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Lying Is More Common When We Email

Soulskill posted more than 2 years ago | from the check-is-in-the-mail dept.

Communications 123

An anonymous reader writes "A new study by University of Massachusetts Amherst researchers finds that using computers for instant messaging and e-mail increases lying compared to face-to-face conversations, and that e-mail messages are most likely to contain lies. At its heart, the difference is about deindividualization, where as people grow psychologically and physically further from the person they're communicating with, the likelihood of lying goes up."

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No way buddy. (4, Funny)

140Mandak262Jamuna (970587) | more than 2 years ago | (#38139372)

I always tell the truth when post in Slashdot. Especially when I check mark the anonymous coward option. Computers, IM, email etc encourage lying. bah! humbug.

Re:No way buddy. (1)

CmdrPony (2505686) | more than 2 years ago | (#38139464)

Yeah, I don't understand this either. I don't lie online. However, I do nothing but lie in real life. This study is bollocks!

Re:No way buddy. (3, Insightful)

Smallpond (221300) | more than 2 years ago | (#38139690)

In fact, this statement is a lie.

Re:No way buddy. (2)

cayenne8 (626475) | more than 2 years ago | (#38140656)

In fact, this statement is a lie.

This previous statement here, was true...

Re:No way buddy. (4, Interesting)

rwa2 (4391) | more than 2 years ago | (#38139914)

Yeah, by that logic, a digitally signed and encrypted email would be the epitome of deception.

So much for using email to leave a paper trail.

I kinda expect people to prevaricate more when talking face-to-face, because then they can rely on other powers of persuasion and intimidation and just plain acting to back their delusions. At least if they lie in email, I can call them out on it.

But whatever.

Re:No way buddy. (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38140148)

Anonymous coward posts really are hit or miss. You can make arguments for "courage of your convictions", but I actually find more honest, dissenting opinions in the anon posts than proper ones. Named posts are almost always "safe" posts. And so, I'm glad we've got an AC option.

Unfortunately, AC posts are also where you find the trashy, hateful, racist sludge as well.

Don't fall for it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38140870)

Unfortunately, AC posts are also where you find the trashy, hateful, racist sludge as well.

That's precisely what the Jews want you to think.

Re:No way buddy. (1)

140Mandak262Jamuna (970587) | more than 2 years ago | (#38140874)

You typed this in a key board without giving any clues about your body language. This must be a lie. That is what the article says. But you seem to think, "If only people can hide their From: headers they will give more honest and true opinions." One of the two must be wrong.

Re:No way buddy. (2)

McDutchie (151611) | more than 2 years ago | (#38141242)

Not necessarily. If people tend to lose their inhibitions when communicating via a keyboard (as opposed to in-person communication), then they will either be more honest or more dishonest â" i.e. more of what they would have been anyway. So the Internet can make the population in general both more likely to tell the truth and more likely to lie.

Re:No way buddy. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38140984)

You're lying!

But seriously, I'm a perpetual AC -- I never cared to bother with an account when I started reading /. in school, and never had a particular reason -- and of course, at any given time, if I register, everyone would see my high UID (whether that was 6 digits (as in 1xxxxx or 2xxxxx, when I started), 7 digits (a year or two back), or over 2000000 (now all the 1xxxxxx guys are the regulars, and venerate the 1xxxxx crowd that were being called newbies and padawans when I started reading/posting) and bring in unneeded assumptiona about my age, computer experience, and/or newness here. Obviously I should have registered upfront, and posted AC for several years, but there's hindsight for ya.

And at this point, it's more the stubbornness that keeps me going AC -- a feeling that if all non-trolls register, and intelligent AC comments disappear, the terr^H^H^Hrolls win, and it's only a matter of time and apathy before the anonymous option is gone forever. (Yes, I'm aware I've deluded myself into viewing "too lazy to register" into "AC MAN! Freedom fighter and lone defender of internet anonymity!" -- I should probably just strap a Guy Fawkes mask on and check myself into a loony bin.)

Re:No way buddy. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38140548)

yeah... weird. "Online" makes me feel invincible and truthful. Why lie when there are no repercussions.

However... at work, definitely not anonymous, but definitely no urge to lie. Better to be silent than lie in the workplace.

No shit. (4, Insightful)

CapnStank (1283176) | more than 2 years ago | (#38139376)

Haven't we already learned this from such "discussion mediums" as the Slashdot comment section? Its easier to lie when you don't have to cover your body language, quivers in voice or other "give aways".

Re:No shit. (4, Funny)

blair1q (305137) | more than 2 years ago | (#38139400)

Your punctuation errors are "give aways".

