Countering countermeasures in the concealed information test using covert respiration measures

Eitan Elaad, Gershon Ben-Shakhar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The effects of physical and mental countermeasures on the accuracy of the concealed information test (CIT) were examined in a mock crime experiment with 64 participants. To combat countermeasures, two covert respiration measures, hidden in the seat and back of the examination chair, were used in addition to the standard physiological measures (SCR, FPWL, RLL). Some guilty participants were trained to use either physical or mental countermeasures and apply them to distort the outcomes of the CIT. In the second phase of the experiment participants were detached from the standard polygraph devices and examined solely with the two covert measures. Results indicated that physical countermeasures lowered SCR accuracy but had a relatively small effect on the other standard measures. On the other hand, SCR was relatively resistant to mental countermeasures. Both covert measures were resistant to physical countermeasures in the polygraph phase. When the standard devices were removed, the covert seat measure was effective in the no countermeasure and in the mental countermeasure conditions but not when physical countermeasures were applied. The back measure was entirely ineffective.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)197-208
Number of pages12
JournalApplied Psychophysiology Biofeedback
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2009
Externally publishedYes


  • Concealed information test
  • Finger pulse volume
  • Guilty knowledge test
  • Polygraph
  • Psychophysiological detection of information
  • Respiration
  • Skin conductance
  • Unobtrusive respiration measures


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