Influence of social factors on the relation between lie-telling and children's cognitive abilities

Victoria Talwar*, Jennifer Lavoie, Carlos Gomez-Garibello, Angela M. Crossman

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

Lie-telling may be part of a normative developmental process for children. However, little is known about the complex interaction of social and cognitive factors related to this developmental behavior. The current study examined parenting style, maternal exposure to stressors, and children's cognitive abilities in relation to children's antisocial lie-telling behavior in an experimental setting. Children (3–6 years, N = 157) participated in a modified temptation resistance paradigm to elicit spontaneous lies. Results indicate that high authoritative parenting and high inhibitory control interact to predict a lower propensity to lie, but those who did lie had better semantic leakage control. This suggests that although children's lie-telling may be normative during early development, the relation to children's cognitive abilities can be moderated by responsive parenting behaviors that discourage lying.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)185-198
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Experimental Child Psychology
Early online date15 Mar 2017
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2017

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • cognitive ability
  • deception
  • executive functioning
  • lie-telling
  • parenting
  • social environments


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