New test developed in Portsmouth could help to catch out liars

Fareham MP Suella Fernandes, second right, and Minister of State for Schools The Rt Hon Nick Gibb MP, centre, with representatives from Portchester Community School  and Henry Cort Community College

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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.’

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