From Kantian to Machiavellian deceivers: Development of children’s reasoning and self-reported use of secrets and lies

Jennifer Lavoie*, Pooja Megha Nagar, Victoria Talwar

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

This article examines developmental differences in children’s reasoning about secrecy and lying as well as their use of these behaviors in two studies. Study 1 explored children’s (N = 66, 8–15 years) reasoning about the circumstances in which secrecy and lying are acceptable. Study 2 analyzed children’s (N = 50, 8–15 years) actual reported daily frequency of secrets and lies in relation to maladaptive behavior problems. Overall, findings suggest that children’s motivations for secrecy and lying become more nuanced, and seemingly utilitarian, with age, and that children’s use of concealment may be an adaptive tool that facilitates social relationships.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)197-211
Number of pages15
JournalChildhood: A journal of global child research
Volume24
Issue number2
Early online date16 Oct 2016
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2017

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • adolescents
  • children
  • concealment
  • lies
  • secrets

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