People May Lie More When Texting: Study01/27/12
FRIDAY, Jan. 27 (HealthDay News) -- Folks might fib more
frequently when text messaging, a new study suggests.
Researchers say it may be easier for people to lie in a text
message than when they communicate through video or in person
because they don't feel as scrutinized.
The new study was led by David Jingjun Xu, assistant business
professor at Wichita State University School of Business in
Wichita, Kan. Working with colleagues at the University of British
Columbia (UBC) in Canada, he had 170 UBC business students conduct
fake stock trades in person, by video or by sending texts.
The participants acting as brokers were told they would receive
cash rewards for increased stock sales. They were also given inside
information that the stock they were selling would lose half its
Meanwhile, buyers were told they would receive cash depending on
their stocks' value, but they were not given any inside information
before their transaction. Once the trades were completed, the
buyers were asked if their brokers had been deceitful.
After examining which brokers were considered liars, the
researchers took into account which form of communication the
"broker" had used to make the trade.
The study revealed that buyers who received information through
text messages were 95 percent more likely to report a deception
than if they had communicated through video. They were also 31
percent more likely to report that they were deceived than those
who made the transaction in person and 18 percent more likely than
those who had a audio chat.
The researchers pointed out one possible explanation for
significant drop in deception during the video communication is
that video can make people feel as though they are being more
closely watched -- a perception they called the "spotlight
Xu's team also believe that the findings might help consumers
avoid problems such as online fraud.
The findings are to be published in the March issue of the
Journal of Business Ethics.
To learn more about the brain, the source of lying, visit
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