Can you really tell if a kid is lying? | Kang Lee | Summary and Q&A

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June 8, 2016
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Can you really tell if a kid is lying? | Kang Lee

TL;DR

In this talk, the speaker explores the topic of children and lying, challenging common beliefs and presenting research findings on when and why children lie.

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Key Insights

  • ๐Ÿ‘ง Children start lying at a young age, with 30% lying at two years old, 50% at three years old, and over 80% lying at four years old.
  • ๐Ÿค” Lying is a typical part of development and indicates advanced mind-reading and self-control abilities in young children.
  • ๐Ÿ”Ž Adults, including professionals like judges and police officers, struggle to detect children's lies, with accuracy levels around chance.
  • ๐Ÿ‘ถ Children's facial expressions are often neutral when they lie, making it difficult to detect their deception.
  • ๐Ÿ–ผ๏ธ Transdermal optical imaging technology can detect subtle changes in facial blood flow, enabling the detection of hidden emotions associated with lying with 85% accuracy.
  • ๐Ÿ’ผ This technology has various potential applications, including education, healthcare, politics, marketing research, and dating.
  • ๐Ÿ“š It can help teachers identify students experiencing anxiety and assist in providing personalized support.
  • ๐Ÿง  It can be used in healthcare to monitor factors such as heart rate, stress levels, and mood, as well as assess the risk of certain health conditions like heart attack or hypertension.

Transcript

Hi. Let me ask the audience a question: Did you ever lie as a child? If you did, could you please raise your hand? Wow! This is the most honest group of people I've ever met. (Laughter) So for the last 20 years, I've been studying how children learn to tell lies. And today, I'm going to share with you some of the discoveries we have made. But to be... Read More

Questions & Answers

Q: What are three common beliefs about children and lying?

The three common beliefs about children and lying are: 1) Children only start lying after entering elementary school, 2) Children are poor liars and adults can easily detect their lies, and 3) If children lie at a young age, they must have character flaws and will become pathological liars later in life.

Q: At what age do children start lying?

Children can start lying as young as two years old. At the age of two, about 30% of children lie, and this percentage increases as they get older. By four years old, more than 80% of children lie.

Q: What are the two key ingredients for good lying?

The two key ingredients for good lying are theory of mind, which is the ability to understand that different people have different knowledge, and self-control, which is the ability to control speech, facial expressions, and body language to tell a convincing lie. These abilities are important for both lying and functioning well in society.

Q: Can adults easily detect children's lies?

No, adults, including undergraduate and law school students, social workers, child-protection lawyers, judges, customs officers, police officers, and even parents, cannot easily detect children's lies. In studies where adults were asked to determine if children were lying or telling the truth, their accuracy was around chance level, suggesting they are not good at detecting children's lies.

Q: How can facial blood flow changes be used to detect lies?

By using transdermal optical imaging, facial blood flow changes can be detected when people experience various hidden emotions, such as lying. This technology uses a regular video camera to record people's facial expressions and then extracts transdermal images of facial blood flow changes using image processing. These changes can reveal hidden emotions associated with lying and detect people's lies with an accuracy of about 85%.

Summary

In this video, the speaker discusses his research on how children learn to tell lies. He challenges common beliefs about children and lying, and shares his findings on when children start lying and why some children lie earlier than others. He also explores the difficulty of detecting children's lies and introduces a new imaging technology that can reveal hidden emotions associated with lying. The speaker discusses potential applications of this technology, including in education, healthcare, marketing research, and even dating.

Questions & Answers

Q: What are the three common beliefs about children and lying that the speaker challenges?

The three common beliefs about children and lying that the speaker challenges are: 1) Children only start telling lies after entering elementary school, 2) Children are poor liars and adults can easily detect their lies, and 3) If children lie at a young age, it indicates character flaws and they will become pathological liars for life.

Q: In the guessing game with children, what percentage of two-year-olds confess to peeking when asked?

In the guessing game, approximately 30 percent of two-year-olds confess to peeking when asked.

Q: What are the two key ingredients for good lying?

The two key ingredients for good lying are theory of mind (mind-reading ability) and self-control. Theory of mind is the ability to understand that different people have different knowledge and to differentiate between what I know and what you know. Self-control is the ability to control speech, facial expression, and body language to tell a convincing lie.

Q: How are theory of mind and self-control abilities related to lying?

Theory of mind and self-control abilities are not only important for lying but also essential for overall development and functioning in society. Advanced mind-reading and self-control abilities enable children to tell lies at an earlier age and to be more sophisticated liars.

Q: Can adults easily detect children's lies?

No, adults, including undergrads, law school students, social workers, child-protection lawyers, judges, customs officers, police officers, and even parents, cannot easily detect children's lies. When shown videos of children lying and telling the truth, their accuracy in detecting lies is around chance level (50 percent).

Q: How does the speaker's technology, transdermal optical imaging, detect hidden emotions associated with lying?

Transdermal optical imaging uses a regular video camera to record people's faces and capture facial blood flow changes associated with hidden emotions. These changes are regulated by the autonomic system and too subtle to be detected by the naked eye. Through image processing technology, transdermal video images can reveal the hidden emotions associated with lying.

Q: Besides detecting lies, what other applications does the speaker propose for transdermal optical imaging technology?

The speaker proposes several potential applications for transdermal optical imaging technology. It can be used in education to help identify students who may experience high anxiety about certain topics. In healthcare, it can monitor heart rate, stress levels, mood, and even risks for heart attack or hypertension of individuals remotely, such as aging parents. It can also be used in marketing research to determine people's preferences for consumer products and even in dating to assess genuine interest or politeness.

Takeaways

Lying is a typical part of children's development, and some children start lying as early as two years of age. Theory of mind and self-control abilities play a crucial role in a child's ability to lie. Contrary to common beliefs, adults, including professionals like judges and parents, are not good at detecting children's lies. The speaker's transdermal optical imaging technology can reveal hidden emotions associated with lying and has potential applications in various fields. The technology can greatly improve lie detection accuracy and open up new possibilities for understanding emotions and behavior. Lying will never be the same again.

Summary & Key Takeaways

  • Children start lying at a young age, with 30% lying at 2 years old and over 80% lying at 4 years old.

  • Lying requires theory of mind and self-control, which are important for development and functioning in society.

  • People are not good at detecting children's lies, but a new imaging technology called transdermal optical imaging can reveal hidden emotions associated with lying with 85% accuracy.

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