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Psychophysiology. 2005 Mar;42(2):239-45.

Psychopathic traits and autonomic responding to concealed information in a prison sample.

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  • 1Department of Psychology, Ghent University, Ghent, Belgium.


We examined the role of psychopathic traits on physiological responding during a concealed information polygraph test among prison inmates (n = 40). The Psychopathic Personality Inventory (Lilienfeld & Andrews, 1996) was used to assess psychopathic traits. Cardiac, electrodermal, and respiratory responses were measured while participants were presented with personal and control names and asked to conceal recognition of personal information. We first piloted the present concealed information test in a sample of undergraduates (n = 27). Enhanced orienting to concealed information compared to control information was observed in both prisoners and undergraduates. However, prisoners scoring high on the Impulsive Antisociality factor of the Psychopathic Personality Inventory (PPI-II) exhibited reduced electrodermal responding. This finding indicates that the sensitivity of the concealed information test may be decreased in antisocial offenders.

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