Cognitive and Social Factors in Early Deception: 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Cognitive and Social Factors in Early Deception

1st Edition

Edited by Stephen J. Ceci, Michelle DeSimo Leichtman

Psychology Press

192 pages

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The understanding of early deception is important for both theoretical and practical purposes. Children's deceptive behaviors provide a window into their models and theories of mind. On a practical level, childhood deception poses challenges for the legal system as well as parents and schools.

In this volume, contributors from diverse areas of psychology -- social, cognitive, and developmental -- as well as philosophy and law examine the determinants of deception among preschoolers. In addition to a wealth of new empirical findings dealing with gender, motivation, and context in children's use of deception, evidence is provided for recursivity of awareness in children as young as three years of age. With chapters and commentaries written by leading scholars in the United States, England, and Australia, this book reflects a growing concern with ecological validity in developmental studies and may prompt rethinking of traditional models of mind based exclusively on data from laboratory experiments.


"This book is highly recommended for judges, attorneys, and mental health professionals who deal with child witnesses."

Issues in Child Abuse Accusations

"The volume is timely….this is an interesting and important book….The volume raises vital questions about links between cognition and morality and between empirical research and the real world….the editors and authors are to be applauded for raising them."

Contemporary Psychology

Table of Contents

Contents: Introduction: Ellie the Elephant Meets Mommy's Accuser. S.J. Ceci, M.D. Leichtman, "I Know That You Know That I Know That You Broke the Toy": A Brief Report of Recursive Awareness Among 3-Year-Olds. R.V. Burton, A.F. Strichartz, Liar! Liar! Pants Afire! J.J. Haugaard, N.D. Reppucci, Children and the Truth. S.R. Leekam, Believing and Deceiving: Steps to Becoming a Good Liar. G.N. Nigro, A.L. Snow, Sex, Lies, and Smiling Faces: A Brief Report on Gender Differences in 3-Year-Olds' Deceptions. C.S. Tate, A.R. Warren, T.H. Hess, Adults' Liability for Childrens' "Lie-Ability": Can Adults Coach Children to Lie Successfully? K. Bussey, Children's Lying and Truthfulness: Implications for Children's Testimony. O. Flanagan, Other Minds, Obligation, and Honesty. M.G. Frank, Commentary: On the Structure of Lies and Deception Experiments. L.S. McGough, Commentary: The Occasions of Perjury.

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
PSYCHOLOGY / Developmental / General