If your kid is lying about his or her grades, it might not be a bad thing.
Lying isn’t generally good for your health. It can be exhausting—when someone tells a lie, their mannerisms will reveal stress (that’s what lie detector tests are meant to pick up on), and keeping a longterm secret can be mentally exhausting. Turns out, though, that in some circumstances lying can actually be good for you, The New York Times reports.
Interestingly, students who inflate their grade point average seem free of the anxiety that generally accompanies other tall tales. In one study, while it was shown almost half of those surveyed had exaggerated their grades by as much as six-tenths of a point, they appeared calm and relaxed when fibbing. What’s more, students who exaggerate their grades will often live up to the lie—raising their marks to the very amount they claimed them to be. In that way, these lies may less an attempt to deceive, than an expression of the student’s own aspirations, researchers note.
“It’s important to emphasize that the motives driving academic exaggeration seem to be personal and ‘intrapsychic’ rather than public or interpersonal,” Richard H. Gramzow, a psychologist at the University of Southampton in England who worked on these studies, told the paper. “Basically, exaggeration here reflects positive goals for the future, and we have found that those goals tend to be realized.”