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Sometimes it's ok to lie... It oils the wheels of societal interaction and eases emotional pain.
Abstract: The present study examined children's and adults' categorization and moral judgment of truthful and untruthful statements. 7-, 9-and 11-year-old Chinese children and college students read stories in which story characters made truthful or untruthful statements and were asked to classify and evaluate the statements. The statements varied in terms of whether the speaker intended to help or harm a listener and whether the statement was made in a setting that called for informational accuracy or politeness. Results showed that the communicative intent and setting factors jointly influence children's categorization of lying and truth-telling, which extends an earlier finding (Lee & Ross, 1997) to childhood. Also, we found that children's and adults' moral judgments of lying and truth-telling were influenced by the communicative intent but not the setting factor. The present results were discussed in terms of Sweetser's (1987) folkloristic model of lying.
Pub.: 01 Jul '09, Pinned: 08 Mar '17
Abstract: Although there has been extensive research on children's moral knowledge about lying and truth-telling and their actual lie- or truth-telling behaviors, research to examine the relation between these two is extremely rare. This study examined one hundred and twenty 7-, 9-, and 11-year-olds' moral understanding of lies and their actual lying behaviors in a politeness situation. Results revealed that as age increased, children increasingly evaluated others' lying in politeness situations less negatively and were more inclined to tell lies in such situations themselves. Contrary to previous findings, children's sociomoral knowledge about lying was significantly related to their actual behaviors, particularly when children's rationales underlying their moral judgments were consistent with their motives for actual lie- or truth-telling in the politeness situation.
Pub.: 05 May '10, Pinned: 08 Mar '17
Abstract: Authors: Christopher Bennett ; Alex Finch ; Stuart Rennie Article URL: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/15265161.2016.1197342?ai=z4&mi=3fqos0&af=R Citation: The American Journal of Bioethics Publication Date: 2016-07-29T08:03:57Z Journal: American Journal of Bioethics
Pub.: 29 Jul '16, Pinned: 07 Mar '17
Abstract: In reading tasks, words that convey a false statement elicit an enhanced N400 brainwave response, relative to words that convey a true statement. N400 amplitude reductions are generally linked to the online expectancy of upcoming words in discourse. White lies, contrary to false statements, may not be unexpected in social scenarios. We used the event-related potential (ERP) technique to determine whether there is an impact of social context on sentence processing. We measured ERP responses to target words that either conveyed a social "white" lie or a socially impolite blunt truth, relative to semantic violations. Word expectancy was controlled for by equating the cloze probabilities of white lying and blunt true targets, as measured in previous paper-and-pencil tests. We obtained a classic semantic violation effect (a larger N400 for semantic incongruities relative to sense making statements). White lies, in contrast to false statements, did not enhance the amplitude of the N400 component. Interestingly, blunt true statements yielded both a late frontal positivity and an N400 response in those scenarios particularly biased to white lying. Thus, white lies do not interfere with online semantic processing, and they do not engage further reanalysis processes, which are typically indexed by subsequent late positivity ERP effects. Instead, an N400 and a late frontal positivity obtained in response to blunt true statements indicate that they were treated as unexpected events. In conclusion, unwritten rules of social communicative behavior influence the electrical brain response to locally coherent but socially inappropriate statements.
Pub.: 24 Mar '16, Pinned: 07 Mar '17
Abstract: This study used a nonconcurrent multiple baseline across participants design to evaluate the use of rules, role‐play, and feedback for teaching 3 children with autism spectrum disorder to tell socially appropriate lies when (a) presented with an undesired gift and (b) someone's appearance changed in an undesired way. The intervention was effective in teaching use of socially appropriate lies, and generalization to untrained people and gifts or appearances was observed.
Pub.: 01 Feb '16, Pinned: 07 Mar '17
Abstract: The Minority Game (MG) is a prototypical model for an agent-based complex adaptive system. In MG, an odd number of heterogeneous and adaptive agents choose between two alternatives and those who end up on the minority side win. It is known that if $N$ agents play MG, they self-organize to a globally efficient state when they retain the memory of the minority side for the past $m \sim \log_2(N)$ rounds (Challet & Zhang 1997). However, the global efficiency becomes extremely low when the memory of the agents is reduced i.e, when $m << \log_2(N)$. In this work, we consider an MG in which agents use the information regarding the exact attendance on a side for $m$ previous rounds to predict the minority side in the next round. We show that, when employing such strategies, independent of its size, the system is always in a globally efficient state when the agents retain two rounds of information ($m=2$). Even with other values of $m$, the agents successfully self-organize to an efficient state, the only exception to this being when $m=1$ for large values of $N$. Surprisingly, in our model, providing the agents with a random $m=1$ fake history results in a better efficiency than real histories of any length.
Pub.: 13 Aug '15, Pinned: 07 Mar '17
Abstract: This study found that 7-, 9-, and 11-year-old children and young adults identified prosocial lies as lies less frequently and evaluated them less negatively than selfish lies (liar intention effect); lies about opinions were identified as lies less frequently and evaluated less negatively than those about reality (lie content effect). The lie content effect was more pronounced in the prosocial lies than in the selfish lies for both identification and evaluation. Overall, the older participants considered liar intention more than the younger participants in lie evaluation. For the child participants, second-order belief understanding correlated marginally with sensitivity to liar intention in the opinion lies, but not with content sensitivity. Finally, lie identification correlated with evaluation in the prosocial-opinion lies for all of the children. The independent effects of intention and content could potentially explain children's development in "white lie" understanding demonstrated in the literature. Although the content effect appears to stem from a more general concern for whether communication is about objective reality, the intention effect may involve theory of mind.
