Team McCallum

R&D for Lifetime of Life

Kids, lies, bankers.

An interesting story on children, lying and differences in brain activity appeared about a week ago in the Wall Street Journal.

It appears that another newspaper has managed to extract an unfortunate quote from one of the scientists mentioned, Dr Kang Lee, in that article to suggest that early liers will become bankers, lawyers and corporate executives, and this spin is spreading round the Internet.

The WSJ article collects together several previous studies on children and lying, but makes it clear that those by Dr Lee, in conjunction with Dr Victoria Talwar, are not the trigger for the article.

The summary of Lee and Talwar’s joint work is great reading. “At age 2, about a quarter of children will lie and say they didn’t. By 3, half of kids will lie, and by 4, that figure is 90%, studies show. This trend continues until kids are about 15. By that age, nearly everyone who cheated in the experiment will lie about it. The good news: The number of liars begins to decline beyond this age. By 17, the percentage that lies drops to about 70%.”

The article trigger was recent research by Prof Markus Kruesi who compared children to adults, in terms of which brain region became active when lying. In adults it’s the area associated with ‘executive functioning’ (the director, banker, executive link origin?). In kids this did not become active. So kids lie in a different brain pattern to adults!

Read the WSJ article here.


May 17, 2010 - Posted by | Brain, Child Health, Kang Lee, Markus Kruesi, Psychology, Success, Victoria Talwar

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