A new study reveals that sending a text message leads people to lie more often than in other forms of communication.
The study involved 170 students performing mock stock transactions in one of four ways: face-to-face, or by video, audio or text chatting. Researchers promised cash awards of up to $50 to increase participants' involvement in the role play. "Brokers" were promised increased cash rewards for more stock sales, while "buyers" were told their cash reward would depend on the yet-to-be-determined value of the stock.
The brokers were given inside knowledge that the stock was rigged to lose half of its value. Buyers were only informed of this fact after the mock sales transaction and were asked to report whether the brokers had employed deceit to sell their stock.
The researchers then analyzed which forms of communication led to more deception. They found that buyers who received information via text messages were 95% more likely to report deception than if they had interacted via video, 31% more likely to report deception when compared to face-to-face, and 18% more likely if the interaction was via audio chat.
So when reading a text, remember: The person sending it may not be telling the truth.
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