Click here to close now.

Welcome!

News Feed Item

Seven in Ten Americans Think Others Lied on This Poll - but Fewer than One in Ten Admit to Doing So Themselves

Americans most likely to have lied to a parent, spouse or significant other; least likely to have lied to a sibling

NEW YORK, July 30, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Perhaps it's a lie told to your parents about how you so didn't throw a party the weekend they went away. Could be you want that successful big brother or sister to think you're earning more than you are. Or maybe you just can't bring yourself to tell your best friend what you really think of his girlfriend. From white lies to whoppers, there are all sorts of, ahem, not entirely true things which inhabit everyday social interactions. But who are Americans most likely to lie to? And what lies are they most likely to tell?

Harris Poll Logo.

These are some of the results of The Harris Poll® of 2,097 adults surveyed online between July 17 and 21, 2014.

(To see the full results including data tables, click here)

Who are we lying to?
Everyone from our mom to our doctor could easily be on the receiving end of an untruth or two in an average week. The survey first asked which, from a list of topics, respondents had lied about to each of a selection of people. Overall, the highest percentages of Americans have lied about at least one thing to a parent (43%) or a significant other (41%). The lowest percentage (32%) have lied to a sibling or siblings – though a third still confirm doing so – and in between fall Americans' likelihood to have lied to a doctor (38%) or a best friend (36%). But what lies are Americans telling to whom?

The same two topics top the lists of lies told to parents, spouses/significant others and siblings – spending/purchases (15%, 21% and 9%, respectively) and sexual experience (14%, 14% and 7%, respectively).

  • Other top subjects Americans lie to their parents about include alcohol and illegal substance use (12% each), physical health (11%) and cigarette use (10%).
  • As for lies told to spouses or significant others, other top fibs beyond the one and two spots involve eating habits (12%), physical health (10%), alcohol use (8%) and exercise habits (also 8%).
  • Among siblings, income/salary (7%) rounds out the top subjects of deception.

Sexual experience is the top subject Americans lie to their best friends about (12%), followed by income/salary (8%), political opinions (also 8%) and religious beliefs (7%).

At the doctor's office, exercise (15%) and eating habits (14%) are the most commonly fibbed-about topics, followed by physical health (10%).

Men are more likely than women to have lied about, well, most of these things – to most of these people. The sole reversal this trend is in lying to best friends about eating habits – here women (8%, vs. 5% of men) are the more likely culprits.

Looking at Americans by age, there's little difference when it comes to likelihood to have lied to a spouse or significant other. However, 18-34 year olds are quickest by far to lie to parents (61%), best friends (47%), doctors (also 47%) and siblings (42%).

The Honesty Gap
Are there things you can share with some of your closest friends and family, but not with others within that same circle? You're not alone. Americans were presented with pairs of figures in their lives and asked whether they agree that there are things they can be honest about with one of them but not the other – your mother but not your father, for example – and vice versa. The biggest "honesty gap" can be found between those who can be honest about some things with their spouse or significant other, but not their family (50%). Thirty-one percent (31%) say there are things they can be honest with their family about but not their spouse of significant other. Women are more likely than men to say there are things they can be honest with their main squeeze about but not their family (54% and 47%, respectively).

  • Forty-nine percent (49%) of Americans say there are things they can be honest with a sibling about but not with a parent, while 35% say the inverse.
  • Four in ten (40%) have things they can be honest about with mom but not dad; 29% say the reverse.
    • Maybe it's a guy thing – men are more likely to say there are things they can be honest with their father about but not their mother (34% men vs. 25% women).
  • It's a closer call between spouses/significant others and best friends, with 48% saying there are things they can be honest about with their honey but not their bestie; 42% say the opposite.

Calling in "Sick"
From overdoing it while out with friends last night to not wanting to run into a certain someone at a cocktail party, there are plenty of reasons Americans might want to get out of a variety of engagements. Of course, often the truth is not the most diplomatic approach. But what are the numbers?

Nearly four in ten Americans (37%) say they've lied to get out of work, while a third (32%) have lied to get out of a social event, and roughly a quarter have lied to get out of school (26%) or a family gathering (23%). Fourteen percent (14%) have lied to get out of a date, one in ten to get out of a religious event (10%) or a doctor's appointment (10%), and under one in ten say they've lied to get out of a speeding ticket (7%) or jury duty (6%).

