Never Fib to Your Little One: Lying Parents Inspire Children to Tell More Lies and Cheat, Says Study
By Roshni Mahesh | March 21, 2014 9:46 PM EST
The small, harmless lies parents often tell their little ones may have a greater impact on the child, than what was originally thought to be.
jintae kim's photography/
A new study from the University of California, San Diego found that lying to a child can cause severe damages to his/her honesty.
A new study from the University of California, San Diego found that lying to a child can cause severe damages to his/her honesty. In the study, children who were lied to by an adult lied and cheated more than the children who were not exposed to lies.
Nearly 186 children, aged between three and seven, took part in the study. At the beginning of the study, the experimenter told 143 children that a huge bowl of candy was awaiting them in the next room, shortly revealing to them that it was a trick to lure them to play a game. The rest of the children were asked to take part in games, without offering the candies.
The game involved identifying certain character toys by listening to their sounds. During the games, the experimenter left children alone in the room for 90 seconds, pretending to attend a phone call. While leaving the room, the children were particularly warned against peeking at the mysterious toy that was making the sound.
Nearly 80 percent of the children (aged between five and seven) who had been lied to by the experimenter peeked at the tricky temptation toy, while 90 percent of them even hid the fact that they did so, compared to the children who were not lied to at the beginning of the experiment.
Though the study could not underline the factors that led to this occurrence, researchers cited three possibilities: the tendency of a child to imitate adult behaviour, the child's attempt to make certain judgments about the importance of honesty to the experimenter, or the child may not be feeling the necessity to tell truth to a person who is already a liar in their eyes.
Concerned with their findings, Leslie Carver and her student Chelsea Hays urged parents to be more careful while handling their little ones.
"The actions of parents suggest that they do not believe that the lies they tell their children will impact the child's own honesty. The current study casts doubt on that belief," the authors wrote, according to a news release.
"All sorts of grown-ups may have to re-examine what they say to kids. Even a 'little white lie' might have consequences," Carver added.
Findings of the study have been published in Developmental Science.
To contact the editor, e-mail:
Most Popular Slideshows
- NFL MNF: Pittsburgh Steelers 30, Houston Texans 23 [PHOTOS]
- 2014 MLB World Series Game 1: San Francisco Giants 7, Kansas City Royals 1 [PHOTOS]
- 2014 MLB World Series - Game 2: Kansas City Royals 7, San Francisco Giants 2 [PHOTOS]
- NFL Thursday Recap - Denver Broncos 35, San Diego Chargers 21: Peyton Manning Has 3 TDs In Easy Win [PHOTOS]
Join the Conversation
- Kate Middleton Back To Herself After Struggling With Hyperemesis Gravidarum
- Ebola Vaccine: Johnson & Johnson Confident Of Human Trials In January And Market Delivery in May Next Year
- 12 Terrifyingly Healthy Halloween Treats
- New York Doctor Tests Positive For Ebola
- ‘Death Sentence’ For 50,000 Australians With The Refusal Of Costly Hep C Treatment
- Xiaomi Redmi 1S vs. Sharp Aquos Crystal – Specifications, Features And Price Showdown
- ASUS Releases A Teaser Indicating The Arrival of New Zenfone and ZenWatch On October 28
- Boy Stoned To Death For Alleged Rape, Victim Receives Dowry From Militants
- Update HTC One M7 with LG G2 with Android 4.4.2 as Sprint OTA: Fixes and Installation
- Verizon Motorola Droid Turbo Leaked Live Images Surfaces, Scheduled To Get Unveiled On Oct 28
- Three Dual SIM Samsung Galaxy Note 4 Duos Variants Comes To China
- Russia is Creating Underwater Combat Robots to Protect its Arctic Territories