The researchers tested over 135 children aged either six or seven who were asked to play a trivia game with cards. Each card had a question on one side and the answer on the reverse. The answer was written in a different colour and had an accompanying picture. The researchers briefly left the room, warning the kids not to look at the answers. A hidden camera recorded whether the little darlings followed that rule or did indeed sneak a peek.
On returning, the researchers asked the children the trivia questions. When a kid got the question right the researcher asked further questions such as what colour was the answer written in and what picture went with the answer. Those kids with good Verbal Memory skills deliberately answered incorrectly, lying to disguise the fact that they had cheated.
Lying is a complicated act requiring considerable brain power to keep the strands of the lie together in a coherent whole and also to understand the motivations of the researcher.
A separate study by the University of Toronto involving 65 children aged two or three found that kids who lie well have better cognitive abilities and are likely to be more successful.
“Parents should not be alarmed if their child tells a fib. Almost all children lie. Those who have better cognitive development lie better because they can cover up their tracks. They may make bankers in later life.” Dr. Kang Lee, Toronto University
So what was the funniest lie you caught your child out on? Or maybe it was you that was caught out? Let me know in the comments below!