Psychologists in New Zealand did a research study in an effort to explain exactly why older individuals were more likely to be taken advantage of by scams than younger people. In their results, the team of psychologists of the University of Otago found that the reason was that older people weren’t as good at lying as younger people, and were subsequently also worse at detecting the lies of others.
To come to these results, the Department of Psychology did tests to compare the deception skills of 60 individuals between the ages of 21 and 71. They were shown videos of 20 people telling either their true or false feelings regarding issues like human stem cell research and factory farming.
Ten of the speakers were 30 or younger, and the other ten were older than 60, and two clips of each speaker were shown to the participants: one truthful and one false. The listeners were asked to identify whether each person in the video was telling the truth or lying. They also did tests that required them to identify emotional expressions and ages of different faces.
“It could be that older people are less convincing liars because the kinds of cognitive abilities required for successful deceit are also those that tend to deteriorate with age”, said Profesor Jamin Halberstad in a statement.