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The present study explored the relations among lie-telling ability, false belief understanding, and verbal mental age. We found that children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), like typically developing children, can and do tell antisocial lies (to conceal a transgression) and white lies (in politeness settings). However, children with ASD were less able than typically developing children to cover up their initial lie; that is, children with ASD had difficulty exercising semantic leakage control—the ability to maintain consistency between their initial lie and subsequent statements. Furthermore, unlike in typically developing children, lie-telling ability in children with ASD was not found to be related to their false belief understanding. Future research should examine the underlying processes by which children with ASD tell lies.
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- Exploring the Ability to Deceive in Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders
Annie S. Li
Elizabeth A. Kelley
Angela D. Evans
- Springer US