From the latest issue of Developmental Psychology, some Canadian-Chinese collaborative research on how children evaluate truth and lies.
From the abstract:
This study examined cross-cultural differences and similarities in children’s moral understanding of individual- or collective-oriented lies and truths. […] Most children in both cultures labeled lies as lies and truths as truths. The major cultural differences lay in choices and moral evaluations. Chinese children chose lying to help a collective but harm an individual, and they rated it less negatively than lying with opposite consequences. Chinese children rated truth telling to help an individual but harm a group less positively than the alternative. Canadian children did the opposite. These findings suggest that cross-cultural differences in emphasis on groups versus individuals affect children’s choices and moral judgments about truth and deception.
- Fu, G., Xu, F., Cameron, C.A., Leyman, G. and Lee, K. (2007). Cross-Cultural Differences in Children’s Choices, Categorizations, and Evaluations of Truths and Lies. Developmental Psychology. 2007 Mar Vol 43(2) 278-293