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Some Thoughts About Feelings: A Study of the Role of Cognition and Emotion in Polygraph Testing

NCJ Number
Polygraph Volume: 39 Issue: 3 Dated: 2010 Pages: 139-154
Mark Handler; Pam Shaw; Michael Gougler
Date Published
16 pages
This paper examines the role of cognition and emotion in polygraph testing.
This manuscript is offered as a follow up to the work of Khan, Nelson and Handler (2009) that discussed emotion in psychophysiological detection of deception (PDD) testing. The author's intent is to offer the interested reader a more in-depth discussion of the "cognitive appraisal theories" of emotion (Scherer, 2001) in hope of generating thought, debate and research. The work here focuses on emotion, with the goal of expanding our profession's knowledge, vocabulary and appreciation of this complex concept. The authors suggest that emotional states, along with cognition and behavioral learning, work synergistically to create or produce measureable responses to stimulus questions during PDD testing. The authors further suggest that our subjects appraise or evaluate the test question against some type of goal that is at stake, and that these appraisals serve a mediating function for valence and salience of emotional and physiological response. This paper will offer descriptions of how these appraisals intertwine and connect in the moment, or result from a reinstatement of a previous evaluated conflict. This paper scaffolds on the Khan et al. (2009) work be integrating the writings of many modern emotional researchers whose works are listed in the reference section. Table and references (Published Abstract)