The Prevalence of Younger Students Lying to Health Professionals

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Communication is a functional, purposeful, and strategic aspect of human socialization. Individuals have the ability make conscious decisions to control their expressive language to manipulate the perceived interpretations of others (Burgoon, Callister, & Hunsaker, 445). As people acquire language, they develop sensitivity to the Gricean maxims of conversation. The first of these maxims is “Quantity I”, or the failure to provide enough information. The second of these maxims is “Quantity II”, or the provision of too much or redundant information. The third of these maxims is “Quality”, or veracity (Siegal, Iozzi, and Surian, 2009). These three Gricean maxims of conversation alone encompass the prevalence of various forms of lying in the context of human communication. The significance of lying is that it can change various outcomes that negatively impact various circumstances. In the realm of health care, patients may lie to health professionals for a number of reasons including to acquire unnecessary or excessive medications, to avoid embarrassment or judgment, and to reduce expensive medical charges that may accumulate over time. “No matter how well intentioned the doctor faced with a patient in need of help may be, it is he who has the advantage resulting from the knowledge he has (the truth) and his skills: a disproportion occurs between these two parties” (Tanasiewicz, 2005, 16). Regardless of the motivation patients may have for lying, they may be jeopardizing

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