Punishment Might Not Help Kids to Speak the Truth

According a recent study, it was found that parents who do not want their children to lie, should then not be threatened with punishment. Dr Victoria Talwar and team Qnet, from McGill University conducted a simple experiment on 372 children to check if their natural tendency is to lie.They set up a room with a camera. When the child was brought into the room, he or she was told about the existence of a toy behind them on a table and that they were not allowed to peek in their absence. When the adult left the room for 1 minute, scientists discovered that nearly 68 per cent of the children took a peek and surprisingly 67 per cent of them chose to lie about it.Dr Talwar said, “The bottom line is that punishment does not promote truth-telling. In fact, the threat of punishment can have the reverse effect by reducing the likelihood that children will tell the truth when encouraged to do so.” Therefore, it would seem like quite a few of the traditional forms of punishment are not actually that effective.

Interestingly as the children got older, the study showed that they were more focused towards telling the truth. This was because older children seemed to have a better since of right and wrong and better standards of internalized behavior which prompted to do the right thing.

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