Study on Santa Claus finds most kids pretend to believe the myth

Just in time for Christmas comes a new international survey on belief in Santa Claus. According to the survey, which sought to determine at what age people lost their belief, kids don't take long to figure out the truth. As well, the survey found that many adults wish they believed in Santa and many kids pretend to believe even after learning the truth.

The study was conducted by the University of Exeter's psychology professor Chris Boyle, who surveyed people around the globe. Based on 1,200 responses from volunteers, 50-percent of people are content not believing in Santa, but 34-percent wished they still had their belief.

As well, 34-percent of those surveyed reported that belief in Santa as a child had improved their behavior, but nearly half reported no improvements based on their belief. It didn't take long for these people to discover the truth about Father Christmas, either, with the mean age at which they stopped believing being only 8-years-old.

Of note, the survey found a difference between responses from England versus Scotland — people in Scotland were more likely to consider it okay to lie to kids about Santa versus people in England, the latter of whom lost their belief at a slightly younger age.

Despite losing the belief at a young age, 65-percent of people said they continued to pretend to believe as children. Only a third of those surveyed reported being upset upon discovering the truth, while 30-percent said discovering the truth had harmed their trust of adults. Despite that, 72-percent of all parents surveyed reported being okay with — and even happy about — telling their kids about Santa.