O’CONNOR and EVANS: Children’s lies are deceptively complex

Alison O’Connor, a Psychology PhD student at Brock, and Angela Evans, an Associate Professor of Psychology at Brock, co-wrote a piece recently published in The Conversation about how children lying opens a window into understanding their social and cognitive development.

They write:

Our research team in the Social-Cognitive Development Lab at Brock University is exploring how telling lies, in a variety of contexts, is a sign of children’s cognitive development and their exploration of our social world.

Developmental psychologists have been examining lying for several decades, uncovering that lie-telling appears around two years of age. However, it is not until about four years of age when the majority of children will lie to conceal a misdeed, and this high rate of lying persists throughout childhood.

And the lies don’t stop there. Evelyne Debey, a professor at Ghent University in Belgium, and her colleagues asked community members between six and 77 years of age about their daily lying. Interestingly, they found that although all age groups reported telling lies, lying followed an inverted U-shaped pattern. Lies increased throughout childhood, peaked in adolescence and decreased (but did not disappear) throughout adulthood.”

Continue reading the full article here

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