Re:No shit. (1)

wintercolby (1117427) | more than 2 years ago | (#38140010)

I dont lie at-all!

Re:No shit. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38141188)

Shouldn't that be period then close quote?

Re:No shit. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38139494)

How dare you accuse honorable and trustworthy Slashdot commentors of lying.

--
Malvo Archimdes Wells the Third
King of Antarctica
Lord of the Dance
Poker of Rabid Elephants
Tamer of Feral Godzillas
He is who is too lazy to login for this comment

Re:No shit. (4, Insightful)

Jeng (926980) | more than 2 years ago | (#38139678)

It's also easier to "lie" when you can carefully construct the "truth" which is much easier when writing it out vs doing it to someones face.

Re:No shit. (4, Interesting)

arkenian (1560563) | more than 2 years ago | (#38139816)

I agree. I think its just easier to lie in writing, and that there is an intrinsic nature to the fact that it is indelibly recorded which makes humans more inclined to lie. I might be willing to admit to my boss off-the-record that I called in sick one day 'cuz I just didn't feel like it, as opposed to actually being sick. I'd never write it down in an e-mail, because then he'd have a written record to use against me....

Re:No shit. (3, Insightful)

Jeng (926980) | more than 2 years ago | (#38140164)

I've never considered myself good at lying so I do tend to steer away from it, but people can get conflicting information from me anyway.

Someone asks me a question face to face and they want a simple answer for a complex problem I'll generalize an answer that might be technically correct, while in email I can sit there and lay out all points of the issue and put out a much better answer that might conflict with the shorter answer I gave earlier.

Which one is the lie?

Re:No shit. (3, Insightful)

tomhudson (43916) | more than 2 years ago | (#38140540)

The problem is that the people who think they're good liars are lying to themselves. So when called out on a lie, they don't understand how YOU can DARE have the UNMITIGATED GALL to imply that they're lying - even when you catch them red-handed!

They know they're lying, but THE FORCE (of of being able to ignore cognitive dissonance) IS STRONG with them.

And of course, they're so used to lying that they expect everyone else to.

Re:So when called out on a lie (1)

TaoPhoenix (980487) | more than 2 years ago | (#38140976)

Actually, the Force of Ad Hominem is strong with those types too. "I know you know I know you know" you are lying, but they're fast at an "Animalistic" response and it works in Media formats. "You couldn't defend the personal attack, therefore your credibility is down, therefore I must be right."

It's the whole Jocks vs Nerds thing from high school.

Re:No shit. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38140296)

Case is point: History books and Wikipedia.

Re:No shit. (1)

Idbar (1034346) | more than 2 years ago | (#38140876)

Diplomacy is an art and starts in written form.

Re:No shit. (0, Redundant)

gstoddart (321705) | more than 2 years ago | (#38139696)

It's easier to do lots of things when it's somewhat impersonal. If people acted in real life the way they do online, well, lots more people would likely have broken noses. :-P

The perception of anonymity can cause otherwise normal people to devolve into complete arseholes.

Re:No shit. (5, Funny)

canajin56 (660655) | more than 2 years ago | (#38139918)

That's Johnathan Gabriel's Greater Internet Fuckwad Theory. "Normal Person + Anonymity + Audience = Total Fuckwad." I don't remember what the Lesser Internet Fuckwad Theory is, it's been years since I took Intro to Internetrics.

Re:No shit. (1)

gstoddart (321705) | more than 2 years ago | (#38140028)

I think it's that those things make you a "Greater Fuckwad".

The A-hole is greater than the sum of its parts. ;-)

Re:No shit.http://penny-arcade.com/comic/2004/03/1 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38140678)

http://penny-arcade.com/comic/2004/03/19

Re:No shit. (1)

mcmonkey (96054) | more than 2 years ago | (#38140854)

That's Johnathan Gabriel's Greater Internet Fuckwad Theory. "Normal Person + Anonymity + Audience = Total Fuckwad." I don't remember what the Lesser Internet Fuckwad Theory is, it's been years since I took Intro to Internetrics.

While the GIF is well supported by experience, the LIF is a fallacy.

There are no lesser fuckwards on the internet.

Re:No shit. (1)

Taty'sEyes (2373326) | more than 2 years ago | (#38140940)

Greater Fuckwad != Liar... I can be a total dick and tell the truth, especially if you disagree with my position. And just because you disagree, does not mean I'm lying.

Re:No shit. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38140016)

Oh good.. I'm not the only one who quivers when I post.

