Many Canadians believe lying is justified to spare feelings: poll

55 per cent of Canadians surveyed are in favour of lying to spare someone’s feelings. (Courtesy: Canva/ pcess609)


More than half of Canadians surveyed are in favour of lying to spare someone’s feelings, a new study reveals. 

Fifty-five per cent of the nation believe a little white lie, such as not pointing out if someone’s outfit is not flattering, is acceptable, according to a Research Co. study published last month.

In Ontario, the percentage of people who support white lies is slightly lower at 53 per cent, while 51 per cent are in favour of them in Quebec. 

Almost two-thirds of those in Atlantic Canada have no issues with lying to spare emotions, while 59 per cent agree with this sentiment in Alberta, 57 per cent in both Saskatchewan and Manitoba and 56 per cent in British Columbia. 

Forty-five per cent of Canadians think it is acceptable to lie in order to protect a relationship, such as withholding potential anxiety-inducing information or news that may cause anger to a partner in a romantic relationship, according to the survey. 

Twenty-eight per cent of those surveyed believe it is justified to lie to be viewed in a positive light, such as telling their employer they were late to the office due to an accident. The figure rises to 33 per cent for those between the ages of 18 to 34. 

“Canadians aged 18-to-34 are the most likely to have wished for falsehood instead of veracity at some point in their lives (63%),” Mario Canseco, president of Research Co. said, in the news release.

“The proportions are lower among their counterparts aged 35-to-54 (55%) and aged 55 and over (51%),” he continued. 

This online study’s results were collected from Mar. 10 to 12, among 1,000 adults in Canada. The margin of error is plus or minus 3.1 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.



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