Children's categorization and evaluation of different types of lies and truths

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This study investigated the ability of children from three age groups (4, 8, and 11 years of age; N = 72) to categorize three different types of intentionally false and true statements as lies and truths, and also measured their evaluation of such statements. Results revealed that the older children were more likely to categorize false statements as lies and true statments as truths than were the 4-year-olds. all children evaluated telling lies as worse than telling truths. Antisocial lies were rated as the most serious lie type and "white lies" as the least serious. Anticipated regulatory control was more advanced for the 8-and 11-year-olds, who expected both self-approval for truth-telling and self-disapproval for lying for two of the three truth and lie types; the younger children did not anticipate greater self-approval for truth-teeling and self-dispproval for lying for any of the truth and lie types.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1338-1347
Number of pages10
JournalChild Development
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Nov 1999

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