Research has identified that perceived acceptability and likelihood of lying depend on the type of lie and personality characteristics such as honesty, kindness, assertiveness, and Machiavellianism. However, this research has focused on individuals’ experiences of their own emotions and neglected to consider how an individual’s understanding of others and their emotions influences deceptive behavior. I expanded upon this research during the summer of 2018 by investigating the relationship between emotional intelligence, personal intelligence, and perceived acceptability and likelihood of telling four types of lies, which are distinguished from one another based on their motivation (altruistic, conflict avoidance, social acceptance, or self‐gain). Participants were 80 University of New Hampshire undergraduate students who completed an online survey consisting of both self‐report and ability‐based measures. Results suggest that scores on ability‐based tests of personal intelligence may be useful in predicting an individual’s likelihood of telling lies for the purpose of social acceptance. Results also indicate a significant negative correlation between self‐reported likelihood of telling social‐acceptance lies and levels of personal intelligence, indicating that those with higher personal intelligence are less likely to tell social‐acceptance lies.

Publication Date

Spring 4-2019


UNH Undergraduate Research Journal

Journal Title

Inquiry Journal


Nicholas Mian


Durham, NH: Hamel Center for Undergraduate Research, University of New Hampshire

Document Type