Text messaging may be a more convenient mode of communication, but it may lead people to be more deceitful, according to a new study by UBC researchers.
The study involved 170 student brokers and buyers performing mock stock transactions in one of four ways: face-to-face or through video, audio or text chatting.
Researchers found that participants who received information via text message were 95 per cent more likely to report deception than if they had interacted via video, 31 per cent more likely to report deception compared to face-to-face and 18 per cent more likely to report deception than audio.
Ronald Cenfetelli, professor at the Sauder School of Business at UBC and co-author of the paper, said he was surprised that people’s reactions at being lied to differed depending on the medium.
“Participants were likely to be more angry when they were lied to via text messaging,” he said.
Cenfetelli hopes the study will remind tech-savvy users to reconsider face-to-face or video interactions over text messaging when it comes to transactions over eBay or Craigslist.
“Personal interaction tools, such as Skype are a richer form of communication, you get eye contact and gestures that would mitigate lying and cheating,” said Cenfetelli.
He suggested taking the time to make a phone call instead of sending an email.
“Sometimes you have to sacrifice convenience. Avoid the temptation to use these technologies,” he advised. “Take the time to do this over a richer form of communication even though it may take a couple of extra days.”