How do we combat lies in the age of social media? By admitting them. Use #LastLieITold to join the conversation.
Update, June 9: Preliminary results from this quiz have yeilded interesting insights into our readers. Among National Geographic readers who took this quiz, honest adults seem to be the norm.
If you have spoken to a teenager recently, there's a chance you were lied to—or at least a higher chance you were lied to than if you spoke with someone over 60.
Broken down demographically, age accounts for one of the most significant variables in determing a person's propensity to lie. As cognitive function develops in children, so does their ability to tell lies. Lying peaks in adolescence when children begin to test their independence. As a person ages, lying declines in acceptance, and adults begin to lie less and for different reasons than their adolescence. (Take this quiz to find out how science defines why you lie.)
A 2010 survey conducted among 1,000 U.S. adults determined the frequency at which people lie over a 24-hour period. The survey found that, during a given day, the majority of lies are told by a relatively small portion of the population. Sixty percent of people reported telling no lies at all.
Kim Serota, one of the study's authors and co-author of a 2015 study on lying, commented in an email with National Geographic that for those who claimed to have told no lies, when asked if that had lied in the previous week, 92 percent admitted they had.
Answer the two questions above to discover if you lie more, less, or about as often as someone in your age range. Combine different age brackets with lying frequencies to see what's typical for children, adolescents, adults, and seniors.