Do We Really like Helpful Liars? Apparently not Everywhere

Piotr Szarota , Katarzyna Cantarero


In the American study by Pontari and Schlenker (Basic and Applied Social Psychology, 28, 177-183, 2006), individuals who lied in order to help a friend were rated as less respectable, but more likeable than unhelpful truth tellers. The objective for this study was to find out whether the same effect could be demonstrated in a culture where norms regarding deceit are more rigid. Capitalizing on the existing research (Szarota et al. Polish Psychological Bulletin, 46, 181–185, 2015; Wierzbicka 1994, 1999), we hypothesized that the Polish preoccupation with sincerity might result in a negative judgment of any behavior that is classified as lying, regardless of the liar’s intentions. Eighty students (40 women) participated in the study. Participants read stories that depicted either truthful or deceptive, yet helpful behavior towards a friend. They then rated how much they liked and respected the protagonists and if they perceived them as good friends. Results show that in Poland (the same as in the US) helpful liars were judged as less respectable than unhelpful truth tellers. Additionally, they were also perceived as worse friends. However, there was no significant difference between ratings of likeability between these two groups, so the results of the American study were only partially replicated. It seems that in Poland lying for the benefit of others is not socially desirable.
Author Piotr Szarota
Piotr Szarota,,
, Katarzyna Cantarero (Wydział Zamiejscowy w Sopocie)
Katarzyna Cantarero,,
- Wydział Zamiejscowy w Sopocie
Journal seriesCurrent Psychology, ISSN 1046-1310, e-ISSN 1936-4733, (N/A 40 pkt)
Issue year2019
Publication size in sheets0.5
Keywords in EnglishLying, Deceit, Helping Behavior, Cross-Cultural Differences
ASJC Classification3200 General Psychology
Languageen angielski
Cantarero Text Do_We_Really_like_Helpful_Liars_Apparently_not_Eve (1).pdf 349.05 KB
afiliacja_Katarzyna Cantarero_Do we really like helpful liars.pdf 17.42 KB
Score (nominal)40
Score sourcejournalList
Publication indicators Scopus SNIP (Source Normalised Impact per Paper): 2017 = 0.736; WoS Impact Factor: 2017 = 1.28 (2) - 2017=1.165 (5)
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