University of Toronto Magazine University of Toronto Magazine
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Illustration by David Sparshott

How Often Do You Say Something That You Know Is Untrue?

We asked 100 U of T students. A majority said they tell a lie at least once a week

Honesty is not always the best policy, according to the majority of U of T students polled: they admit to telling a lie at least once a week. Why? Almost half say they tell white lies to protect another person, make someone feel better or spare their feelings. Eleven per cent of students say they utter untruths to avoid conflict or getting into trouble. A similar number use lies to embellish a story or “prove” a point; some make up excuses to get out of doing something; and a few are untruthful to avoid revealing something private about themselves.


Every day


Every week


Every month


Every year



This highly unscientific poll of 100 U of T members was conducted in February at Sidney Smith Hall on St. George Campus.

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