University of Twente Student Theses


The Measurement of Emotional States present during Deception

Boom, Q.O. (2016) The Measurement of Emotional States present during Deception.

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Abstract:It has often been attempted to reveal when a person lies by measuring electro-dermal activity (EDA). EDA, however, appears to be easily influenced by emotions. This makes it hard to use EDA to distinguish a deceitful person from an emotional person. Proverbio et al. (2013) indicated that Electroencephalography (EEG) might be capable of differentiating between a deceptive response and an emotional response. In the study EEG was used to reveal when a participant responds deceptively to both emotional and non-emotional stimuli. Proverbio et al. (2013), however, solely looked at the difference between emotional and non-emotional stimuli. It was not measured if the participants’ emotional states were also influenced during the experiment. It is thus unclear whether EEG is capable of revealing a deceptive person, when this person is influenced emotionally. In this report a similar experiment as Proverbio et al. (2013) was conducted, where both EDA and EEG were measured. EDA was measured in order to establish how deception, stimulus emotionality and stimulus relatability influenced participants emotionally. Relatability was measured since stimuli that are more relatable to participants can potentially influence EDA (Nikula, 1993). During this experiment relatability was defined as the difference between subjective and objective stimuli. For 16 female participants skin conductance was measured. These participants were asked to lie or tell the truth about questions that differed in emotionality and relatability. It appeared that EDA was not influenced by deception, stimulus emotionality or stimulus relatability. It even appeared that arousal felt by the participants decreased during the course of the experiment. In order to better compare EEG and EDA in the future it would be necessary to repeat the experiment with emotional stimuli that correspond to all participants’ personal concerns. The addition of a reward and motivation to lie can also potentially cause participants to be more aroused when deceiving.
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:77 psychology
Programme:Psychology MSc (66604)
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