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UMass Study: People More Likely To Lie In Email Than Face-To-Face

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BOSTON (CBS) – A new study claims people are more likely to lie in an email to you rather than in a conversation.

Researchers at UMass-Amherst found that communication using e-mail and instant messaging increases lying compared to face-to-face conversations, and that e-mail messages are most likely to contain lies.

“Ultimately, the findings show how easy it is to lie when online, and that we are more likely to be the recipient of deceptive statements in online communication than when interacting with others face-to-face,” study co-author Robert Feldman said in a statement Tuesday.

Researchers say they looked at 110 same-sex pairs of college students who engaged in 15 minute conversations either face-to-face, via e-mail, or with instant messages.

They found deception in all three forms of communication, but also noticed it was increased in both instant messaging and e-mail, with e-mail messages the most likely to contain lies.

“In exploring the practical implications of this research, the results indicate that the Internet allows people to feel more free, psychologically speaking, to use deception, at least when meeting new people,” Feldman and co-author Mattityahu Zimbler said.

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