JAN 21, 2013—Almost everyone teaches their children that lying is always wrong. But the vast majority of parents lie to their children in order to get them to behave, according to new research published in the International Journal of Psychology.
The study by Gail Heyman of the University of California-San Diego and her colleagues found certain variations but generally similar trends in the way parents from the US and China use the slippery concept of ‘truth’ to their advantage:
The percentage of parents who reported lying to their children for the purpose of getting them to behave appropriately was higher in China (98%) than in the U.S. (84%), but rates for other types of lies were similar between the two countries. A possible explanation for this difference is that Chinese parents are more likely than in the U.S. to demand compliance from their kids, and will go to greater lengths to make it happen. But are there negative side effects?
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