You are conducting a survey where the question is somewhat embarrassing: have you shoplifted within the past 12 months? You realize that it might be difficult to get honest answers, so you ask your friend the psychology student for advice. He tells you the following trick: Ask each person to flip a coin and tell them that if the coin land heads, they should answer the question with a lie, if the coin lands on tails, they should answer 'yes'. As the person agrees to this before the outcome of the flip is revealed, people would be more likely to participate in such questions.
Should you follow your friend's advice? Can you get any meaningful statistic by applying this method?