POWODY KŁAMANIA POLSKICH UCZNIÓW I STUDENTÓW
Reasons for lying among Polish high school and university students
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Based on Paul Ekman’s typology of motives of lying, authors wanted to investigate how often they motivate pupils and students to lie. Two studies were conducted: 1) in primary schools and a high school, 2) on different universities. In the second study we also measured the level of need for approval and agency/communion (the Big Two). Both studies gave similar results, revealing that pupils and students declared higher frequency of lying motivated by avoiding any inconvenience than by gaining some kind of profit. Detailed analyses showed that the highest frequency of lying was motivated by two reasons: to protect oneself or someone else from danger and to avoid uncomfortable, awkward situations. Next in frequencies were motives driven by willingness to avoid any nuisance (e.g. punishment, embarrassment or to protect one’s privacy). In both studies lying driven by willingness to gain some kind of profit (e.g. reward, being liked, admired or to gain power) was declared as rather rare. Analyses showed that the latter result was not free from influence of need for approval. Both age and sex played a certain role in these declarations. In the first study, boys significantly more often than girls declared to lie to protect oneself or someone else from danger, to secure one’s privacy and to gain power. There were no such differences in the second study (among students). As to age, primary school pupils declared lying to be liked (girls) and admired (boys) more often than teenagers in high school, while the latter declared lying to gain power and to protect oneself or someone else from danger more often than primary school pupils. In turn, students declared, significantly more often than younger subjects, to lie for all reasons. The Big Two turned out to be of little significance – only lower level of communion was, as expected, connected to higher frequency of both categories of lies (to gain / to avoid), especially in certain reasons of lying (e.g. to gain power or admiration). The results are discussed in the context of further studies on bigger and more varied groups, Polish cultural specificity and possible biasing influence of need for approval in studies of lying.
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