Validity of the guilty knowledge technique in a prisoner's sample

Israel Lieblich, Gershon Ben Shakhar, Sol Kugelmass

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Evaluated the guilty knowledge technique as a detector of knowledge held by 30 prisoners in a maximum security prison in Israel. In an initial interview, Ss responded to 20 questions designed to elicit personal responses or items. During a later interrogation, Ss were presented verbally with (a) the same 20 questions and (b) 5 alternative responses including their own personal response and 4 neutral control responses. During the interrogation, Ss listened quietly while their GSRs were monitored. On the basis of the GSR data, a significant proportion (p < .01) of the Ss were correctly matched with their personal questionnaire responses. Although better overall matching had occurred with college students in a previous study by G. Ben Shakhar et al (1970), no differences between the samples appeared on items involving strongly personal information. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2006 APA, all rights reserved).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)89-93
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Applied Psychology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 1976


  • verbally presented personal items of which Ss had knowledge vs neutral items, autonomic reactions, prisoners, detection efficiency of guilt knowledge technique


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