While performing tasks, the participants were coerced into committing fraud by signing contracts they were not qualified for.
They were then interviewed by a human-like avatar on a screen regarding their transgression, called ‘Brad’.
‘When confronted with human-like avatars, people generally are uncertain to which degree the avatar really directly represents the actions and thoughts of the person controlling the avatar,’ said researchers.
Researchers found it was impossible to tell whether or not they were telling the truth or lying if the subject believed Brad was computer controlled.
But those who believed it was human controlled, revealed a clear difference.