Imagination works hand in hand with lying or, to use a euphemism, phantasy. A new study published in the Journal of Experimental Child Psychology reveals that kids who are good liars also have great working memories.
Children play in the realm of phantasy and they do it impressively well. They don’t hold cognitive barriers or biases that can easily cripple their capacity to imagine anything. This is the logical reason why they are great liars. If you are a parent of an imaginative child, you have surely noticed that he or she can make up great tales to get out of certain transgressions.
The study also revealed that kids who are “good liars” have good working memories, verbal memories in particular. Well, this is another logical argument for those who are good at lying, as it takes some pretty skillful verbal manipulation to keep one’s lies standing. Lying is thus a marker of a very capable little brain.
Researchers tested six and seven year old kids who were offered the opportunity to cheat in a trivia game and consequently lie about their actions. It appears that children who were good at lying performed brilliantly in tests of verbal memory that examined the number of words they can remember. This is an important clue to the amount of information they can take in and play with.
The team of researchers from the Universities of North Florida, Sheffield and Stirling recruited 114 kids from four British schools for the extended experiment.
Lying is never easy, as one needs to keep track of a great deal of verbal info in order to cover the entire track of lies. Lies need substance in order to become veracious and kids that can hold on to the thread of imaginative truth are also highly intelligent and have great working memories. They are good at juggling a lot of information although they do tell the odd fib.
All children who were tested their lying capacities by peeking at the final answers of a question on the back of a card during a trivia game showed a great capacity to hold a good cover story behind. Of course they could imagine a good cover story, as their ability to adapt information to the reality they want to make believe is strongly linked with their strong memory for words. Parents all over the world, brace yourselves, as your kids with good memory are professional liars.
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