Essay Sample in Psychology - Different Types of Lies by College Students

Published: 2020-04-28
Essay Sample in Psychology - Different Types of Lies by College Students
Type of paper:  Essay
Categories:  Psychology Students Social psychology
Pages: 4
Wordcount: 874 words
8 min read

Lying is a vice that is common among college students; every student has lied at one instance or the other. It entails stating or implying something that is false in the knowledge of the truth and other instances under duress. Stephanie Ericsson in the article The ways we lie presents various means by which people lie that are common among students. These include dismissal, facades, the white lie, omission, deflecting among others. This essay seeks to discuss the three most shared forms of lies by college students, which include the white lie, dismissal, and omission giving practical illustrations for each.

Trust banner

Is your time best spent reading someone else’s essay? Get a 100% original essay FROM A CERTIFIED WRITER!

The White Lie

The White Lie is a dominant form of lie by college students. It involves withholding the truth to another in the assumption that truth could cause more harm than good. This protects the image or feelings of the person lied to, however, the person may suffer on learning the truth. For instance, a student may opt to complement a colleague in class on how they look to save them the embarrassment of stating that the colleague looks unkempt. Consequently, the victim of the lie feels great and acquires high self-image thus no room for improvement as opposed to knowing the truth and making adjustments (Stephanie 1).

The white lie as illustrated by Stephanie could result to dire consequences in some instances. This results when the lie harbors a long-term effect due to the wrong impression. Ericsson illustrates a case where a Sergeant gives false information to the family of a soldier who succumbed to injuries in Vietnam for greater compensation thus leaving the relatives with the hope of ever finding their dear ones. This form of white lie is often applied among college students, for instance, a teacher encouraging a student that they are smart in a certain course and that they keep up. Such simple lie could give the student overconfidence, therefore, failing in final exams.


The omission lie exhibits where one tells the truth but withholds few key facts that could otherwise change the status quo. Stevenson acknowledges that the harshest lies are regularly told in quietness (Stephanie 1). College students use this form of a lie to escape punishment for offences committed. For instance, a student leader reports vandalization of class windows but does not name the students responsible Thus, they escape the punishment accorded for such misconduct. Students in socialization processes often engage in omission in reference to class relations. A student who wishes to hide their personality or identity may withhold useful information to fellow students. For example, a student who is a homosexual may withhold such facts to mitigate discrimination by colleagues based on gender.

In another instance, a student who is smart in English subject upon enquiry by classmates may withhold information on his secret to success to maintain his status quo of being the best student. The information withheld if otherwise stated could be very helpful to the individual. An illustration is a student who finds difficulties in a certain topic in English and fails to disclose to the teacher, or fellow students go unnoticed hence problem is not addressed ending up with poor grades. Omissions create lies upon lies that could result in worse vices among student such as theft, dishonesty and cruelty among others. According to Erickson, omissions are very common means of lying hence college students ought to avoid them for better relations and performance (Stephanie 1). A student who is late for a lecture may argue that there was traffic whereas he remains silent to the fact he woke up late.


Dismissal is another form of lie discussed by Ericsson that entails shooting down a statement or idea made by other people causing them to believe it is false. This means of lying is unique in that it is executed intentionally and without much thought. According to Stephanie, this form of lying is best illustrated by parent's interaction with children. Parents often use this form of a lie to teach their children important values such as politeness in compromise of the children feelings (Stephanie 1). Dismissal is prevalent among college students in different circumstances. For instance, students often dismiss some advice on morality such as abstinence from drug abuse and alcoholism by their teachers or peer counselors whereas they know the consequences of the same. Further, a student may dismiss the instructions of the teacher to do certain exercises in class.

In conclusion, the three forms of lying discussed above demonstrate the effects of lying among college students. While some of these lies are committed consciously, others are unconscious or done without thinking much particularly dismissal. For instance, a parent may correct a child who categorically states that their teacher is bad to foster a good attitude for academic excellence. The parent usually justifies the lie by the intention and outcome of the lie, however, the action amounts to reducing the child to a liar. According to Stephanie, Omission, the white lie, and dismissal are, as the most predominant ways that people lie and are very applicable among college students thus they ought to avoid such situations for better relations and performance.

Work Cited

Stephanie, Ericsson, The Ways We Lie. Web. Retrieved From:

Cite this page

Essay Sample in Psychology - Different Types of Lies by College Students. (2020, Apr 28). Retrieved from

Request Removal

If you are the original author of this essay and no longer wish to have it published on the SpeedyPaper website, please click below to request its removal:

Liked this essay sample but need an original one?

Hire a professional with VAST experience!

24/7 online support

NO plagiarism