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ERIC Number: EJ911975
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011-Jan
Pages: 6
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 29
ISSN: ISSN-0012-1649
Young Children's Emerging Ability to Make False Statements
Ahern, Elizabeth C.; Lyon, Thomas D.; Quas, Jodi A.
Developmental Psychology, v47 n1 p61-66 Jan 2011
This study examined the origins of children's ability to make consciously false statements, a necessary component of lying. Children 2 to 5 years of age were rewarded for claiming that they saw a picture of a bird when viewing pictures of fish. They were asked outcome questions ("Do you win/lose?"), recognition questions ("Do you have a bird/fish?"), and recall questions ("What do you have?"), which were hypothesized to vary in difficulty depending on the need for consciousness of falsity (less for outcome questions) and self-generation of an appropriate response (more for recall questions). The youngest children (2 1/2 to 3 1/2 years old) were above chance on outcome questions, but it was not until age 3 1/2 that children performed above chance on recognition questions or were capable of maintaining false claims across question types. Findings have implications for understanding the emergence of deception in young children. (Contains 2 tables and 1 figure.)
American Psychological Association. Journals Department, 750 First Street NE, Washington, DC 20002-4242. Tel: 800-374-2721; Tel: 202-336-5510; Fax: 202-336-5502; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A