Response Time Concealed Information Test on smartphones

Gáspár Lukács, Bennett Kleinberg, Melissa Kunzi, Ulrich Ansorge

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The Response Time-Based Concealed Information Test (RT-CIT) can reveal when a person recognizes a relevant (probe) item among other, irrelevant items, based on comparatively slower responding to the probe item. Thereby, if a person is concealing the knowledge about the relevance of this item (e.g., recognizing it as a murder weapon), this deception can be revealed. So far, the RT-CIT has been used only on desktop computers. In Experiment 1 (n = 72; within-subject), we compare the probe-irrelevant differences when using the conventional desktop-based CIT to using a smartphone-based CIT, demonstrating practical equivalence. In Experiment 2 (n = 116; within-subject), we demonstrate that using thumbs for responses (while holding the smartphone) leads to equally efficient CIT results as using conventional index finger responses. At the same time, this second experiment also demonstrates how smartphone-based studies may be efficiently run in large groups, using the participants’ own smartphones. Finally, as an interesting addition, here for the first time we also measured keypress durations (i.e., the time durations of holding down the response keys) in the RT-CIT, which we found to be significantly shorter for probe than for irrelevant items.
Original languageEnglish
Article number4
Number of pages14
JournalCollabra: Psychology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2020


  • concealed information test
  • deception
  • mobile
  • response time
  • smartphone


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