Science Live, how good are you at lying and detecting lies?

During the May holidays (until 5 May) visitors from the age of 8 can participate in a research project at NEMO Science Museum in Amsterdam, which is carried out by Assistant Professor at Erasmus School of Economics, Sophie van der Zee.

During a Science Live experiment Sophie van der Zee is challenging families to lie and to detect each other's lies. Sophie: ‘The fact is we don't like it when people lie to us. But we do it ourselves quite often! On the one hand, parents tell their children that lying is bad and that they should always tell them the truth. On the other hand, small white lies can ensure that we get along well. Parents often teach their children to be polite and grateful, even when receiving a terrible gift. And as parents, we often lie to our own children, from Santa Claus and Sinterklaas to the tooth fairy.  As a result, we all learn to lie. But how does that happen and what dictates whether we are any good at it?’

In a unique setting with both children and their (grand) parents, but also acquaintances and strangers, Sophie and her colleagues from Utrecht University and the University of Amsterdam are testing what makes a good liar and a good lie detector. Is it easier to detect lies from people you know than from strangers? And does it take one to know one? And who are better lie detectors, humans or computers? Based on this data, they will (further) develop sophisticated analysis automated lie detection techniques, including automatic multimodal lie detection, thermal imaging, and testing new software for facial expressions.

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For more information about this experiment, click here (in Dutch).