New test developed in Portsmouth could help to catch out liars

Bosmere Junior School, Havant

Hampshire schools built in the 1980s deemed of historic importance to the UK

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RESEARCHERS at the University of Portsmouth may have found a way to catch out liars who pass a lie detection test.

It is the first experiment to reveal a pattern in how guilty people approach what’s known as a Symptom Validity Test, which determines if claims of amnesia are genuine.

The test was adapted to see if participants would incriminate themselves by avoiding guilty knowledge.

A total of 86 people were asked to commit a mock crime. A further 82 people had no knowledge of the crime.

They were submitted to a lie detection test that looks for signs that someone is avoiding associating themselves with the ‘crime’.

Researcher Dom Shaw said: ‘What is unique about this study is that we found a pattern in the guilty participants’ responses. Our results suggest that at some point during the test, some liars worked out that avoiding too many crime-related words would appear suspicious.

‘They started including more crime-related words to appear as if they were choosing purely by chance.’