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Social preferences and lying aversion in children

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  • Valeria Maggian

    (Università degli Studi di Milano-Bicocca - UNIVERSITÀ DEGLI STUDI DI MILANO-BICOCCA)

  • Marie Claire Villeval

    ()
    (GATE Lyon Saint-Étienne - Groupe d'analyse et de théorie économique - CNRS : UMR5824 - Université Lumière - Lyon II - École Normale Supérieure (ENS) - Lyon - PRES Université de Lyon - Université Jean Monnet - Saint-Etienne - Université Claude Bernard - Lyon I)

Abstract

While previous research has shown that social preferences develop in childhood, we study whether this development is accompanied by reduced use of deception when lies would harm others, and increased use of deception to benefit others. In a sample of children aged between 7 and 14, we find strong aversion to lying at all ages. Lying is driven mainly by selfish motives and envy. Children with stronger social preferences are less prone to deception, even when lying would benefit others at no monetary cost. Older children lie less than younger children and require more selfjustification to lie.

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Paper provided by HAL in its series Working Papers with number halshs-00924980.

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Date of creation: 07 Jan 2014
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Handle: RePEc:hal:wpaper:halshs-00924980

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Keywords: Lie aversion; deception; social preferences; children; experiment;

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