Re:No shit. (2)

mr1911 (1942298) | more than 2 years ago | (#38140076)

Haven't we already learned this from such "discussion mediums" as the Slashdot comment section? Its easier to lie when you don't have to cover your body language, quivers in voice or other "give aways".

Is the only reason you tell the truth because you fear your "tells" show through?

The Slashdot comment section also has no personal connection with the other party if there is any other party represented as many posts are not directed to an individual. An anonymous community also has no personal investment in being caught in a lie, as does a lie on a one-to-one basis.

Email, IMs, and other communications with others known to you does contain personal investment for being caught in a lie.

Really? (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38139388)


I was just getting out of bed after a 9 hour orgy with my harem. I showed them this story on my iPad 4 and they think it's all BS.

Re:Really? (1)

youn (1516637) | more than 2 years ago | (#38139548)

I was just getting out of bed after a 9 hour orgy with my harem. I showed them this story on my iPad 4 and they think it's all BS.

Haha, Ipad 4? man you gotta upgrade, it's getting old :p... the new quantic chip since ipad 27 makes things much smoother... plus you're missing out on the 3D display, it sucks :p

Re:Really? (3, Informative)

Austerity Empowers (669817) | more than 2 years ago | (#38139662)

You must be new to the orgy thing, I didn't leave my last orgy for 72 hours, and that was just a shower break to maintain hygiene. And "bed", at an orgy? That's just for nipple sushi.

Re:Really? (1)

blair1q (305137) | more than 2 years ago | (#38139868)

If you'd said you were in Islamabad, that'd be funnier.

Re:Really? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38140188)

Well, having a harem in Islamabad is more credible than having one in any western country.

In comments on sites too. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38139392)

At least, thats what my girlfriend says.

true dat! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38139406)

Just like when your mom tells your dad that he can please her sexually and then behind his back she has 10 man interracial gangbangs.

Re:true dat! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38141136)

I am trying to figure out how you can get 10 different races... Or do you mean they are all black and she is white. (Of course if she was in NZ she could have sex with 'the All Blacks; (thats more than 10 though, theres 15 men on a rugby team (not counting reserves)

people lie? (5, Funny)

roman_mir (125474) | more than 2 years ago | (#38139424)

is it true, do people lie? Over email? To other people?

we need to look into this, it's going to ruin the economy, especially if these liars get into politics and big business!

They obviously do not work in a regulated industry (4, Insightful)

dave562 (969951) | more than 2 years ago | (#38139442)

When we need to lie, we pick up the phone. Emails are logged and archived.

I'm mostly kidding. I'm in IT. I do not need to lie. The sales staff on the other hand seems to make a living over promising things to clients.

Re:They obviously do not work in a regulated indus (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38139478)

People learn quickly around me not do to that. I *KEEP* my emails... I *WILL* bring them back up...

Re:They obviously do not work in a regulated indus (1)

roman_mir (125474) | more than 2 years ago | (#38139554)

IT is not somehow morally superior to anything else, people lie there as well as in anything else.

Re:They obviously do not work in a regulated indus (1)

dave562 (969951) | more than 2 years ago | (#38140158)

You're right. I never meant to imply any sort of moral superiority. I was just taking the opportunity to poke fun at sales people, who seem to be paid to lie for a living.

Re:They obviously do not work in a regulated indus (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38140644)

...sales people, who seem to be paid to lie for a living.

They don't lie, they just define truth differently.

Re:They obviously do not work in a regulated indus (4, Interesting)

need4mospd (1146215) | more than 2 years ago | (#38139956)

That's why you follow every call up with an email. Confirm every detail of the conversation how you understood it. Not only does it make a paper trail, but it clears up any communication errors. Habitual liars catch on real quick when their words are on paper.

Also, do not try this with the wife. "But honey, I have email proof!" only makes it worse.

Re:They obviously do not work in a regulated indus (2)

asher09 (1684758) | more than 2 years ago | (#38140030)

I've seen that people lie to me more often via text msg more often than via emails. Email seems more like an official documentation than text to most people, I guess even though both are logged and documented.

Re:They obviously do not work in a regulated indus (1)

Mister Whirly (964219) | more than 2 years ago | (#38140388)

Yeah but how long do you keep an archive of your text messages compared to your email? At work I have 11 year old email archived - the oldest text message I have is from yesterday.

Re:They obviously do not work in a regulated indus (1)

asher09 (1684758) | more than 2 years ago | (#38140432)

Good point. My point was just that my observation is people lie more often via texts.

Re:They obviously do not work in a regulated indus (3, Interesting)

dave562 (969951) | more than 2 years ago | (#38140128)

That is a good point. I often use that technique not to deal with liars, but to CYA.

