“I don’t believe your favourite film’s Inception – that is definitely a lie!”

Accusations and deceit were on the cards at our Liars’ Picnic in the Green Man yurt tent last weekend. Lynsey Gozna and Rachel Taylor, both psychologists who study deception, joined us to speak about what the latest research can tell us about lying: why people do it, the strategies they use, and how best to spot it…

To test the audience’s deception skills, I worked with Lynsey and Rachel to devise a number of games that would reward successful fibbers and the best lie detectors.

First of all we asked volunteers to read out 4 statements that included two truths and two lies. The audience had to pick fib from fact, and the volunteer who conned the audience most effectively won themselves a bottle of Guerilla Science patented ‘truth serum’ (it really works, honest).

Next up, contestants had to pick between two picnic hampers, one containing a prize, the other containing a tome penned by an infamous liar. Standing in their way were two gatekeepers, one truthful and one deceiver.

Then, for the grand finale, we challenged the audience to test themselves against a lie detector that delivers a mild electric shock if it thinks your lying! It only hurt a bit…