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Lying can be evidence of intelligence

Lying is quite common in children. However, this requires their efforts and quick thinking. Children learn to lie at the age of 2 years, but only at an older age they become able to lie convincingly.

Around the age of 6-7 years with children there are changes. They not only understand and interpret social rules, but also at this age they develop such an important cognitive function as short-term memory. Short-term memory is the ability of a person to remember and process information.

Psychologists conducted a study to examine whether short-term memory is associated with lying. This is important because lying involves storing several facts in short-term memory so that the lie is successful. You must remember that you have said before that the other person may already know and relate it to what you are going to say (i.e. lie). Also, you should remember what you said if asked about it later.

The study involved children aged 6-7 years. First, the scientists measured their short-term memory: they were asked to remember sequences of objects (for example, arbitrary letters that were displayed on a computer screen).

Then the degree of their tendency to lie was determined: an experiment called “resistance to temptation”was conducted with the children. At this stage, the goal was to create a tempting situation for the child. He was consistently asked questions, such as: “What sounds does a dog make?”and for every correct answer they gave a reward.

The last question in this series concerned a cartoon that didn’t really exist: “What is the name of the main character of the cartoon “Space heroes”?”no.” Before the child gave an answer, the researchers left the room and told the child not to peek at the card that was lying on the table.

As a result of the study, two conclusions were made:

1. Children can’t resist the temptation to peek at the answer on the card and lie about it.

Almost all of the subjects who spied the answer lied about it when the researchers asked them about it. There was a hidden camera in the room, which made it possible to set this up.

2. Children with good short-term memory lie more convincingly.

These children hid their lies by making their assumptions more convincing, such as: “Oh, this is my favorite cartoon, I watch it every Saturday. They could plausibly lie when answering other questions.

What does this mean for parents?

The good news for parents is that children are less likely to lie as they get older. The older the child, the less social approval he receives when he is lying-for example, in communication with peers. So be sure that if your child is lying, at least he is smart.

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