Unlike face to face fibbing, it’s easier to lie over text, as there’s no eye contact involved, and the inflection in your voice or fidgeting can’t give you away! Well not anymore!
Researchers have found easy cues to spot dishonest behavior via text, or any kind of digital communication on social media and instant messaging.
According to experts, people who are lying in text messages or online chats, take longer to respond, make more edits, and write shorter responses, because they are concocting stories.
Lead author of the study, Dr Tom Meservy, professor of information systems at Brigham Young University in Utah stated, “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.”
Details of the study
In order to track the possible tell-tale signs of lying texters the researchers carried out an online study.They recruited more than 100 students at two large universities (one in southeastern United States and one in the southwestern US).
As a part of the experiment, the subjects were asked to answer 30 random questions using a chatbot that was designed for the purpose. For half of the responses, the students were instructed not to tell the truth.
It was noted than when the volunteers fibbed they were more inclined to edit their replies and took 10 percent longer to craft their messages than the honest texts.
“We are starting to identify signs given off by individuals that aren’t easily tracked by humans,” Dr Meservy said. “The potential is that chat-based systems could be created to track deception in real-time.”
The findings appear online this week in the academic information systems journal ACM Transactions on Management Information Systems.