"Just to confirm, you told me that you understand everything I told you, but you don't want to deal with it right now and think it can wait until later. I'm okay with that. Just don't come crying to me when the systems are down because you didn't take me seriously."

All it takes is getting bit in the ass once to turn into an ass covering twit. I hate to be that guy, but I hate it even more to get caught holding the bag because someone above me decided that what I told them was important, really wasn't important.

Re:They obviously do not work in a regulated indus (3)

nahdude812 (88157) | more than 2 years ago | (#38140252)

In my experience, this does a good job of clearing up over-the-phone misunderstandings. But it does little to deter liars, who will ignore the email and simply claim later (if called out on their lie) that they hadn't read your call minutes, and this wasn't what they intended to say. "Those were your words, not mine."

Agreed with GP, a lie told by email is written record. A lie told by phone or in person can be refuted. Why would people prefer to leave a paper trail? Maybe it is just for fibs or other inconsequential lies.

Also I've had similar experience as GP with our sales force. Those guys will drop a lie like it's going out of style, any time they perceive it might work out in their favor. "I did XYZ yesterday on Customer ABC, but there's no record in the system of that today, and this caused me to miss my numbers." "No, in fact, not only did nobody even bring that customer record up, you weren't even signed into the system yesterday." I don't get how the level of dishonesty they demonstrate on a regular basis goes unpunished. I sincerely doubt I'd still have a job if I had the same standard of honesty.

Re:They obviously do not work in a regulated indus (1)

sourcerror (1718066) | more than 2 years ago | (#38141182)

Or just don't marry habitual liars.

Re:They obviously do not work in a regulated indus (2)

eepok (545733) | more than 2 years ago | (#38141342)

I think the same of people who prefer to talk on the phone. Email keeps a trail of evidence. Email keeps people honest in business. Phones are for off-the-record communication, now.

When people call me in response to an email, I frequently think that they just don't know how to form coherent sentences and want to put the responsibility of communication fully on me instead of them explaining something on the record.

Of course... (0)

Oswald McWeany (2428506) | more than 2 years ago | (#38139444)

Of course... it easy to get away lying via e-mail. The terrible actors of the world needn't know that their facial expressions or eye directions won't reveal their lie.

I never lie though- find it counterproductive. When you've got 18inches who needs to lie?

Re:Of course... (4, Funny)

somersault (912633) | more than 2 years ago | (#38139612)

True that. Pizza soothes all. It probably even soothes the shame brought about by your tiny penis.

Re:Of course... (1)

skids (119237) | more than 2 years ago | (#38139630)

Yeah I'm doubting the "depersonalization" claim in the OP given that email makes it possible to proofread your lies. I'd think that would be enough to confound any effort to blame it on a psychological factor.

Uncomfortable truths, more common by anonymous? (2)

G3ckoG33k (647276) | more than 2 years ago | (#38139448)

Uncomfortable and inconvenient truths, more common by anonymous?

Some webpages promote anonymous posts, as they tend to get better discussions. Whistleblowers!

e-mail is normally attached to your name, so lying is better than telling the truth

Re:Uncomfortable truths, more common by anonymous? (2)

Hentes (2461350) | more than 2 years ago | (#38139878)

This is why the belief that anonymous posting causes trolling is stupid. Facebook commentwalls clearly proved that people can be dumb jerks with their full names as well. The cause is more likely that you don't see the other person face to face, it's much more impersonal. It's easier to hurt someone you never met.

It's the opposite for me. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38139498)

I lie much more in face to face conversations, like when I'm in a social situation such as my work, as I am obligated to talk to every idiot that shows up, and prefer not to let them know that I want to avoid them.
With e-mails however, I am much more selective who I talk to, usually I only talk to people I want to talk to and therefore I'm more often sincere in my e-mails.

how do they determine people are lying (2)

youn (1516637) | more than 2 years ago | (#38139518)

article says they determine it by analysing conversations but it does not tell much. If it is the experimenter's chat logs then he has a bias and he could subconsciously lie more if that is his hypothesis. If it is other lying then how is it determined that they are lying? also, easier to know exact details of conversation if it is written (unless it is recorded word for word).

imho the study as it is presented does not say much... though there is nothing wrong with the hypothesis that people would lie more because it is tougher to come up with a lie live. That said, we all learn to lie very quickly... and most become quite good at it to a point it's not anymore really an issue to lie live for most.

Re:how do they determine people are lying (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38139758)

They lied about the results. You should have realised that by now.

