Recent research by Dr. Victoria Talwar, Director of the Talwar Research Team, was the topic of an article published by The Loop about children's lying habits. Professor Talwar recounts the findings of her Peeping Game experiment, conducted at two schools in West Africa, which employs a hidden camera to ascertain whether children are lying or not.
“The bottom line is that punishment does not promote truth-telling,” Talwar said in part. “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."
Dr. Victoria Talwar is a Canada Research Chair (II) and an Associate Professor at McGill University. She has been working in the area of developmental psychology for over fifteen years with an emphasis on social-cognitive development. Her research interests include children’s verbal deception, children’s moral development, theory-of-mind understanding and behaviour; children’s expressive display rule knowledge and behaviour. In addition, she has investigated issues related to child witness testimony including child witness credibility and competence, lie detection and jury decision making. She is also interested in the influence of cross-cultural factors and attitudes to lying behaviour. Recently, her research interests include children’s social interactions in cyberspace as well as the role of spirituality in children’s social development.