Contexts of lying

About the Project

There is a general disapproval of lying in society; yet, many people tell a lie to their neighbors, loved ones, or child every once in a while. Often, these lies are not told to benefit oneself (egoistic lies) but to benefit the other person (prosocial lies) – for instance, when you lie that you like a gift that you have received. In this project, I collaborate with Texas State University in a cross-national study (The Netherlands and the US) on the influence of social contexts on people’s tendency to tell prosocial lies. This project will identify to whom and about what people tend to lie, and whether that differs between the two countries. Are people more inclined to tell the truth to children, or do they tend to tell prosocial lies to spare their feelings? And what do parents teach their children about the value of truths and lying?


Lying in families




Principal Investigator


Erasmus University Rotterdam
(Support Programme National and International Projects)


Dr. Katherine Rice Warnell (Texas State University)
Dr. Jennifer M. Clegg-Petz (Texas State University)


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