Victoria Talwar

Victoria Talwar
McGill University | McGill · Department of Educational and Counselling Psychology (ECP)

PhD

About

150
Publications
81,871
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3,800
Citations
Additional affiliations
September 2004 - present
McGill University
Position
  • Canada Research Chair

Publications

Publications (150)
Article
Few studies have examined the lie-telling behavior of children who have externalizing problems using experimental procedures. In the current study, children’s lie-telling for personal gain (N = 110 boys aged 6–11 years) was examined using an experimental paradigm in relation to their theory-of-mind abilities and inhibitory control as well as their...
Article
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Concealing information requires that adolescents manage the information that they share, which requires cognitive skills, for example, theory of mind (ToM). This study explored motivations for concealment that early adolescents ( N = 90, M = 12.81 years, SD = 5.10 months, range 12–14 years, and 58% female) endorsed concealing or disclosing to frien...
Article
Full-text available
The current study examines how social determinants influence the way youth from Canadian and Iranian contexts evaluate and morally disengage as bystanders of cyberbullying. While Iranian culture differs from other individualistic and collectivist cultures, Iranian youth have become just as technologically acculturated as their global peers. Despite...
Article
The purpose of this study was to qualitatively explore child and adolescent conceptions of cyberbullying and quantitatively examine predictors of their levels of understanding. One hundred and forty-three children and adolescents (8–16 years old) were interviewed about their definitions of cyberbullying and completed a measure of their exposure to...
Poster
Full-text available
Theory of Artificial Minds (ToAM, Bharadwaj et al., 2021a) is a dynamic area of study endeavoring to understand how children conceive of artificial intelligent technologies around them (i.e., digital assistants like Amazon Alexa) and how everyday use impacts these conceptions. Here, we determine how families use DAs at home, how parents regulate ch...
Article
There is a need to tell if children are providing truthful testimonies in legal cases. This study examined differences between children's true and false statements obtained using either an interview that included cognitive instructions or one that did not. Children witnessed a theft that they were asked to deny and were interviewed with or without...
Article
This cross-sectional study explores relationships among teachers’ ratings of students’ social behaviours and perceived competencies and gender-role orientations. Social behaviours, self-competencies, and gender-role orientations of 295 Canadian students (118 boys, 177 girls) were assessed by teachers’ ratings and students’ self-report questionnaire...
Article
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This study examined the role of culture and age in Canadian and Persian children’s moral evaluations and classifications of lie-and truth-telling in prosocial situations. Two sets of data were collected in Canada (n = 180), and Iran (n = 180). Participants included 360 children (N = 360; 49% male, and 51% female) who were 5, 7, 9, and 11 years of a...
Article
Honesty is an important value that children acquire through socialization. To date, the socialization process by which children learn to behave honestly remains relatively unexamined. Researchers may have left this area of research relatively unexamined because there is no framework to understand how parents socialize honesty and lie-telling in the...
Article
This 2-year short-term longitudinal study explored Canadian emerging adolescents’ ability to recognize emotions in others, their spontaneous descriptions of themselves and self-understandings, and their narrative and pictorial accounts of themselves engaged in leisure time activities. As part of a larger 5-year longitudinal study, this study descri...
Article
Children’s non-disclosures of another’s wrongdoing, particularly in cases involving alleged maltreatment, is a notable concern among forensic professionals. The current study was designed to provide these professionals with much needed information about the efficacy of a range of interviewing strategies, namely free-recall, cognitive instructions a...
Article
Full-text available
The Decision component of the Activation-Decision-Construction-Action-Theory (ADCAT) utilizes a cost-benefit formula to explain the cognitive, motivational and social processes involved in deception. Three prior studies suggest that ADCAT can be used to predict adults' future deceptive behavior; however, no study has assessed the potential relevanc...
Article
In order to extend research on children’s Theory of Mind (ToM) within moral development, researchers have proposed a novel area of research, Morally Relevant ToM. It has been argued to better account for the moral and social considerations that children are required to make when using their ToM abilities in real life situations. To further the rese...
