Preliminary process theory does not validate the comparison question test: a comment on Palmatier and Rovner (2015)

Gershon Ben-Shakhar*, Matthias Gamer, William Iacono, Ewout Meijer, Bruno Verschuere

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Palmatier and Rovner (2015) attempt to establish the construct validity of the Comparison Question Test (CQT) by citing extensive research ranging from modern neuroscience to memory and psychophysiology. In this comment we argue that merely citing studies on the preliminary process theory (PPT) of the orienting response (OR) or neuroimaging research on deception without a clear specification of their connection to the CQT is insufficient for construct validity. Moreover, PPT cannot account for observed differential heart rate responses found in both CQT and Concealed Information Test (CIT) research. Furthermore, Palmatier and Rovner ignore the many other deficiencies of the CQT, such as lack of proper control and standardization, which cannot be resolved by any psychological or psychophysiological theory. In sum, we show that Palmatier and Rovner failed in their mission to establish construct validity of the CQT, and their article provides no solution to the many other deficiencies of this test.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)16-9
Number of pages4
JournalInternational Journal of Psychophysiology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2015


  • Humans
  • Lie Detection
  • Monitoring, Physiologic
  • Psychophysiology

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