Women are more likely to have lied to get out of a social event (36% women vs. 29% men), and – sorry, guys –to get out of a date (17% women vs. 12% men).

Lying about Lying 
Either more people think their fellow Americans are dishonest than they actually are, or fewer are willing to fess up to fibbing are actually doing so. Seven in ten Americans (69%) think others lied when taking this poll, but only 6% raise their hands (so to speak) when asked if they did so themselves.

  • Depending on your outlook, men (8%) are twice as likely as women (4%) either to have lied on the poll in the first place (shame on them!) or to have come clean about doing so (good for them!).
  • 18-34 year olds are roughly three times more likely than their elders to say they lied when taking the poll (12% 18-34 year olds, vs. 3% 35-44 year olds, 4% 45-64 year olds and 5% among those aged 65+).

To view the full findings, or to see other recent Harris Polls, please visit the Harris Poll News Room.

Want Harris Polls delivered direct to your inbox? Click here!

Methodology
This Harris Poll was conducted online within the United States between July 17 and 21, 2014 among 2,097 adults (aged 18 and over). Figures for age, sex, race/ethnicity, education, region and household income were weighted where necessary to bring them into line with their actual proportions in the population. Propensity score weighting was also used to adjust for respondents' propensity to be online.

All sample surveys and polls, whether or not they use probability sampling, are subject to multiple sources of error which are most often not possible to quantify or estimate, including sampling error, coverage error, error associated with nonresponse, error associated with question wording and response options, and post-survey weighting and adjustments. Therefore, The Harris Poll avoids the words "margin of error" as they are misleading. All that can be calculated are different possible sampling errors with different probabilities for pure, unweighted, random samples with 100% response rates. These are only theoretical because no published polls come close to this ideal.

Respondents for this survey were selected from among those who have agreed to participate in Harris Poll surveys. The data have been weighted to reflect the composition of the adult population. Because the sample is based on those who agreed to participate in our panel, no estimates of theoretical sampling error can be calculated.

These statements conform to the principles of disclosure of the National Council on Public Polls.

The results of this Harris Poll may not be used in advertising, marketing or promotion without the prior written permission of The Harris Poll.

Product and brand names are trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective owners.

The Harris Poll® #76, July 30, 2014

About Nielsen & The Harris Poll 
On February 3, 2014, Nielsen acquired Harris Interactive and The Harris Poll.  Nielsen Holdings N.V. (NYSE: NLSN) is a global information and measurement company with leading market positions in marketing and consumer information, television and other media measurement, online intelligence and mobile measurement. Nielsen has a presence in approximately 100 countries, with headquarters in New York, USA and Diemen, the Netherlands. For more information, visit www.nielsen.com.

Press Contact: 
Corporate Communications
The Harris Poll 
212-539-9600 
[email protected]

Logo - http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20100517/NY06256LOGO  

SOURCE The Harris Poll

More Stories By PR Newswire

Copyright © 2007 PR Newswire. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of PRNewswire content is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of PRNewswire. PRNewswire shall not be liable for any errors or delays in the content, or for any actions taken in reliance thereon.

