Teenagers Lie a Lot: A Further Investigation into the Prevalence of Lying

Academic Article


  • Although it is commonly believed that lying is ubiquitous, recent findings show large, individual differences in lying, and that the proclivity to lie varies by age. This research surveyed 58 high school students, who were asked how often they had lied in the past 24 hr. It was predicted that high school students would report lying with greater frequency than previous surveys with college student and adult samples, but that the distribution of reported lies by high school students would exhibit a strongly and positively skewed distribution similar to that observed with college student and adult samples. The data were consistent with both predictions. High school students in the sample reported telling, on average, 4.1 lies in the past 24 hr-a rate that is 75% higher than that reported by college students and 150% higher than that reported by a nationwide sample of adults. The data were also skewed, replicating the "few prolific liar" effect previously documented in college student and adult samples. © 2013 Copyright Eastern Communication Association.
  • Authors

    Published In

    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Levine TR; Serota KB; Carey F; Messer D
  • Start Page

  • 211
  • End Page

  • 220
  • Volume

  • 30
  • Issue

  • 3