Santa’s grotto uses polygraph to test if kids have been naughty or nice
This year, there’s a new and “novel” way to find out whether children have been naughty or nice — by having them take a lie detector test.
That’s right. Kids are being hooked up to lie detector machines while visiting Santa at shopping centers in Westfield London and Westfield Stratford City. The reasoning is that they’re hoping to make Santa’s life a little easier this year by offering children a quick-fire polygraph test.
During the tests, they evaluate whether they’ve been as well-behaved as they claim.
So, as you can see in the photo above, the expert polygraph examiner, Paul Bramley — dubbed “Mr. Fibmas” — is joining Santa’s side for the first time. For those unaware, a fib is a British term meaning a small, unimportant lie. Experienced in court trials and investigations, Mr. Bramley will be asking kids aged six to 12 questions to determine if they’re fibbing or not.
What are they being asked?
Such questions could include “when was the last time you ate a vegetable,” “have you been doing your homework,” and “have you been keeping your bedroom tidy?” All of these questions are thrown at the kids while their fingers are linked up to finger monitors tracking changes in heart rates.
The “fib-o-meter” will then produce immediate data readings to confirm if children are on track for Santa’s nice list, or whether it’s time they ate a few more Brussels sprouts.
“This year we wanted to enhance the Meet Santa experience and offer kids and families some extra free, festive fun before they enter the grotto,” said Katie Wyle, general manager at Westfield London. “We always strive to give shoppers a unique experience and we’re excited to offer a humorous twist on a much-loved family tradition this Christmas.”
What are the results so far?
It comes after research, also commissioned by Westfield, of 500 children — aged six to 12 years old — found 45 percent of kids admit to being fibers. While 88 percent of children who admit to being naughty this year claim to have mastered the act of telling fibs. It also emerged 56 percent of those polled think they’d pass the test – with 40 percent revealing they’ve been both naughty and nice this year.
Of the children who have been on their best behavior, being kind to friends, getting good marks at school, and sharing with siblings were the top ways they’ve done so. The study, carried out through OnePoll, also found 63 percent believe they still have enough time to make it onto Santa’s best-behaved list.
You can check out a video of the lie detector in action here.