Ever been punished as a youngster for fibbing to your parents? Well, a recent study suggests that lying early in life might have positive effects on cognitive functioning. Researchers determined that deception may increase the chance of success in certain occupations and strengthen strategic tactics and creative thinking.
Gail Heyman, a psychology professor at the University of California, San Diego, assessed why some adults choose to be untruthful. To solve the question, Heyman studied when and why individuals first begin lying during their upbringing. The psychologist explains her experiment:
We invited young children to play a simple game they could win only by deceiving their opponent: Children who told the truth won treats for the experimenter and those who lied won treats for themselves.
The participants realized that insincere behaviors could lead to reward, which encouraged them to continue fibbing. Surprisingly, Heyman uncovered that the earlier in life children begin to lie, the greater their strategizing capacities in adulthood, as described by Neuroscience News. The ability to proclaim falsehood seemingly correlates to increased critical thinking skills. This relationship might explain why certain careers, such as politics and law, tend to attract dishonest individuals.
Learning to be devious is often essential for excelling in many competitive fields. According to the American Bar Association, lawyers have significant critical thinking and manipulation abilities. The researcher’s findings do not indicate that fraudulence will lead to youth becoming future lawyers, however, but it may signify a necessity for educating children on devious practices to foster creative thinking skills. Furthermore, disingenuousness is certainly not a characteristic to encourage. Many professions abuse dishonestly, causing corruption, as is the case for numerous politicians, according to Emerald Publishing.
Although learning to deceive can be beneficial, it could also contribute to enabling widespread fraud. Through increased training on manipulative practices, we may strengthen our youth’s creative thinking and strategizing capabilities. What do our readers believe? Could untruthfulness lead to positive qualities, as Heyman suggests?