Questions for ‘Lying won’t stretch your nose, but it will steal some brain power’

A Pinocchio doll sits on a shelf

Like Pinocchio, everyone sometimes tells a lie. Most people don’t lie often, science finds. But research shows that even small lies can take a toll on your brain.

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To accompany ‘Lying won’t stretch your nose, but it will steal some brain power


Before Reading:

  1. Think of a time when you told a lie. What was the reason? How did telling that lie make you feel? What did you have to do to prevent your lie from being found out?
  2. Was your lie discovered? If so, did that affect your relationship with the person or people you lied to?

During Reading:

  1.  What has Timothy Levine’s research shown about how often people lie?
  2.  What are prosocial lies? What are altruistic lies?
  3.  What is the prefrontal cortex, and how is it involved in lying?
  4.  What are executive function tasks? How are they involved in lying?
  5.  Why is lying especially challenging for young people, according to Jennifer Vendemia?
  6.  What are lifespan lies and how can they affect someone’s mental resources?
  7.  What has research shown about the risks of prosocial lies?
  8.  What have Neil Garrett and his colleagues discovered about how the brain adapts to lying over time?
  9.  How can people cultivate a culture of honesty?

After Reading:

  1.  Consider the mental and social risks of lying discussed in this story. How might that information influence your likelihood to lie in the future? Why?
  2.  What are a few ways that building a culture of honesty could positively influence your life and community?