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Lies Easier To Detect When Children Feel Guilty

Armen Hareyan's picture

How children lie

Children's lies are easier to detect if they feel badly about lying, a recent study by researcher Amy Leach suggests.

"To our knowledge, this is the first time anyone has studied whether the types of interviews used with children make lying easier to detect," says Ms. Leach, a PhD candidate in psychology.

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The study published recently in the journal Law and Human Behaviour uses three types of interviews with children between the ages of four and eight.

Each interview begins with a researcher playing a game with the children, instructing them not to peek at a toy that is placed behind them, and then leaving the room. The interviewer returns a minute later and in a "direct" interview, simply asks the children if they have peeked or turned around.

During "promise" interviews, children promise to tell the truth before they