Intelligence and Rule-Breaking Deception

Smart kids lie 100% of the time?

Q: More intelligent children tend to be more deceptive—can you explain this?
A: The experiment was simplicity itself. A child is asked to sit facing away from a box. The experimenter puts something in the box and says “Do not peek, do not peek” and then leaves the room. Most children peek. The experimenter returns and asks, “Did you peek?” Most children lie—but they do so the more frequently the brighter they are, as judged by a simple cognitive test. If your child is especially bright, he or she lies 100 percent of the time, slow 65 percent of the time. The same thing is true for health at birth. The healthier you are the more apt you are to lie 4 years later.

—I wonder if fear of reprisal factors into that experiment?—

Curt Doolittle

I actually think it’s **awareness of harm**. The child does not obey rules so much as the single rule of doing no harm.

The dumber the child the less certain he is that he does no harm. The smarter the more certain he is that he does no harm.

This matches the 5 or 6 personality type measures that most of the field relies upon: what we call many things but what I learned as ‘blame avoidance’ or ‘fear of harm’ or ‘fear of retaliation’.

I have been criticized my entire life, from childhood to the present for having no respect for rules. I’ve said, I think since I was 13? that “rules are for people who need them”.

we only need one rule: do no harm. Or more correctly: impose no cost upon property en toto of others. Or epistemologically stated: impose no cost except upon that proerty-en-toto which you know to be yours.

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