Paper Type

Master's Thesis


College of Arts and Sciences

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)



NACO controlled Corporate Body

University of North Florida. Department of Psychology

First Advisor

Dr. Tracey Alloway

Second Advisor

Dr. Lindsay Mahovetz

Department Chair

Dr. Lori Lange

College Dean

Dr. John Kantner


The current study examined children’s lie-telling behavior across three motivational contexts. There were 32 children (M = 5.08 years, SD = 0.53) who participated in four experimental paradigms to examine the differences among antisocial and prosocial lying during preschool age years. Children were assessed on overall peer relations and working memory cognitive measures to gain a better understanding of how our social worlds and developmental trajectories affect the types of lies told. Results revealed children’s lie-telling was not uniform across the sequential motivational contexts. Children utilized both lie types depending on the perceived severity or social influence, but at this age in particular, children were fairly more consistent in telling antisocial lies than prosocial lies. These findings advance our understanding of the development of lying and how children’s decisions to lie may change over time and across different social and motivational contexts.