This might come as no surprise to anyone who’s spent any time online or using email.
Here’s a study about it:
College students were told to get to know each other in three different ways: face-to-face, via email, or by instant messaging each other. Afterwards, they looked at transcripts or listen to recordings of their conversations and were asked: "Did you lie at all?"
At first, most people said they were being honest, but eventually 70% found something they’d said that was a lie. Some of the lies were small "white lies", while others were "total whoppers."
And lying was three times greater via email.
Said psychology professor and study author Robert S. Feldman:
"It’s easier to lie online primarily because the psychological distance between the two people communicating is greater… When you’re face-to-face, you see the person, you see their reactions to what you’re saying, you know they can see you. But when you’re online, you’re talking to a disembodied person. You don’t see their reactions to what you’re saying and I think it gives you a kind of freedom to be more deceptive."
The study, called Liar, Liar, Hard Drive on Fire: How Media Context Affects Lying Behavior, was published in the Journal of Applied Social Psychology.
– The lies we email each other, The Body Odd, MSNBC>>
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