A new research study in the Journal of Business Ethics has discovered that individuals are more likely to lie through text-based messages via phone or email than through face-to-face interaction, video conferencing or audio communication.
Scheduled to be released next year, according to the Los Angeles Times, the study examines 140 students who engaged in role-playing in pairs. One student played a stockbroker and the other, a buyer. After giving the stockbrokers negative circumstances - the stock they must sell would lose 50 percent of its value in one week - researchers found that duplicitous behavior was most prevalent when the students conducted the conversation with the buyer through text messages.
The overall results concluded that the most honest form of communication was video conferencing - prevailing over face-to-face discussion and audio chat.
Video conferencing may be one of the most credible sources of communication because individuals can develop a well-rounded relationship with another person by seeing each other's facial expressions, instead of relaying a message through what researchers call "lean media" - a way of communication that carries the least possible amount of information. A message via lean media loses some of its meaning, which is why the acting stockbrokers could get away with text messaging the information without revealing the entire truth.