Youth Are Our Best Liars

Young people are better liars than old people?  That is exactly what Science Alert is reporting.

A New Zealand study at the University of Otago has found that older people find it harder to lie more convincingly than younger people.  What’s more is that not only do they have trouble lying but find it difficult to detect when others are lying.

The researchers believe that the latter is due to age-related decline in emotion recognition.  The ability to lie uses certain parts of the brain that are connected to memory and planning ability, which for most naturally declines with age.

An interesting fact, according to associate professor Jamin Halberstadt is that both young and older listeners found it easier to differentiate truths and lies when the speaker was an older adult.

Previous research recognized that micro-expressions play a key role in detecting lies.  Halberstadt expounds upon this, “Emotion recognition also involves auditory and body-language aspects, so the giveaway signals might additionally or instead, be heard in the voice or seen in emotions expressed through the body.  We still don’t know what exactly allows listeners to correctly detect lies, although we know that people can differentiate lies and truth at a rate above chance level – though they are far from perfect.” also reported that this research could help explain why older people might be more susceptible to con artists and scams than younger people.

They also went on to state that Janice Murray a member of the research team presented the findings at the Association of Psychological Science’s convention in Washington, D.C.   The team’s findings are also being published in the US journal Psychology and Aging.

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