Experiment: Telling and detecting lies in NEMO Science Museum Amsterdam

NEMO; Science Live

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Together with Utrecht University and the University of Amsterdam, we set up a large scale deception experiment as part of the NEMO Science Live Program. From Saturday the 20th of April – Sunday the 5th of May 2019, we are testing the lie and lie detection skills of children and their parents & grand parents. Exciting news, it is the first ever experiment in which children can detect the lies of their parents!

Participants can take part in groups up to five people, so people can participate with their family members or their group of friends. Of each participant, we make a video recording of them telling a truth and a lie. When all videos are recorded, the participants judge a set of videos of other participants telling truths and lies. First they have to judge videos of people they do not know, followed by the videos of their own family members and friends. Technically, this was quite hard to pull off, but we managed and it now allows for testing a bunch of interesting research questions, including:

Does it take one to know one? Are people who are better liars, also better at detecting the lies of others?

Are we better at detecting the lies of people we know, compared to people we do not know?

We will also further refine and test automated lie detection techniques, leading to the questions whether humans or computers are better lie detectors.

Curious? You can take part in our experiment until Sunday the 5th of May in NEMO. Have you participated and are you curious about the results? From the 1st of June onwards, you can check whether you’re the best liar and/or lie detector here.

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