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Texting Brings Out the Liar in Us

by Brandon Russell | December 24, 2011December 24, 2011 12:01 pm PDT

SMS LieWho doesn’t have a cell phone these days? For that matter, who isn’t aware of what a text message is? As the adoption rate of mobile technology increases, text messaging is fast becoming one of the top means of communication. While many of us don’t reach the 4,000 a month tally, it’s likely SMS is one of your preferred choices. Beware, though, because a new study has concluded people are more likely to lie through text messaging when compared to other forms of communication.

Researchers at the University of British Columbia conducted a series of role playing communication scenarios through face-to-face, video, audio and texting, with some findings that will have you questioning your next SMS conversation.

The 170 students involved in the study were divided into “broker” and “buyer” roles, with cash incentives involved during mock transactions. The broker students were then given knowledge that the stock was rigged to lose half its value, with buyers being informed after the fact. When the results were tallied, brokers were said to be 95% more likely to lie than if they had communicated through video, 31% more likely compared to face-to-face, and 18% more likely compared to audio chat.

The results aren’t all that surprising. Because recipients can’t pick up on tone, inflection or body language as easily, users are more likely to lie via SMS. In many ways, it offers a disconnect the other communication tools don’t.

Do you find yourself telling more lies through text messaging? We won’t tell anyone!

[TheVerge, via UberGizmo]


Brandon Russell

Brandon Russell enjoys writing about technology and entertainment. When he's not watching Back to the Future, you can find him on a hike or watching...

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