Pub.: 13 Jan '15, Pinned: 03 Mar '17
Abstract: We investigated whether children tell white lies simply out of politeness or as a means to improve another person's mood. A first experimental phase probed children's individual insight to use white lies when prosocial behaviour was called for. We compared a situation in which a person had expressed sadness about her artwork and the goal was to make her feel better (Sad condition) with a situation in which a person was indifferent about her work (Neutral condition). Children at 7 years and older were more likely to tell a white lie than the blunt truth in the Sad over the Neutral condition. Five-year-olds showed only a trend. A second phase tested whether children selectively use white lie telling after it was modelled by an adult. Results showed that after modelling, children from all age groups were significantly more likely to use white lies in the Sad condition than in the Neutral condition. Taken together, these results show that children are attentive to another person's affective states when choosing whether to tell a white lie or tell the truth. We discuss the emergence of this behaviour in relation to children's developing social cognition and the increasing sophistication of children's prosocial behaviour.
Pub.: 17 Mar '15, Pinned: 03 Mar '17
Abstract: In their article, Warneken and Orlins () provide insight into children's prosocial lie-telling. Their work adds to a growing body of literature regarding the development of prosocial behaviour and indicates that young children will tell 'white lies' in order to improve the mood of others. This work has important implications for forensic contexts that we note.
Pub.: 23 Jun '15, Pinned: 03 Mar '17
Abstract: Autonomous robots are increasingly interacting with users who have limited knowledge of robotics and are likely to have an erroneous mental model of the robot's workings, capabilities, and internal structure. The robot's real capabilities may diverge from this mental model to the extent that one might accuse the robot's manufacturer of deceiving the user, especially in cases where the user naturally tends to ascribe exaggerated capabilities to the machine (e.g. conversational systems in elder-care contexts, or toy robots in child care). This poses the question, whether misleading or even actively deceiving the user of an autonomous artifact about the capabilities of the machine is morally bad and why. By analyzing trust, autonomy, and the erosion of trust in communicative acts as consequences of deceptive robot behavior, we formulate four criteria that must be fulfilled in order for robot deception to be morally permissible, and in some cases even morally indicated.
Pub.: 07 Jul '15, Pinned: 03 Mar '17
Abstract: Can beneficial ends justify morally questionable means? To investigate how monetary outcomes influence the neural responses to lying, we used a modified, cheap talk sender-receiver game in which participants were the direct recipients of lies and truthful statements resulting in either beneficial or harmful monetary outcomes. Both truth-telling (vs lying) as well as beneficial (vs harmful) outcomes elicited higher activity in the nucleus accumbens. Lying (vs truth-telling) elicited higher activity in the supplementary motor area, right inferior frontal gyrus, superior temporal sulcus and left anterior insula. Moreover, the significant interaction effect was found in the left amygdala, which showed that the monetary outcomes modulated the neural activity in the left amygdala only when truth-telling rather than lying. Our study identified a neural network associated with the reception of lies and truth, including the regions linked to the reward process, recognition and emotional experiences of being treated (dis)honestly.
Pub.: 12 Oct '15, Pinned: 03 Mar '17
Abstract: This study investigates how 5‐ and 6‐year‐olds' evaluations of selfish, polite, and altruistic lies change as a result of whether these false statements are explicitly labelled as lies. We are also interested in how interpretive theory of mind may correlate with such evaluations with and without a lie label. Our results showed that labelling lowered children's evaluations for the polite and altruistic lies, but not for the selfish lies. Interpretive theory of mind correlated positively with the evaluation difference between the polite and altruistic lies and that between the selfish and altruistic lies in the label, but not in the non‐label condition. Correlation between the selfish and altruistic lies and that between the polite and altruistic lies were stronger with than without labelling, after controlling for age, and verbal and non‐verbal intelligence. We conclude that lie labelling biases children towards more negative evaluations for non‐selfish lies and makes them see lies of different motives as more similar. If a lie label is applied, whether lies of different motives are still evaluated differently depends on interpretive theory of mind, which reflects the child's ability to represent and allow different interpretations of an ambiguous reality.
Pub.: 09 Jan '16, Pinned: 03 Mar '17
Abstract: Across four experiments, we show that when people can serve their self‐interest, they are more likely to refrain from reporting the truth (lie of omission) than actively lie (lie of commission). We developed a novel online “Heads or Tails” task in which participants can lie to win a monetary prize. During the task, they are informed that the software is not always accurate, and it might provide incorrect feedback about their outcome. In Experiment 1, those in the omission condition received incorrect feedback informing them that they had won the game. Participants in commission condition were correctly informed that they had lost. Results indicated that when asked to report any errors in the detection of their payoff, participants in the omission condition cheated significantly more than those in the commission condition. Experiment 2 showed that this pattern of results is robust even when controlling for the perceived probability of the software error. Experiments 3 and 4 suggest that receiving incorrect feedback makes individuals feel more legitimate in withholding the truth, which, in turn, increases cheating.
Pub.: 10 Feb '16, Pinned: 03 Mar '17
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