Article
Full-text available
The investigation of bystander behavior in response to cyberbullying is a developing area of research that is still in its infancy. To advance this area of inquiry, researchers can use information and communication technology (ICT) platforms, such as simulated social media websites, as an experimental paradigm to facilitate and measure the behavior...
Article
Full-text available
This study focused on the development of the Socialization of Lying scale for which exploratory factor analysis demonstrated four empirically interpretable subscales: Parents’ Values and Direct Socialization about Honesty, Encouragement and Modeling of Lying, Consequences for Lying, and The Child’s Problematic Lying. These emergent factors suggest...
Article
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The current study examined children and adolescents' hypothetical responses to hearing negative or positive gossip shared by a friend or a classmate that targeted either a friend or a classmate. Participants (N = 134, ages 8-16) read eight stories and were asked to take the perspective of the gossip listener and indicate how they would respond, a 2...
Poster
Full-text available
Our research takes an inter-disciplinary approach to understand how children interact with and conceive of intelligent technologies around them. Currently, 46% of adults in the U.S.A report using a digital assistant (DA) (Pew, 2017) and Amazon reports selling over 100 million smart speakers. Despite this level of use, there is little information to...
Poster
Full-text available
In September 2020, Techcrunch reported that Amazon has launched a kids edition of their Echo Dot smart speaker, designed for interactions with children with the ability to specifically recognize a child’s voice. We are investigating how parents and children use digital assistants in the home (Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, Apple Siri etc.) to unde...
Article
This study examined children and adolescents' perceptions of trustworthiness about peers who shared gossip. Participants (N = 134, ages 8-16 years) completed vignettes from the gossip listener's perspective and evaluated how trustworthy the sharer was. The main findings revealed that a classmate gossiping negatively about the listener's friend was...
Article
Full-text available
The current study examined the roles of gender, and gender-role orientation in young adolescents’ empathetic concern. In addition, this study aimed to explore the contribution of Theory of Mind in participants’ empathetic concern. Finally, this study examined whether gender and gender-role orientation were implicated in emerging adolescents’ Theory...
Article
Background & objective The forensic interview is an important part of the investigative process with child witnesses, and ensuring evidence-based practices is crucial to its success. This meta-analysis examined the overall effect of rapport practices and question type on children’s disclosures during forensic interviews to determine (a) how large o...
Article
Full-text available
The current study evaluated the efficacy of free-recall, cognitive instruction and closed-ended questions with students (N = 50; ages 6–18) with developmental disabilities. After watching a magic show wherein the magician made a major error, the students were asked by the magician to keep the transgression a secret. Next, students were interviewed...
Article
Full-text available
Canadian and Persian children’s moral judgments of lie- and truth-telling in prosocial, antisocial situations as well as individual vs. collective-oriented lies and truths in the light of parenting practices was investigated. One hundred and eighty data from each country have been gathered. In total 360 children in 4 different age groups (5, 7, 9,...
Article
The roles of culture and age in Canadian and Persian children’s moral evaluations of lie- and truth-telling in modest situations, as well as the impacts of parenting disciplinary methods, were assessed in this study. Data were collected from 360 children total: 180 children from both Canada and Iran. Participants’ were 5, 7, 9, and 11 years of age...
Article
Full-text available
The current study examined the effects of previous cyberbullying experiences and age on moral judgments and emotions about cyberbullying incidents within a sample of Chinese elementary and high school students. One hundred and sixty-six students between the ages of 8 and 16 years from elementary and junior high schools in China read vignettes about...
Article
We describe an ontological approach to childhood studies that we refer to as Childhood Ethics. This involves an interdisciplinary hermeneutic orientation towards examining the morally meaningful dimensions of matters that affect young people. We draw on our empirical research with young people from 3‐ to 17‐years old, examining their experiences in...
Article
The aim of the present study was to examine the role of induced empathy and parent-reported empathy (i.e., affective and cognitive) as underlying motives for children's prosocial lie-telling tendencies. An experimental paradigm was used to elicit prosocial lies in children (N = 146, 7-11 years) in varying cost (low-cost/high-cost) and induction (em...
