Lying, cheating and stealing - Are Kiwi adults setting a bad example?

By Wright Communications

The survey revealed 81% of adults admitted cheating of some kind, including 36% cheating in a relationship and 22% at work.

Spencer Willis, Head of Qual and Youth Specialist at Colmar Brunton and leader of the study, suggests it is no wonder our young people are following suit, with comparative figures showing only 8 % of young people have never cheated.

Not only are adults cheating on their partners, but they are lying to them too.

"Twenty-four per cent of adults surveyed last told a lie to their partner; with almost half admitting they'd done so within the past month, and almost three-quarters feeling guilty about it despite the large majority (84%) saying it was justified," says Willis.

Lying to avoid hurting someone's feelings was the most excusable lie, with only seven per cent of people saying this was never ok. In comparison, only 12% of people thought it was ok to lie to a spouse or partner about having an affair.

To top it off, a whopping 60% of adults have stolen something - with almost half of those admitting the item was from a shop.

"Adults are more likely to acknowledge that many arbitrary situations constitute stealing, such as taking stationery from work, taking items home from a fast food restaurant, downloading music, and being lazy at work - whereas younger people had a more black and white view of what it means to steal.

"These results mirror what we found among young New Zealanders and are concerning," says Willis. "While we may not be talking big items, as any psychologist will tell you, children learn through observation and that leaves the responsibility on adults to set the right example."

Despite admitting this bad behaviour, 91% of adults are satisfied with their personal ethics and character, while admitting lying, cheating and stealing does hurt one's character.

And there's room for improvement, with only 57% agreeing they are better than most people they know.

Colmar Brunton interviewed 280 adults over 30 years old during December 2012 through their online clique panel. The survey has a maximum margin of error of + or - 4.4%.


Latest News

Get in Touch

Give us a call, send us a message or call in and see us.  We’d love to hear from you.