SHADMIA'S WORLD

Just Another Guy with Opinions

Babies Learn Deception Early

Posted by shadmia on July 2, 2007

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When a baby cries is it because of hunger, wetness, tiredness, illness or for no other reason than just to get your attention? Can you tell the difference? Experts now believe that even though babies communicate non-verbally, they are just as capable, as a young child is, of deception. Until now, psychologists had thought the developing brains were not capable of the difficult art of lying until four years old. It is now believed that lying can start as young as six months old.

Dr Vasudevi Reddy, of the University of Portsmouth’s psychology department, says she has identified seven categories of deception used between six months and three-years-old.

“Fake crying is one of the earliest forms of deception to emerge, and infants use it to get attention even though nothing is wrong. You can tell, as they will then pause while they wait to hear if their mother is responding, before crying again.

Aside from fake crying Dr Vasudevi Reddy identifies other activities such as:

  • pretend laughing
  • concealing forbidden activities
  • distracting parents’ attention
  • bluffing when threatened with a punishment

Dr Reddy thinks children use early fibs to discover what kinds of lie work in certain situations, and also learn the negative consequences of lying too much. Apparently there is no morality involved in their actions, in other words young children don’t distinguish between right and wrong; deception is merely a mechanism to discover what works when they want a desired result.

 

 

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