In addition to enabling animals to fool predators, deception also helps members of a species to compete against one another for needed resources. "Humans are doing the same thing."
We also know that humans display the ability to deceive at an early age.
A 2007 study by Vasudevi Reddy, a psychologist at the University of Portsmouth in Great Britain, found that babies as young as 6 months feigned distress by crying in order to get attention from their mothers, and actually paused to see whether their mothers responded before crying again.
"We are not born liars, but we're born with the abilities we need to lie effectively, so that when the time comes, we can use them," said Lee, who also has studied young children's use of falsehoods. Those innate skills, he said, include the ability to control our own behavior, and the ability to perceive others' reactions and infer what is going on in their minds.
Lee has found in his research that by age 12, nearly all children lie, though the proportion of deceivers drops off to about 70 percent by age 16.