Students who benefit from a good memory are much better at covering up lies, University of Sheffield researchers have discovered. Experts found a link between verbal memory and covering up lies following a study which investigated the role of working memory in verbal deception amongst children?? The study saw six to seven year old children presented with the opportunity to do something they were instructed not to -peek at the final answers on the back of a card during a trivia game.
A hidden camera and correct answers to the question, which was based on the name of a fictitious cartoon character, enabled the researchers to identify who had peeked, despite denials. Further questioning, including about the colour of the answer on the cards, allowed researchers to identify who was a good liar, by lying to both entrapment questions; or a bad liar, by lying about one or none of the entrapment questions.
During the experiment, researchers from the Universities of Sheffield and North Florida then measured two elements: verbal and visuo-spatial working memory in the children.Verbal working memory is the number of words a person can remember all at the same time. Visuo-spatial working memory is the number of images a person can remember all at the same time.
Results showed that the good liars performed better in the verbal working memory test in both processing and recall, compared to the bad liars.