Behavioural experts have found that infants begin to lie from as young as six months. Simple fibs help to train them for more complex deceptions in later life.
Infants quickly learnt that using tactics such as fake crying and pretend laughing could win them attention. By eight months, more difficult deceptions became apparent, such as concealing forbidden activities or trying to distract parents’ attention. —Richard Gray — Babies not as innocent as they pretend (Telegraph)
Is “fake crying” really the same thing as “lying”? It’s a form of communication that serves a social purpose, like saying “thank you” when you don’t really feel grateful.
It seems like the real news here is not that researchers discovered new details about cognitive development, but rather the application of a new shading for the concept of deception.
I guess it’s a little late for a link to the Will Farrell baby landlord skit, but finally it seems appropriate.