang University, Republic of Korea
2Department of Clinical Psychology, National Forensic Service, Republic of Korea, Republic of Korea
Cite this article:  Hong, Y. N., Jin, M. J., Hong, H. G., Kim, H. S., Ji, H. K., & Hyun, M.-H. (2017). Attentional bias of guilty and innocent participants in a concealed information test. Social Behavior and Personality: An international journal, 45(10), 1585-1594.

Volume 45 Issue 10 | e6303 | Published: November 2017 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.2224/sbp.6303

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We examined the attentional bias between guilt and innocence in a concealed information test using a dot-probe task. The participants were 20 individuals in a guilty group, who were told they had committed a crime, 21 individuals in an innocent group, who were told they had not committed a crime, and 19 individuals in an informed-innocent group, who were told they had not committed a crime but who were given crime-relevant information. Participants in the guilty group were instructed to try to deceive the examiner so that their crime would not be detected, whereas those in the 2 innocent groups were told to be open and frank. The avoidance response of the guilty group was much stronger than that of the 2 innocent groups at an exposure duration of 1,250 ms. We also confirmed that a group not involved in a criminal act, but with crime-relevant information, could be distinguished effectively at an exposure duration of 1,250 ms. Thus, it is possible to distinguish between not only the guilty versus innocent group, but also the guilty group versus the innocent group with crime-related information.

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