Digital Deception

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With smartphones dominating social interaction, texting has become a new way of communicating and for the younger generation it is pretty much the only way of communicating.  Phone conversations are a thing of the past and quick, witty vernacular via texting has taken over communication.

But, can we really believe everything that is texted to us – My phone died, I’m almost there, I’m working right now call you later?

A new Study published this week in the journal ACM Transactions on Management Information Systems purports that there are tell tale signs that a person is probably lying when they text.

Time Health & Family reports that researchers at Brigham Young University delved into the topic of digital deception in their “texting” study that tested over 100 college students.  Tom Meservy, co-author of the study commented,

Digital conversations are a fertile ground for deception because people can easily conceal their identity and their messages often appear credible.  Unfortunately, humans are terrible at detecting deception. We’re creating methods to correct that.

The Brigham researchers findings are backed by a 2011 study that suggested people are more likely to lie, stretch the truth and omit important information in written communication opposed to face-to-face interactions.

The participants of this study were asked to respond to 30 questions, via text, that were generated by a computer.  The students were directed to lie in half of their responses.   After collecting 1,572 deceitful and 1,590 truthful chat-based responses, researchers found the false responses took 10% percent longer to create and were edited more than the honest messages.

In a past post “The Future of Deception”  Jeff Hancock talks lies as a relationship that we are all involved in and where they will take us in the future.

Do you ‘Stretch the Truth‘ when texting? 

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