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ERIC Number: EJ911976
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011-Jan
Pages: 11
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 53
ISSN: ISSN-0012-1649
When All Signs Point to You: Lies Told in the Face of Evidence
Evans, Angela D.; Xu, Fen; Lee, Kang
Developmental Psychology, v47 n1 p39-49 Jan 2011
Young children's ability to tell a strategic lie by making it consistent with the physical evidence of their transgression was investigated along with the sociocognitive correlates of such lie-telling behaviors. In Experiment 1, 247 Chinese children between 3 and 5 years of age (126 boys) were left alone in a room and asked not to lift a cup to see the contents. If children lifted up the cup, the contents would be spilled and evidence of their transgression would be left behind. Upon returning to the room, the experimenter asked children whether they peeked and how the contents of the cup ended up on the table. Experiment 1 revealed that young children are able to tell strategic lies to be consistent with the physical evidence by about 4 or 5 years of age, and this ability increases in sophistication with age. Experiment 2, which included 252 Chinese 4-year-olds (127 boys), identified 2 sociocognitive factors related to children's ability to tell strategic lies. Specifically, both children's theory-of-mind understanding and inhibitory control skills were significantly related to their ability to tell strategic lies in the face of physical evidence. The present investigation reveals that contrary to the prevailing views, even young children are able to tell strategic lies in some contexts. (Contains 5 tables and 1 figure.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: China