According to a recent study conducted at the University of Leigh in Bethlehem, PA, chances are good that if you email, you’re a liar. The study, which involved 48 MBA students, consisted of giving them $89 to divide between themselves and an unknown party. Their only means of communication allowed were either email or pen-and-paper.
The study found that the students that communicated using email lied about the amount of money they had to split a whopping 92% of the time. On average the emailers gave only $29 and reported only a $56 pot. Those using pen and paper scored a bit better, but not by much. They lied only 64% of the time.
Those conducting the test say “There is a growing concern in the workplace over e-mail communications, and it comes down to trust. You're not afforded the luxury of seeing non-verbal and behavioral cues over e-mail. And in an organizational context, that leaves a lot of room for misinterpretation and, as we saw in our study, intentional deception.”
Another similar test was conducted with 69 full-time MBA students. This test showed results that the more familiar those emailing with each other are, the less deceptive the lies. “But they would still lie, regardless of how well they identified with each other,” the study said.