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Liar, Liar, Working Memory on Fire: Investigating the Role of Working Memory in Childhood Verbal Deception

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)30-38
JournalJournal of Experimental Child Psychology
DateAccepted/In press - 2015
DatePublished (current) - 1 Sep 2015


The aim of the present study was to investigate the role of working memory in verbal deception in children. We presented six-to seven-year-olds with a temptation resistance paradigm—they played a trivia game and were then given an opportunity to peek at the final answers on the back of a card. Measures of both verbal and visuo-spatial working memory were included. The good liars performed better in the verbal working memory test in both processing and recall, compared to the bad liars. However, there was no difference in visuo-spatial working scores between good and bad liars. This pattern suggests that verbal working memory plays a role in processing and manipulating the multiple pieces of information involved in lie-telling.

    Research areas

  • Deception, Lying, Verbal working memory, Visuo-spatial working memory, Semantic leakage, Second-order belief



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