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New Study: Kids Who Lie Have Better Memories

By: Isabella Carson

Your child’s imagination is a wonderful thing. That is of course until they use that imagination to beginning spinning a web of lies. When children don’t want to get caught doing something that they know they are not supposed to do they will come up with some pretty creative fibs that they think are clever. While lying and exaggerating the truth can worry some parents a new study shows that it actually means that the child has a capable mind according to a study published in the Journal of Experimental Child Psychology.

A group of children ages 6 and 7 were given a trivia quiz to complete as part of the study. The quiz consisted of three questions on flashcards. The answer to each of the questions was on the back of the card with a picture next to it. When the researcher conducting the test would ask the third question which was fictitious, they would then leave the room and tell the children not to look at the answer on the back of the card. Once out of the room they watched on the monitors to see which child looked and which one did not. When they came back into the room they asked the children if they knew the answer to the fictitious question which was “What is the name of the kid in Spaceboy”.

The children that lied about the answer to make it seem like they had figured this all out on their own came up with elaborate lies. The children that were not good at lying made up short tales that really didn’t tell you much information. After completing the study they were able to determine that the children who were better liars had better memory skills, both verbal and visual. They are also better at problem solving. There is a process that goes into coming up with a lie such as thinking about what the other person wants to hear, figuring out what they already know, and figuring out how to make the story seem plausible. Kids who tend to lie more frequently have these skills and are very good with understanding reasoning and problem-solving.

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