Victoria Talwar

Academic title(s): 

Professor, Department of Educational and Counselling Psychology

Canada Research Chair, Tier II

Associate MemberInstitute for Human Development and Well-Being (IHDW)

Associate Member, Dept. of Psychology

Contact Information

Education Building, Room 550

Email address: 
victoria.talwar [at]
Department of Educational and Counselling Psychology

Ph.D., Queen's University
M.A., University of St. Andrews

Research areas: 
Child Development
Development of lying in children
Theory of mind
Child witness testimony
Current research: 

I am interested in children’s social-cognitive development. My research interests include children’s verbal deception, children’s moral development, theory-of-mind understanding and behaviour; children’s expressive display rule knowledge and behaviour. In addition, I have investigated issues related to child witness testimony including child witness credibility and competence, lie detection and jury decision making. I am also interested in the influence of cross-cultural factors and attitudes to moral behaviour. My other interests include children's spirituality in relation to this social emotional adjustment and children's attitudes and perceptions of cyberbullying.

Current Research Grants

Dr. Talwar has received funding from the Canadian Foundation for Innovation, the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC), Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC), Fonds de Recherche sur la Société et la Culture (FQRSC), and the National Science Foundation.

Awards, honours, and fellowships: 

2018 Northeastern Association of Graduate Schools (NAGS) Graduate Teaching Award (Doctoral-level)

2017 Member, College of the Royal Society of Canada

2017 David Thomson Award for Graduate Supervision and Teaching, McGill University

2016 Fellow, Association for Psychological Science

2015 Fellow, Developmental Psychology (Division 7), American Psychological Association

Graduate supervision: 

Development of lying in children, including the cognitive-cultural-social factors affecting children's conceptual and moral knowledge about lying, theory of mind, and child witness testimony. Cyberbullying, gossip and adolescent on-line engagement. 

Selected publications: 

Articles in refereed journals


Mugno, A., Malloy, L.C., Waschbusch, D.A., Pelham, W.E., & Talwar, V. (2019). An experimental investigation of antisocial lie-telling among children with disruptive behavior disorders and typically-developing children. Child Development, 90, 774-789.

Shouhoudi-Mojdehi, A., Leduc, K., Shouhoudi, A., & Talwar, V. (2019). Examining cross-cultural differences in youth’s moral perceptions of cyberbullying. Cyberpsychology, Behavior, & Social Networking, 22, 243-248.

Talwar, V., Lavoie, J., Crossman, A. (2019). Carving Pinocchio: Longitudinal examination of children’s lying for different goals. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, 181, 34-55.

Leduc, K., Conway, L., Gomez-Garibello, C., & Talwar, V. (2018). The influence of participant role, gender, and age in elementary and high-school children’s moral justifications of cyberbullying behaviors. Computers in Human Behavior, 83, 215-220

Yachison, S., Okoshken, J., & Talwar, V. (2018). Students’ reactions to a peer’s cheating behavior. Journal of Educational Psychology, 110, 747-763

Conway, L., Gomez-Garibello, C., Shariff, S., & Talwar, V. (2016). Face-to-face and online: An investigation of children’s and adolescents’ bullying behavior through the lens of moral emotions and judgments. Journal of School Violence, 15, 503-522

Talwar, V., Gomez-Garibello, C. & Shariff, S. (2014). Adolescents' Moral Evaluations and Ratings of Cyberbullying: The effect of veracity and intentionality behind the event. Computers in Human Behavior, 36, 122-128. doi: 10.1016/j.chb.2014.03.046

Lee, K., Talwar, V., McCarthy, A., Ross, I.., Evans, A., & Arruda, C. (2014). Can classic moral stories promote honesty in children? Psychological Science. DOI: 10.1177/0956797614536401

Saykaly, C., Talwar, V., Lee, K., Lindsay, R.C.L., & Bala, N. (2013) The influence of multiple interviews on the verbal markers of children’s deception. Law and Human Behavior, 37(3), 187-196. doi: 10.1037/lhb0000023

Moore, K., Talwar, V., & Bosacki, S. (2012) Canadian children’s perceptions of spirituality: diverse voices. International Journal of Children's Spirituality, 17 (3), 217-234. doi:10.1080/1364436X.2012.742040

Talwar,V., & Crossman, A. M. (2012). Children’s lies and their detection: Implications for child witness testimony. Developmental Review, 32, 337-359. doi:10.1016/j.dr.2012.06.004

Talwar, V., & Crossman, A. (2011). From little white lies to filthy liars: The evolution of honesty and deception in young children. Advances in Child Development and Behavior, 40, 139-179.

Bosacki, S., Moore, K., Talwar, V., & Park-Saltzman, J. (2011).Preadolescents’gendered spiritual identities and self-regulation. Journal of Beliefs and Values: Studies in Religion and Education, 303-316.

Popliger, M., Talwar, V., & Crossman, A. M. (2011). Predictors of children’s prosocial lie-telling: Motivation, socialization variables, and moral understanding. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, 11, 373-92.

Talwar, V. & Lee, K. (2011). The effects of punitive environment on lying in young children: a naturalistic study. Child Development, 82, 1751-1758.

Talwar, V. & Lee, K. (2008). Social and Cognitive Correlates of Children’s Lying Behavior. Child Development, 79, 866-881.