Orienting response elicitation by personally significant information under subliminal stimulus presentation: Demonstration using the Concealed Information Test.
Considerable evidence suggests that subliminal information can trigger cognitive and neural processes. Here, we examined whether elicitation of orienting response by personally significant (PS) verbal information requires conscious awareness of the input. Subjects were exposed to the Concealed Information Test (CIT), in which autonomic responses for autobiographical items are typically larger than for control items. These items were presented subliminally using two different masking protocols: single or multiple presentation of the masked item. An objective test was used to verify unawareness to the stimuli. As predicted, PS items elicited significantly stronger skin conductance responses than the control items in both exposure conditions. The results extend previous findings showing that autonomic responses can be elicited following subliminal exposure to aversive information, and also may have implications on the applied usage of the CIT. Copyright © 2012 Society for Psychophysiological Research.