Psychopathy and the Polygraph: Investigating Implicit Bias in Deception Detection

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A technological shortcut to the truth is one of the many portrayals that refer to what is known as the polygraph. This study is the third to examine the validity and accuracy of the polygraph in a non-clinical and non-criminal psychopathic and non-psychopathic (N = 36) sample. Possessing limited capacity for anxiety, guilt, or shame, psychopathic individuals tend to be non-reactive to specific stimuli; this asserts the notion that they may be able to “beat” a polygraph. Results broadly support researchers’ hypothesis: There was a significant relationship between possessing psychopathic traits and the increased probability of passing a polygraph exam. There was also a unique association with the severity of psychopathy and passing a polygraph examination.
A thesis submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Arts in Forensic Psychology
Psychology, Criminology, Physiology, Psychopathy