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Importance Of Deception In Children

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A DISCUSSION OF THE DEVELOPMENT OF DECEPTION IN CHILDREN AND THE IMPLICATIONS OF DECEPTIVE BEHAVIOUR FOR CHILD TESTIMONY IN COURT:

I. INTRODUCTION:

In the words of Thomas Jefferson: “He who permits himself to tell a lie once, finds it much easier to do it a second and a third time, until eventually it becomes a habit.” Whether it is just a casual “white lie” or a complex fraudulent scheme, most people engage in deceptive behaviour at some point in their lives. Deceptive behaviour develops as a child matures and it eventually becomes a more common and thought-out process, which makes the ability to recognise deception quite useful. It is important to understand a child’s understanding and use of deception as children are often involved in the legal system, as victims, witnesses, or offenders, and the perceived credibility of a child often has a deciding effect on the outcome of a legal case. This essay will define the nature of deception in children by considering how children understand and use deception, while also discussing how children develop deceptive skills, and explain how various factors influence their actual deceptive behaviour. In addition, this essay will also explore the ability of adults to detect deceptive behaviour in children and will further comment on how the credibility of the
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A more pro-social type of deceptive behaviour can include using deception to benefit other individuals, such as lying to someone to comfort them or to spare them from knowing a harsh truth. In contrast, some children could be motivated to act deceptively solely to exhibit anti-social behaviour, which often has the intention of hurting someone deliberately (Buller, Burgoon, Buslig, & Roiger,
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