Saturday, August 20, 2011

Liar Liar

A while ago I posted on lying in children. It has ended up being one of my most read posts. So read, that I did a CBS 11 segment on it. So read, that I'm giving a talk on it today. So read, that I decided to add some more information.

You can read the original post and watch the CBS clip here but to quickly recap: children don't lie to be bad. Are you shocked? Don't be. Kiddos may be avoiding punishment, yes, but in reality they are practicing a new skill they're learning- that I know something you don't know. I can lie to you about it and you won't know that I'm not telling you the truth. 

But why do kids lie? Where does it come from?

Lying comes from a bigger set of skills called Theory of Mind. It's this idea that we can know about our own thoughts and also the thoughts of others. I can know for example, that you're reading this and assume I'm a professional and am giving you credible information. So I could, in theory, be making all of this up. But I also know enough about other people's motives to know that you could find out that I'm not giving you credible information. You could, in essence, find out whether I'm a liar. So I'll tell you the truth :)

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