Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Blacks score highest on "lie scale"

A reader raised the question about racial differences in honest self-reporting. I ran across this study of 980 children with a mean age of eight. It found that black children score the highest on the "lie scale" (with questions like, "I never get angry"--obviously dishonest if you answer yes), while Hispanic children scored the highest on concerns about living up to others' expectations (the "social concerns scale"). Whites scored lowest on the lie scale. The black-white gap is 37 percent of one standard deviation--a moderate difference.


Anonymous said...

So, I have been reading for some weeks now, but not posting any comments. On this sort of question, it seems that some of the online dating sites would be a wealth of information, as I know from experience that some of them ask exactly this sort of question. Also these sites often ask for race, age, height, education, etc. It probalby skews towards more income, but as I have seen in similar hbd blogs, that even college grads, and professors are not far off of one stdv from normal.

Anonymous said...

Through work, I come into contact with people of all different races. It's not just that blacks are bigger liars. It's a lot more common for them to tell stupid lies. e.g. lies which will be contradicted by other evidence.

I would guess most of it is a function of their weaker intelligence. To lie succesfully, you usually need to think about what you are saying and assess how credible it will seem in light of the broader context.

Another aspect may be blacks' lower sense of shame.

n/a said...

A similar trend appears in surveys of drug use ( see final note).

Bill said...

What a cool blog. Interesting posts and you do requests!

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