Scientists: Children with a Better Working Memory are Better Liars

Researchers and scientists from the University of North Florida discovered that kids with better working memories are good liars. Let’s dig even deeper.

Little Liars Are Smart

Children tend to lie. Everyone knows it. What has been discovered, though, is that those children who lie more often have a better verbal working memory than those who lie less often. It’s linked to the ability of dishonest children to memorize lies better.

How Exactly Does It Work?

While expressing verbal lies, smart children have the ability to process information correctly while taking in consideration their listener’s point of view. That, in turn, is a sign that the kid has a high cognitive sense.

The Study

Dr. Tracy Alloway and her colleagues ran a study with 137 participants (six- to seven-year-old children). The kids received colorful trivia cards with the answers printed on the back of each card. The instructors left the room prior to asking the children not to look into the cards. Tracy Alloway and her colleagues then monitored the kids through a hidden camera.

Smarter Kids Were Not Caught Red-Handed

When the researchers returned back and asked the trivia questions, the cheating kids gave the correct answers. The researchers then tried to trick the kids to “catch” them in their cheating by asking questions about the color of the card with the answer. The cheating children who have a better verbal working memory purposely provided the researchers with incorrect answers regarding the color of the card. Those with lower working memories got caught by telling the right color.

What Can Lying Kids Teach Adults About Working Memory?

The psychologist Elena Hoika confirmed that adults lie in nearly one-fifth of social communications in the course of ten minutes. However, parents should not be disappointed about their lying kids. Parents are the ones who teach their children about lying. After all, lying is a sign of extreme intelligence.