Scoring Respiration When Using Directed Lie Comparison Questions

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Recent research reports that respiration responses to directed lie comparison questions may not result in the expected shorter line excursion with innocent participants compared with responses to target stimuli. However, the implications for those physiological findings for numerical scoring are unexplored. We examined the impact of the use of the directed lie on numerical scores with new analyses of two existing data sets. We examined a set of 25 confirmed field cases from Honts and Raskin (1988) where directed lie and probable lie comparison questions were contrasted within subjects. We then examined data from 250 participants in an experiment (Honts & Reavy, 2009) that explores differences between examinations with directed or probable lie comparison questions. Our analyses failed to reveal any significant effects of directed lies on either Utah or Objective Scoring System, Version 2 numerical scores. Results showed that numerical scores differ significantly for guilty and innocent examinees using both probable and directed lie comparison questions. Results indicate the potential that examiners who use directed lie comparison questions may simply score them using certain standard numerical criteria. Continued research and interest in the directed lie comparison question is recommended.

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