Virtual Environment and Lying: Perspective of Czech Adolescents and Young Adults


The goal of our study was to find out how the frequency of lying varies in diverse environments of the internet, who is the most frequent recipient of lies and what are typical motivations for lying. We were interested in how these variables partake in the frequency of lying in various areas of the internet (e-mail, chat rooms, discussion forums, instant messengers, computer games). We have taken into account the effect of various environments on various subjects of lies: lying about one’s age, gender, employment, education, income, appearance. Results were compared based on gender as well as age groups – 914 respondents in total were divided into three age groups, namely adolescents (12-18), emerging adults (19-26) and adults (27+). We have studied who are the most frequent recipients of lies and have found no significant differences between women and men in this respect; lying to individuals of the same gender is however more frequent for women, whereas lying toward the group of people is more typical for men. For various age groups, we can thus differentiate various areas about which they feel the greatest urge to lie – for the youngest group this includes age and physical appearance, most often in chat rooms. The middle group sees a shift of priorities towards “stable manifestations of adulthood” – such as their work or income. This is true especially for men; women do not feel the urge to lie about their age, but on the other hand more often lie about their appearance. The oldest age group then focuses on income for men, appeal and appearance for women and one’s age for both genders.

lying; adolescents; emerging adulthood; virtual environment
Author biography

Štěpán Konečný

Stepan Konecny.JPGŠtěpán Konečný works for the Institute for Research of Children, Youth and Family, Faculty of Social Studies within Masaryk University (the Czech Republic). He is in a PhD. programme at the Faculty of Arts in the field of general psychology. His main interest is adolescent's Internet use and psychology of computer crime.

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