A new paper to be published next year in the Journal of Business Ethics finds that people are more likely to lie via text compared to face-to-face communications, video conferencing or audio chat.This is not good news in a society where the average kid sends 93 test messages per day...
The paper is based on a study of 140 students that were grouped into pairs and asked to engage in a role-playing game. One student took on the role of a stockbroker, the other student played a buyer. Researchers told the "stockbroker" that the stock they had to sell would lose 50% of its value in one week. They also gave the "stockbroker" a financial incentive to sell as much of the bad stock to the "buyer" as possible.
Researchers found that the stockbrokers were most likely to engage in duplicitous behavior -- either lying about the quality of the stock, or not mentioning how bad it was -- if they conducted the buy/sell conversation via text message.
They were most likely to be honest about the quality of the stock if the conversation happened via video, which beat out both face-to-face communication and audio chat.
Lying via text makes intuitive sense. It's what researchers call "lean media," which means it doesn't effectively transfer the rich emotional cues that might alert someone to duplicitous behavior. You can't stutter over text, or twist your hands nervously, or dart your eyes.
Thursday, December 22, 2011
Text Doesn't Lie, But Liars Text
People more likely to lie when texting