Want your kids to be better liars? Punish them. [Jezebel]

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Punishment Just Teaches Kids To Be Better Liars

Screaming at your toddler for finger-painting your computer won’t deter future acts of deviant self-expression, but it will probably help her tell a more convincing lie in ten years about the missing vodka in your liquor cabinet.

In a study most likely funded by crafty, far-sighted children hoping to dissuade stern parents from punishing them, researchers Victoria Talwar and Kang Lee explored how an environment with lots of punishment affects lying tendencies in 3 and 4 year-old children by presenting children at two West African preschools — one of which uses corporeal punishment — with a tempting opportunity to tell a lie about taking a forbidden peek at a toy.

According to the Art Markman of the Huffington Post, the researchers placed a toy in a room behind a child, giving that child instructions not to turn around and look, which of course most of the kids did either because toddlers are notoriously lacking in self-discipline or because Pixar’s tales of toy animus have been so widely dispersed that children on every continent are now terrified of being alone in a room with a toy that might come to life and demand to be played with.

In the school that used corporeal punishment, a whopping 90% of the kids lied about looking at the toy, whereas only about half the kids at the more placid school told the same, self-preserving fib. “Of course,” writes Markman, probably because he’s never seen Problem Child, “young children are often bad liars.”

Read the rest of the article at Jezebel.com…

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