21 Nov 2012

Young people OK with lying, cheating and stealing - survey

10:50 pm on 21 November 2012

A survey of 500 young people in New Zealand shows a majority of them accept lying, cheating and stealing.

AAP reports that the Colmar Brunton Youth survey, of 500 people aged 18-30, which was issued on Wednesday, showed 89% said lying was sometimes justified.

Spencer Willis of Colmar Brunton said the most worrying thing is that it is deemed acceptable, with 87% of the participants saying they are satisfied with their personal ethics and character.

"There appears to be a wide gap between the way people see themselves and the way they view society,'' he said, ''which is evident in the average participants rating their own honesty higher than the rest of society."

"Unsurprisingly there is a lot of self interest in the reasons for lying, the good news being 72 per cent will more often than not feel guilty about lying," Mr Willis said.

AAP also reports 92% of those in the survey had cheated at one stage or another. The majority were playing card or board games, but more than 50% cheat on high school homework.

Almost a quarter cheat at university and around one in five cheat in relationships and in sport.

AAP reports the survey also found younger people (18-21) had a more "casual" outlook on what is considered stealing compared to their older peers.