- Published: October 24, 2012
- Written by Joshua Jackson
A number of new technologies are being tested for their potential in lie detection. One of these, the autobiographical Implicit Association Test, is based on measuring the timing of responses to questions about a subjects memory of an event. It is a special case of the Implicit Association Test which measures differential associations of any two concepts. The original paper on the IAT noted that it may "reveal attitudes and other automatic associations even for subjects who prefer not to express those attitudes."
Following the initial publication of the aIAT, several papers were published identifying effective countermeasures to the technique. For example, by artificially slowing down responses, it is possible to mask the effect being measured. However, a 2010 follow-up from the aIAT authors notes that "countermeasures are now known for almost every lie detection technique" and describes a method for identifying fakers.
More research will be needed to clearly demonstrate whether the aIAT can be made effective for real world use. However, even if this proves successful there will still be significant delay before the the technique is widely considered accapted and suitable to be considered for admission in U.S. courtrooms.
1. "Measuring individual differences in implicit cognition: the implicit association test" http://faculty.fortlewis.edu/burke_b/Senior/BLINK%20replication/IAT.pdf
2. "Faking of the Implicit Association Test Is Statistically Detectable and Partly Correctable" http://ilabs.washington.edu/sites/default/files/Cvencek%26al.BASP_.2010.pdf
3. "Detecting Fakers of the autobiographical IAT" http://aiat.psy.unipd.it/uploads/pdf/ACP2010.pdf