Children can tell lies before they understand the concept of false belief. This study investigated the relationship between parental mind-mindedness, defined as the propensity of parents to view their children as mental agents with independent thoughts and feelings, and the lie-telling behavior of Hong Kong children aged 3–6 years. The results confirmed earlier findings indicating that Hong Kong children’s understanding of false belief is delayed; nevertheless, the participants appeared to lie just as well as children from other cultures. The lie-telling behavior of Hong Kong children was predicted by parental mind-mindedness and children’s age but was unrelated to children’s false belief understanding. It is suggested that children of mind-minded parents are more likely to exercise autonomy in socially ambiguous situations. Future studies should focus on the roles of parenting and children’s multifaceted autonomy when addressing children’s adaptive lie telling. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
CitationWang, L., Zhu, L., & Wang, Z. (2017). Parental mind-mindedness but not false belief understanding predicts Hong Kong children’s lie-telling behavior in a temptation resistance task. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, 162, 89-100.
- False belief understanding
- Temptation resistance
- Hong Kong children
- Action autonomy