Check out this link to a press release about cynicism in children. Children as young as 7 can be cynical and attribute motives to selfishness or lying. But there is another unspoken take-home point from this. At this age, children are also more likely to judge others in all-or-none terms... (for instances, as a liar or bad). Or in other words, children are less likely to see people as complex, ambiguous, or realistic mixtures of good and bad. Care needs to be taken to help children to gradually acquire this deeper and integrative view of others as well as themselves.
Kids and Cynicism