Conference Paper
The approach to adolescence (e.g. 8 to 12 years) is a transitional time and a gradual process in all areas of development including neurobiological and hormonal, emotional, social, moral and spiritual (Coleman, 2011; Misaildi, 2018; Patton et al., 2016). Although little is known about the complex interactions among social and cognitive factors rela...
Article
Full-text available
The current study examined parental awareness of their child’s cyberbullying experiences in relation to the implementation of restrictive mediation strategies (e.g., interaction and technical restrictions) among children in elementary school and adolescents in high school. Canadian parent-child dyads (N = 102) completed a survey where parents repor...
Article
Gossip is a common social activity that children admit to engaging in. Although children disapprove of negative gossip (Kuttler, Parker, & La Greca, 2002, Merrill‐Palmer Quarterly, 48, 105), less is known about how it is perceived morally compared to positive gossip and how this changes developmentally as children enter adolescence. Interestingly,...
Article
Full-text available
Theory of Mind (ToM) or the ability to understand mental states in self and others to explain behavior continues to develop in adolescence and connects to social experiences. Research shows during adolescence, ToM may influence one’s ability to evaluate and judge one’s self-worth and their social interactions. However, few studies examine the assoc...
Article
Interpreting other people's intentions during communication represents a remarkable challenge for children. Although many studies have examined children's understanding of, for example, sarcasm, less is known about their interpretation. Using realistic audiovisual scenes, we invited 124 children between 8 and 12 years old to watch video clips of yo...
Article
The development of children’s lie-telling abilities is considered to be a social and cognitive milestone. While occasional lying is developmentally appropriate, the use of frequent, antisocial lies as a maladaptive problem-solving mechanism can indicate behaviour problems. Since lying is often considered a moral transgression, researchers should ex...
Article
Theory of Mind (ToM), or the ability to attribute mental states to oneself and others to predict behavior is an important skill that helps adolescents to navigate through school. Building on emerging research on the cognitive and affective aspects of ToM and school engagement, this cross-sectional study explored ToM, emotion knowledge, and school e...
Article
The current study examined the influence of observing another's lie‐ or truth‐telling – and its consequences – on children's own honesty about a transgression. Children (N = 224, 5 to 8 years of age) observed an experimenter (E) tell the truth or lie about a minor transgression in one of five conditions: (1) Truth‐Positive – E told the truth with a...
Article
The current study examined children's lie-telling behavior across four motivational contexts at two time points: Time 1 (T1) and Time 2 (T2). There were 127 children (MT1 = 4.65 years old, SD = 0.66; MT2 = 6.93 years old, SD = 0.80) who participated twice in four experimental paradigms to examine antisocial and prosocial lie-telling behavior approx...
Article
Cyberbullying has captured attention around the globe with research taking place in North and South America, Europe, and Asia. However, few of these studies have compared children and adolescents from countries with diverse cultural backgrounds, with research on Middle Eastern countries remaining scarce. To examine the influence of culture, gender,...
Article
Full-text available
In the present study, children's (2‐ to 5‐years old) lie‐telling was examined in relation to theory of mind (first‐order false belief understanding), executive functioning (measuring inhibitory control in conjunction with working memory), and presence of siblings (no siblings vs. siblings; younger siblings vs. older siblings) in the home. Lie‐telli...
Article
Full-text available
The current study evaluated the benefits of free‐recall, cognitive load and closed‐ended questions on children's (ages 6 to 11; N = 147) true and false eyewitness disclosures. Children witnessed an experimenter find a stranger's wallet, and were then asked to make a false denial, false accusation, true denial or true accusation regarding an alleged...
Article
This study examines how children’s age, gender and interviewer gender affected children’s testimony after witnessing a theft. Children (N = 127, age = 6–11 years) witnessed an experimenter (E1) find money, which he/she may/may not have taken. E1 then asked the children to falsely deny that the theft occurred, falsely accuse E1 of taking the money,...
Article
Children begin to use methods of concealment to achieve interpersonal goals at an early age, and the ability to conceal information requires cognitive skills to be effective. Despite research on children's lie telling, there is little known about the “spectrum” of concealment methods that children use, which can range from full disclosures to activ...
