Communication is a functional, purposeful, and strategic aspect of human socialization. Individuals have the ability make conscious decisions to control their expressive language to manipulate the perceived interpretations of others (Burgoon, Callister, & Hunsaker, 445). As people acquire language, they develop sensitivity to the Gricean maxims of conversation. The first of these maxims is “Quantity I”, or the failure to provide enough information. The second of these maxims is “Quantity II”, or the provision of too much or redundant information. The third of these maxims is “Quality”, or veracity (Siegal, Iozzi, and Surian, 2009). These three Gricean maxims of conversation alone encompass ...view middle of the document...
A reduplicated study conducted by Serota, Levine, & Boster found that “…age…account[s] for a small but statistically significant variation.” Furthermore, the results of their study in comparison to the results of the DePaulo study suggested that “maturity tempers the usage of lying as a strategy for goal attainment, and the current findings of the national data in [the DePaulo study] are consistent with the claim that lying declines with age” (Serota, Levine, & Boster, 2010, 13).
Although research has been conducted regarding the prevalence of lying among different age groups, no research has been conducted to determine the prevalence of college students lying to health professionals. The likelihood that college students would lie to a health professional may be dependent on their motivation for lying. One such reason could be underage drinking, which would be most relevant for students under the age of twenty-one. Fear of punitive consequences or judgment may be enough to deter a student from admitting the entire truth about such activities.
It is hypothesized that younger students will be more likely to hide information, provide partial information, stretch the truth, or lie to a health professional if the reason for the visit can get them in trouble, embarrass them, or make them feel judged by the health professional. To my knowledge, the study, which is presented below, is the first such study in the literature. Not only will the proposed study determine whether younger students are more likely to lie than older students, but also what types of lies occur most frequently, as well as the primary reasons why college students lie to health professionals, in this sample.
The undergraduate student body at the Richard Stockton College of New Jersey will be used as participants for this study. According to The College Board’s Annual Survey of Colleges, 7,517 undergraduate students attend the Richard Stockton College of New Jersey, the majority of which are white and female (The College Board, 2014). The students will be invited to participate in an anonymous survey. No incentives will be used, but the study may improve health services to Stockton students in the future. Participation is voluntary and may be stopped at any time. The inclusion criteria for this study are undergraduate college students at the Richard Stockton College of New Jersey. Exclusion criteria include people under the age of eighteen and people over the age of twenty-five.
Measures and Covariates
An electronic survey will be used to collect data for this study.
Dependent variable. The dependent variable of this study is the likelihood that a college student would lie to his or her doctor. Participants will respond to this using measures including Likert scales and yes or no questions. The following is an example of a survey question that uses the Likert scale to measure the opinions of participants: “How likely are you to hide information, provide...