Is the CIT susceptible to misleading information? A constructive replication

Nathalie klein Selle, Danna Waxman, Katja Volz, Wolfgang Ambach, Gershon Ben-Shakhar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The Concealed Information Test (CIT) utilizes psychophysiological measures to detect crime-related knowledge in a suspect's memory. In other words, it can discriminate between knowledgeable (guilty) and unknowledgeable (innocent) suspects. The majority of CIT research is however conducted in controlled laboratory settings, which are more resistant to external influences than realistic forensic settings. Such influences include retroactive memory interferences which may threaten the validity of the CIT. One notable example is the misinformation effect – retroactive memory distortions caused by exposure to misleading information regarding a past event. The current study is a constructive replication of Volz et al. (J Forensic Sci 2017;63:1419) examining the effects of misleading information on the CIT. Participants underwent a three-stage experiment including a mock crime, exposure to misleading information, and a CIT. Results show that when misleading information was presented, explicit memory of the mock crime was reduced, but the physiological responses to the critical CIT items were only partially attenuated. This could suggest that the detection of crime-relevant information, using skin conductance and respiration measures, might be possible even when suspects are exposed to misleading information.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)646-655
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Forensic Sciences
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 2021
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 American Academy of Forensic Sciences


  • Concealed Information Test
  • external validity
  • false memory
  • misinformation
  • respiration line length
  • skin conductance response


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