Latest Stories
SYS-CON Events announced today that Alert Logic, the leading provider of Security-as-a-Service solutions for the cloud, has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 17th International Cloud Expo® and DevOps Summit 2015 Silicon Valley, which will take place November 3–5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Alert Logic provides Security-as-a-Service for on-premises, cloud, and hybrid IT infrastructures, delivering deep security insight and continuous protection for cust...
17th Cloud Expo, taking place Nov 3-5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. Cloud computing is now being embraced by a majority of enterprises of all sizes. Yesterday's debate about public vs. private has transformed into the reality of hybrid cloud: a recent survey shows that 74% of enterprises have a hybrid cloud strategy. Meanwhile, 94% of enterprises ar...
While DevOps most critically and famously fosters collaboration, communication, and integration through cultural change, culture is more of an output than an input. In order to actively drive cultural evolution, organizations must make substantial organizational and process changes, and adopt new technologies, to encourage a DevOps culture. Moderated by Andi Mann, panelists discussed how to balance these three pillars of DevOps, where to focus attention (and resources), where organizations migh...
Containers have changed the mind of IT in DevOps. They enable developers to work with dev, test, stage and production environments identically. Containers provide the right abstraction for microservices and many cloud platforms have integrated them into deployment pipelines. DevOps and Containers together help companies to achieve their business goals faster and more effectively. In his session at DevOps Summit, Ruslan Synytsky, CEO and Co-founder of Jelastic, reviewed the current landscape of...
The 4th International Internet of @ThingsExpo, co-located with the 17th International Cloud Expo - to be held November 3-5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA - announces that its Call for Papers is open. The Internet of Things (IoT) is the biggest idea since the creation of the Worldwide Web more than
Agile, which started in the development organization, has gradually expanded into other areas downstream - namely IT and Operations. Teams – then teams of teams – have streamlined processes, improved feedback loops and driven a much faster pace into IT departments which have had profound effects on the entire organization. In his session at DevOps Summit, Anders Wallgren, Chief Technology Officer of Electric Cloud, will discuss how DevOps and Continuous Delivery have emerged to help connect dev...
The 17th International Cloud Expo has announced that its Call for Papers is open. 17th International Cloud Expo, to be held November 3-5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, brings together Cloud Computing, APM, APIs, Microservices, Security, Big Data, Internet of Things, DevOps and WebRTC to one location. With cloud computing driving a higher percentage of enterprise IT budgets every year, it becomes increasingly important to plant your flag in this fast-expanding bu...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Harbinger Systems will exhibit at SYS-CON's 17th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 3–5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Harbinger Systems is a global company providing software technology services. Since 1990, Harbinger has developed a strong customer base worldwide. Its customers include software product companies ranging from hi-tech start-ups in Silicon Valley to leading product companies in the US a...
Explosive growth in connected devices. Enormous amounts of data for collection and analysis. Critical use of data for split-second decision making and actionable information. All three are factors in making the Internet of Things a reality. Yet, any one factor would have an IT organization pondering its infrastructure strategy. How should your organization enhance its IT framework to enable an Internet of Things implementation? In his session at @ThingsExpo, James Kirkland, Red Hat's Chief Arch...
The 5th International DevOps Summit, co-located with 17th International Cloud Expo – being held November 3-5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA – announces that its Call for Papers is open. Born out of proven success in agile development, cloud computing, and process automation, DevOps is a macro trend you cannot afford to miss. From showcase success stories from early adopters and web-scale businesses, DevOps is expanding to organizations of all sizes, including the ...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Secure Infrastructure & Services will exhibit at SYS-CON's 17th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 3–5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Secure Infrastructure & Services (SIAS) is a managed services provider of cloud computing solutions for the IBM Power Systems market. The company helps mid-market firms built on IBM hardware platforms to deploy new levels of reliable and cost-effective computing and hig...
DevOps Summit, taking place Nov 3-5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, is co-located with 17th Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. The widespread success of cloud computing is driving the DevOps revolution in enterprise IT. Now as never before, development teams must communicate and collaborate in a dynamic, 24/7/365 environment. There is no time to wait for long development...
To many people, IoT is a buzzword whose value is not understood. Many people think IoT is all about wearables and home automation. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Mike Kavis, Vice President & Principal Cloud Architect at Cloud Technology Partners, discussed some incredible game-changing use cases and how they are transforming industries like agriculture, manufacturing, health care, and smart cities. He will discuss cool technologies like smart dust, robotics, smart labels, and much more. Prepare...
SYS-CON Events announced today that ProfitBricks, the provider of painless cloud infrastructure, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 17th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 3–5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. ProfitBricks is the IaaS provider that offers a painless cloud experience for all IT users, with no learning curve. ProfitBricks boasts flexible cloud servers and networking, an integrated Data Center Designer tool for visual control over the...
The cloud has transformed how we think about software quality. Instead of preventing failures, we must focus on automatic recovery from failure. In other words, resilience trumps traditional quality measures. Continuous delivery models further squeeze traditional notions of quality. Remember the venerable project management Iron Triangle? Among time, scope, and cost, you can only fix two or quality will suffer. Only in today's DevOps world, continuous testing, integration, and deployment upend...