Article
Objectives To explore how reasons to lie impact upon the decision component of Activation‐Decision‐Construction‐Action Theory. Design Specifically, the study looked at how beneficiary of the lie (self vs. another) and additional cost of lying (no cost vs. cost to self/other) might influence decisions to lie. Methods Ninety‐one undergraduate stude...
Article
The authors explored Canadian emerging adolescents' social and moral reasoning skills (empathy, theory of mind), and their perceptions of gratitude, self-competencies, and well-being (spiritual, emotional). As part of a larger five-year longitudinal study, the authors describe results of Year 2 (2016–2017) data from 46 ninth-grade students (33 girl...
Article
Although parents are significant sources of socialization in children’s lives including with respect to their moral behavior, very little research has focused on how parents socialize children’s honesty and dishonesty, especially parents of atypically developing children for whom lying is of substantial concern. We surveyed 49 parents of typically-...
Article
Full-text available
This cross-sectional study examines gender-informed teachers’ and early adolescents’ reports of emotional competencies within the school setting. The sample for the current study consisted of 290 emerging adolescents (114 boys, 170 girls) recruited from 24 schools. Social-emotional competencies were assessed by students’ self-report questionnaires...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
When and why do witnesses and innocent suspects decide to lie by omission?
Article
Globally, children with intellectual disabilities are at an increased risk of being victims of maltreatment compared to those without disabilities. Among the children who do disclose the abuse, limitations with communication and working memory can result in their allegation being perceived as not credible. There are several evidence-based interview...
Article
The current study examined elementary and high school students' moral justifications of on-line aggression from the perspective of perpetrators and bystanders. Gender differences were also examined. Participants (N=100, 8 to 16 years old) read a series of stories depicting cyber-aggression. Participants were asked to justify either a perpetrator's...
Article
The present study examined differences in children's true and false narratives as a function of parental coaching by comparing the verbal markers associated with deception. Children (N = 65, 4-7 years old) played the same game with an adult stranger over three consecutive days. Parents coached their children to falsely allege that they had played a...
Article
Despite the fact that lie-telling is a common concern among parents, clinicians, and professionals, there has been little systematic investigation of the lies that children tell in relation to their problematic behaviors, nor of other social factors that may influence this relation. This study explored the relation between children’s problem behavi...
Chapter
Since the emergence of developmental psychology, scientists and laypersons have been fascinated with children’s lie- telling because it is a lens through which to view a multitude of behaviors, including children’s developing cognitive, social, and moral abilities (Darwin 1877; Hall 1891; Stern, Stern, and Lamiell 1909; Hartshorne and May 1928). Th...
Article
Full-text available
In the current study, children’s abilities to lie both for themselves and for another were examined in relation to executive functioning skills and theory of mind understanding. A total of 160 preschoolers (ages 4–5 years) participated. Their willingness to tell self-motivated lies and other-motivated lies were measured using two different experime...
Article
Full-text available
This study examined adults’ abilities to detect the veracity of children’s (ages 6 to 11) initial disclosures and their later recantations about a crime. Children (N = 32) were asked to make a false denial or a false accusation of an alleged theft, while some were asked to tell the truth. Afterwards, children recanted their initial statements in a...
Article
This study found that children with a history of cancer had higher scores on certain measures of spirituality compared to their healthy peers. Health history was found to significantly moderate the relations among spirituality and outcome variables, such as depression and anxiety. Furthermore, parent–child dyadscancer had more highly correlated sco...
Article
Children's lie-telling is surprisingly understudied among children with significant behavioral problems. In the present study, experimental paradigms were used to examine antisocial lie-telling among ethnically diverse 5- to 10-year-old children with disruptive behavior disorders (DBD; n = 71) and a typically developing (TD) comparison sample (n =...
Article
While academic dishonesty has been an area of study for numerous decades, research has focused primarily on the perpetrators of cheating and understanding why students cheat. In contrast, little attention has been devoted to examining the reactions of students who witness cheating. The current study investigated undergraduate students’ reactions to...
