Researchers at Texas State University claim that adults judge brutally honest children who tell blunt truths. The study is published in the Journal of Moral Education.
The researchers showed 267 adult participants videos of children telling the truth or lies in various social situations. The children, aged 6–15 years, acted out four variations of ‘blunt’ or ‘subtle’ lies or truths.
After watching each video, the participants completed questionnaires rating the children’s character, trustworthiness, kindness, reliability, competence, likeability, honesty, intelligence, and reward/punishment for the children’s behavior.
The results revealed that adults judged the blunt truth-tellers more harshly than those who lied vaguely or politely.
The lead author, Dr. Laure Brimbal, elaborated: “What our results reveal is that children are learning about honesty in a quite complicated environment. It appears to be an important social skill to lie to fit in with other’s expectations, but this is in despite of potential conflicting messages from their adult caregivers that it is wrong to lie.”
To Know More You May Refer To
Brimbal, L., & Crossman, A. M. (2022). Inconvenient truth-tellers: Perceptions of children’s blunt honesty. Journal of Moral Education, 1–16. https://doi.org/10.1080/03057240.2022.2109606