Publication details [#62179]

Renaud, Sarah-Jane, Victoria Talwar, Shanna Mary Williams, Cindy Arruda and Christine Saykaly. 2016. Children’s Evaluations of Tattles, Confessions, Prosocial and Antisocial Lies. International Review of Pragmatics 8 (2) : 334–352.
Publication type
Article in journal
Publication language
Place, Publisher
Cambridge University Press


Lie-telling is an untrue verbal statement, made with the intention to deceive another, for selfish or prosocial reasons. In the present experiment children (6- to 12-years old) regarded 12 vignettes which portrayed a protagonist either telling a truth or a lie, thereby harming another or himself. The children offered a moral evaluation and a classification of the protagonist’s statements. Additionally, a novel assessing method was implemented, whereby children judged communicative intent as an act, to be recompensed or rebuked. Results point out the striking differences in children’s perceptions of diverse forms of sincerity and lying.