Honesty is the best policy for over 60s 31



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Which generation is more trustworthy when it comes to telling the truth?

Maybe you pride yourself on never telling lies – even if it’s to save someone’s feelings, or perhaps you feel there are degrees of honesty and, while you would never knowingly lie, you may bend the truth to save someone’s feelings….”Yes, your new new hair cut is very, very short but it looks very smart” (Translation – it doesn’t do you any favours, but there is no point in telling the truth because you can’t do much about it and it will grow out!)

According to the first study into age-related dishonesty, teenagers bend the truth more than any other generation. They tell fibs more frequently and more skilfully, the researchers found.

The study results are published in a paper entitled From Junior to Senior Pinocchio.

Every parent and teacher will have heard all the truth-bending clichés young adults come up with at least twice a day: “No, I don’t have home work”. “Everyone at school has a tattoo” and “Of course I’ll pay you back”.

The study of more than 1000 people aged six to 77 confirm that peak dishonesty occurs in adolescence.

Meanwhile, young children and over 60s are the most honest people in society.

While 50 per cent of middle-aged  people lied, the lowest rates were found in people aged 60 and older. So-called seniors had the lowest daily lie rate – an average of 1.5 lie per day – and 55 per cent told no lies at all.

The scientists say this is because the frequency with which we lie and our ability to get away with it increase to young adulthood then decline with age, possibly because of changes that occur in the brain.

Or is it that with age we grow to value the truth so much more and we would rather just tell it how it is?

The study, published in the journal Acta Psychologica, shows that young adults are, overall, the best liars. It found that lying frequency increased during childhood, peaked in adolescent years, and then decreased into old age, to the point where seniors lie with similar frequency to the youngest children.

Did your kids tell you whoppers when they were younger? Do your grandchildren make you smile with the occasional fib? And how about you? Is it ever okay to tell a lie?

Starts at 60 Writers

The Starts at 60 writers team seek out interesting topics and write them especially for you.

  1. Please people lets have some interesting conversation. Who on earth would want to do a study on people who tell lies in the first place. It seems people are running out of things to talk about. I have one. What type of music do you listen to and when in the day do you listen to it?

    6 REPLY
    • Depends on what I’m doing. Housework music, baking music, Christmas music, relaxing music, driving music. Almost anything except heavy metal and rap. Rap can be quite clever, but I can never understand what they are saying without Google.

    • Thanks Sue for starting the conversation. I play classical music while I am doing housework, baking etc. I can only play it when my husband is at work as he does not like it, especially when I sing along with it, making up my own words if it is being sung in another language.

    • I like big band style for housework. It’s so cheerful. We’ll just have our own sideline conversation 🙂

    • Yes sounds good. I turn it up loud. One side neighbours work the other side I have 20+yo who have their own music on as well

    • I play Cliff Richard when doing my house work but to relax play Andre Reiu. But i have been known to walz around the room to his music.

  2. If your honest the truth can’t come back to haunt you, I think that is applicable to every age but Lyn is right, you would have to be a saint to have never coloured the truth a little

  3. If you start telling fibs, the problem is trying to remember what fibs you told!

  4. I find nothing wrong with telling a porky on occasions. Naturally it depends on the circumstance and with whom I am dealing. I am a firm believer in the age old adages ” a little white lie never hurt anybody” and “What you do not know will not hurt you”

    1 REPLY
    • I agree with you Rod. Those two sayings sum it up

  5. You can’t tell me that there is somebody out there who has never told a white lie, you do that so you don’t upset somebody as long as it does not hurt anybody

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