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Adult Dishonesty makes Children Cheat and Lie: Study

Kids who are lied to by adults are more likely to cheat and lie. This is what a recent study has found, with experts believing that the children in the study may have simply followed in the footsteps of the lying adults.

Helena Rudhart, Australian Tribune, Mar 21, 2014

It was revealed by the study that the behavior of the children for someone they perceived as a liar was completely different. They were highly unlikely to uphold their commitment for such people whom they perceived as a liar. Children between five and seven become more likely to cheat and lie because of adult dishonesty, found the study.

The researchers from University of California, San Diego, said that parents should be careful to ensure they don't say something that may appear as a lie to their children later on because it has psychological effect on children. However, the parents involved in the study were against the belief that lying to their children actually impacts the child's own honesty.

"As far as we know, this is the first experiment confirming what we might have suspected: Lying by an adult affects a child's honesty", Leslie Carver, an associate professor of psychology and human development at the University of California, San Diego Division of Social Sciences, said in a statement.

Carvers said adult dishonesty does not have good implications for children as they become more likely to cheat and lie. The conclusion was drawn after studying 186 children ages 3 to 7 in a temptation-resistance experiment.

In the study, about half of the children were lied to by an experimenter and it was found that 90% of those children also started to cheat and lie compared to 60% of those were not lied to. Study leaders Leslie Carver said that the five to seven-year-olds children seemed to be simply following the footsteps of the adult.

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