This research was supported by two separate grants from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada to the authors and National Institute of Child Health and Human Development R01 HD047290 and R01 HD048962 to the second author.
Social and Cognitive Correlates of Children’s Lying Behavior
Article first published online: 14 JUL 2008
© 2008, Copyright the Author(s); Journal Compilation © 2008, Society for Research in Child Development, Inc.
Volume 79, Issue 4, pages 866–881, July/August 2008
How to Cite
Talwar, V. and Lee, K. (2008), Social and Cognitive Correlates of Children’s Lying Behavior. Child Development, 79: 866–881. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-8624.2008.01164.x
- Issue published online: 14 JUL 2008
- Article first published online: 14 JUL 2008
The relation between children’s lie-telling and their social and cognitive development was examined. Children (3–8 years) were told not to peek at a toy. Most children peeked and later lied about peeking. Children’s subsequent verbal statements were not always consistent with their initial denial and leaked critical information revealing their deceit. Children’s conceptual moral understanding of lies, executive functioning, and theory-of-mind understanding were also assessed. Children’s initial false denials were related to their first-order belief understanding and their inhibitory control. Children’s ability to maintain their lies was related to their second-order belief understanding. Children’s lying was related to their moral evaluations. These findings suggest that social and cognitive factors may play an important role in children’s lie-telling abilities.