The Earlier a Child Starts to Lie, the Smarter They Are

The Earlier a Child Starts to Lie, the Smarter They Are
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Lying is bad, and you shouldn’t do it. Right?

It turns out that lying may not actually be as bad as people believe. In our society lying is frowned up, and many people believe that liars are untrustworthy, self-serving people who try to take advantage of the other people around them.

While this can be true sometimes, it isn’t always the case. Of course no-one likes the idea of being lied to, especially if the liar is their partner or friend, but it turns out that liars aren’t necessarily bad people. In fact, may be and more successful than the people who lie less frequently!

Here is everything you need to know about lying.

Lying May Be A Sign Of Success

Most parents hate the idea of their lying to them, but recent research has found that it could be an indicator of success [1]. The research, which was completed at the Institute of Child Study at the University of Toronto, has found that children who can lie effectively may be more successful in later life.

It can be tempting to think that all lies are bad, but when children lie it is an indicator of intelligence. This is because intelligence is required to work out if you should lie or not, so the a child to lie, the smarter they are!

Lying also helps children to develop an executive function in their brain, which gives them the ability to know the truth but to keep it in their mind so they can solve the problem in another way.

The study director Dr. Kang Lee said that lying in children could mean that they will one day grow up to be bankers or politicians. Of course, this doesn’t mean that you should try to raise a liar, but it is important to be aware that lying isn’t always a bad thing – especially when children do it.

Lies Are A Normal Part Of Society

Do you think that you are a liar? Most people like to imagine that they are honest and fair, but Bella De Paulo, a PhD professor from the University of Virginia, believes that no-one can go three weeks without lying. [2]

That’s right; no-one! Every year the professor challenges her students to go three weeks without lying, and every year they always fail. But why is this?

DePaulo told Psychology Today that; “Everyday lies are really part of the fabric of social life.” While some lies are self-serving and manipulative, most lies just help to smooth over awkward or unpleasant situations, or they help protect the egos of your loved ones.

Can You Go Three Weeks Without Lying?

It seems that lying is a normal part of society, but it is important to distinguish the difference between different lies. While a little white lie can actually benefit your relationships, choosing to manipulate others for your own gain is something that should generally be avoided.

However, new research from Ben-Gurion University of the Negev has found that people will often make self-serving decisions in ambiguous situations. [3]

For example, people are more likely to lie and alter numbers if it means that they will be paid more. In one experiment the researchers asked participants to watch a computer screen as it shows the rolls of six different dice. With each role the participants were asked to report the number of the dice that fell closest to a target on the screen. The participants were also told that they would be paid for the number, and the number the number the higher the pay out.

The researchers found that participants were likely to tell small lies to benefit themselves. For instance, many participants reported the wrong dice with a higher number to increase their pay out. This may seem devious, but most people don’t actually view this behaviour as cheating (when they are doing it themselves). This is because the ambiguousness of the situation allows the person to validate their behaviour.

Shaul Shalvi, the study co-author, said; “People will bend the rules to the extent that they can maintain an honest self-view.”

“The more ambiguous the situation, the more likely people are to view the facts in a way that will serve their self-interest.”

This indicates that lying is an avoidable part of society, and it isn’t all bad. Lying in children is often an indicator of future success, and many adults tell small lies to further their personal success – especially if they are in an ambiguous situation. Of course, everyone should avoid pathological lying!

Reference

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