Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts in Communication Studies


Communication Studies

First Advisor

Abran Salazar


The current thesis examined the most common motives for lying in intimate relationships and the possible sex and gender differences in lying behavior. Student participants (N= 250), aged between 19-25 years old, at the University of Rhode Island, completed an anonymous questionnaire concerning motives for lying in intimate relationships. All participants were currently involved in a romantic relationship at the time of the study or had been involved in such a relationship in the recent past. Participants were asked to recall a prior serious deceptive experience with a relational partner. In the second part of the questionnaire students completed a Personal Attributes Questionnaire (Spence, Helmreich, & Stapp 1974). This instrument is composed of twenty-four bipolar items describing personal characteristics, on each of which respondents are to rate themselves on a five-point scale.

The hypotheses for this thesis predicted sex and gender differences between men and women. After examining the relationship between biological sex and motivation for lying, results were not generally consistent with the hypotheses. The overall test of differences appears to show that there are no statistically significant sex differences but rather gender differences between men and women in their motivation for lying in intimate relationships.



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