Bloomsbury Deception Set

In December 2010, Daniel Richardson, Sam Baron, Philip Marzouk-Khalil and I set out to record a set of ‘naturalistic’ lies, those which were told to another person who was believed to be unaware of being deceived. That is, unlike many deception stimulus sets, participants in this study lied with the intention of misleading the listener. The Bloomsbury Deception Set (BDS) (Street et al., 2011) is the result of that project.

We share our lie detection stimulus set with other researchers with a hope to encourage others to openly share theirs.

18 participants were encountered individually on the University College London (UCL) campus to take part in a travel and tourism documentary. The individuals agreed to talk about a place they had visited before on holiday, and to lie about a place they had never been to before in order to help out our researcher who urgently needed to get people to take part.

Street et al., 2011
Street et al. (2011). Bloomsbury Deception Set

Upon agreeing, participants were taken to a real-life filming studio and met a documentary Director, who was keen to know about people’s real-life experiences in other countries, rather than the usual tourism spiel. Participants were unaware that the director and the researcher on the street were psychology researchers and were entirely naive as to the aim of the experiment. They gave a statement (ranging from 10s to 1m:30s) about the place they had and had not visited. Whilst the Director was aware of the aim of the experiment, he was never aware of which statement was the truth and which was the lie.

The BDS has been shared with researchers across Europe and N. America. If you would like a copy of this stimulus set, send an email through the Contact page.