The modified temptation resistance task: A paradigm to elicit children's strategic lie-telling

Lamei WANG, Zhenlin WANG

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


The protocol for the temptation resistance paradigm was designed to elicit 2- to 8-year-old children's strategic lie-telling behaviors. The reward of transgression was intended to be too tempting to resist, so that children's spontaneous lie-telling behavior in the presence of irreversible evidence due to the transgression could be observed. Conducted in a developmental psychology laboratory behind a one-way mirror and video recorded with a hidden camcorder, the protocol starts with a guessing game where the child is given three trials to guess the identities of hidden objects under an upside down cup. The experimenter gives hints in the first two trials to make sure the child "guess" them correctly. At the beginning of the final trial, the experimenter leaves the room briefly and asks the child not to peek under the cup. If the child could not resist the temptation and peeks, small particles previously filled in the cup would scatter on a grooved surface. Upon the experimenter's return, the child is asked if he/she has peeked. If he/she denies transgression contrary to the presence of the physical evidence, he/she is asked to explain why the particles are on the table. Three responses could be observed in the procedure, including the initial transgression, truth-telling or lie-telling behavior if the child peeked, and the strategic lie-telling behavior in the presence of the physical evidence. Copyright © 2018 Journal of Visualized Experiments. All rights reserved.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere57189
JournalJournal of Visualized Experiments
Issue number134
Publication statusPublished - 2018



Wang, L., & Wang, Z. (2018). The modified temptation resistance task: A paradigm to elicit children's strategic lie-telling. Journal of Visualized Experiments, 2018(134). Retrieved from