Article
Full-text available
Children (n = 202; 4 to 7 years old) witnessed a confederate break a toy and were asked to keep the transgression a secret. Children were randomly assigned to a Coaching condition (i.e., No Coaching, Light Coaching, or Heavy Coaching) and a Moral Story condition (i.e., Positive or Neutral). Overall, 89.7% of children lied about the broken toy when...
Article
Lie-telling may be part of a normative developmental process for children. However, little is known about the complex interaction of social and cognitive factors related to this developmental behavior. The current study examined parenting style, maternal exposure to stressors, and children’s cognitive abilities in relation to children’s antisocial...
Article
Full-text available
Objective: The goal of this study was to examine the relationship between comorbid disorders and executive function (EF) in children diagnosed with Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). Methods: Three hundred and fifty-five, 6-12 year old children clinically diagnosed with ADHD were included in the study. Comorbid anxiety disorders, O...
Article
The present study examined children's recall accuracy for a repeated event over multiple interviews. Participants took part in three play sessions and were then questioned in three separate interviews a week later. The sample included 87 children between 4 to 10 years of age. Repeated measures ANOVAs were conducted to examine total accuracy and acc...
Article
Full-text available
This article examines developmental differences in children’s reasoning about secrecy and lying as well as their use of these behaviors in two studies. Study 1 explored children’s (N = 66, 8–15 years) reasoning about the circumstances in which secrecy and lying are acceptable. Study 2 analyzed children’s (N = 50, 8–15 years) actual reported daily f...
Article
Full-text available
In this study, preschool-aged children's lie-telling behaviour was examined in relation to mental state understanding and executive functioning. Sixty-seven children aged between 25 and 43 months (Mage in months = 34.80, SD = 4.39) participated in a temptation resistance paradigm (TRP). Children completed emerging ToM tasks measuring the following...
Article
Eligibility criteria: Articles were selected for review if they (1) had a variable that was in some way a measure of physical health in response to a psychosocial stressor; (2) had participants who were children or adolescents within the age range of 4-18years; and (3) were a peer-reviewed, empirical study. Sample: Two random-effect meta-analyse...
Article
The current study used a high cognitive load cross-examination procedure to determine whether this would improve undergraduate students’ ability to detect deception in children aged 9 to 12 years. The participants (n = 88) were asked to determine whether children's accounts of an event included a true denial, false denial, true assertion or false a...
Article
Full-text available
Previous researchers who have studied children’s spirituality have often used narrow measures that do not account for the rich spiritual experiences of children within a multi-faith context. In the current study, we describe the initial stages of development of a children’s spirituality measure, in which items were derived from children’s spiritual...
Article
Full-text available
Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to investigate the influence of question type (open-ended, prompted, reverse order and chronological order recall) on children’s ability to maintain a truth or a lie in a two-part mock-courtroom study. Design/methodology/approach – In total, 96 children ( M age =131.00 months) between 9 and 12 years of age we...
Article
A considerable amount of research has evaluated children's lie-telling behaviors and skills(1-2); however, limitations with the tasks used for eliciting false testimonies and interviewing children have restricted the generalizability of the findings. The primary aim of the current study is to provide an easy-to-administer and ecologically valid met...
Article
Lying is an interpersonal exercise that requires the intentional creation of a false belief in another’s mind. As such, children’s development of lie-telling is related to their increasing understanding of others and may reflect the acquisition of basic social skills. Although certain types of lies may support social relationships, other types of l...
Article
Full-text available
The present study examined the emergence of antisocial lie-telling in very young children. Lie-telling was studied in relation to executive functioning skills and children's abilities to identify both truths and lies. A total of 65 children (Mage in months = 31.75, SD = 1.87) participated in a modified temptation resistance paradigm (TRP; designed...
Article
Full-text available
Lie-telling is a false verbal statement made with the intention to deceive another. Lies may be told for selfish reasons or due to prosocial motivations. As a result, the veracity of a statement holds more than just communicative intent but rather represents social intentions. In the current experiment children (6- to 12-years old) viewed 12 vignet...