I'm not surprised... (2)

AngryDeuce (2205124) | more than 2 years ago | (#38139524)

They did a study not long ago demonstrating that anonymity encourages anti-social behavior, which also wasn't surprising.

Besides, a large component of lying (in my 'based on nothing but my own experiences' opinion) seems to be the odds of getting caught in said lie. When you're talking to someone face to face, there's a lot of physical clues that aren't present in an email, thus encouraging a person to lie.

Christopher Walken said it best, though. [youtube.com] I admit that may not have as much to do with the topic at hand, I just fucking love that scene...

Re:I'm not surprised... (2)

sribe (304414) | more than 2 years ago | (#38139822)

They did a study not long ago demonstrating that anonymity encourages anti-social behavior, which also wasn't surprising.

Funny thing about that though (if we're talking about the same study), the researcher faked all his data, and has now admitted to faking at least 30 studies. Talk about irony...

I knew it (2)

sl4shd0rk (755837) | more than 2 years ago | (#38139536)

All those emails about Global Warming... see?

That seems counter intuitive (1)

koan (80826) | more than 2 years ago | (#38139560)

Why would anyone be more inclined to lie when it will be documented? You lie when you have plausible deniability, or am I putting to much thought into this?

Re:That seems counter intuitive (1)

sribe (304414) | more than 2 years ago | (#38139968)

Why would anyone be more inclined to lie when it will be documented? You lie when you have plausible deniability, or am I putting to much thought into this?

You're not putting too much thought into it, you're failing to take into account the "delusion of grandeur" common with narcissistic and sociopathic personality disorders. A couple of year ago I had the thoroughly weird experience of having someone telling bald-faced lies about me lying, when the entire chain of correspondence was in writing and any interested party could easily verify that I had never made any such claim as was attributed to me. Not email by the way, written letters, reviewed by attorneys...

Hard to believe (5, Insightful)

LoudMusic (199347) | more than 2 years ago | (#38139568)

Either the research is flawed, or the people they studied are going to fail miserably in the "real world".

I find myself stretching the truth, or dodging accurate answers, when speaking in person far more often than I do in text. With text there is a document recorded for all time which can be referenced at any time. If it's not correct it's going to destroy you. If you say something untrue it's possible to wiggle out by claiming you were misunderstood or misheard.

Typically there is more time to build accurate and honest replies in text than there is in verbal communication. When you're speaking with someone they expect the reply RIGHT THEN, so you make some shit up to cover your ass. If you have more time you can formulate a true(er) response, or build truth prior to making your reply.

Spoken:
"Hey babe, did you take out the trash?"
"Uh, yep."
The hell you did. And now you have to get the trash out before she finds out.

Text:
"Hey babe, did you take out the trash?"
Take out the trash.
"Yep. At the curb."

No deceit. Just delay of truth due to available features of the means of communication.

Re:Hard to believe (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38139846)

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Re:Hard to believe (1)

Derosian (943622) | more than 2 years ago | (#38140032)

Some people don't have that knee-jerk avoid trouble response. When I was growing up getting caught in a lie was always worse than telling the truth and taking my punishment. So I developed an averse reaction to lying. That isn't to say that sometimes I won't leave out important information or say something that isn't a half-truth. Generally though I live my life honestly, and just try and accept things as they are and fix them in the future. Over E-mail I have a longer period of time over which to figure out how to say something while omitting truths that will lead a person to the decision or conclusion I want them to reach.

Re:Hard to believe (1, Insightful)

dkleinsc (563838) | more than 2 years ago | (#38140096)

Spoken:
"Hey babe, did you take out the trash?"
"Uh, yep."
The hell you did. And now you have to get the trash out before she finds out.

See, I must be one of those people who knows that it's probably better to answer the spoken question with "Nope, thanks for reminding me, I'll get right on it." That's something about actually respecting and liking the person calling me "babe", and knowing she wouldn't be asking the question if she didn't have a legitimate reason for it.

But then again, I'm just honest. Honestly, it's the honest ones you want to watch out for, because you can never predict when they're going to do something incredibly ... stupid.

Actually, the reverse (4, Interesting)

vanyel (28049) | more than 2 years ago | (#38139570)

I've found myself more open and honest in email, I think partly because I'm typing at the computer and not actually in the presence of the person - it's more like I'm talking to myself.

Re:Actually, the reverse (1)

EvilBudMan (588716) | more than 2 years ago | (#38140942)

And this self said I wanna be free.

emails are edited more (1)

gl4ss (559668) | more than 2 years ago | (#38139576)

even IM chats are better.

why? they're edited less, more of stream of thought. emails are one stream of thought written and then edited multiple times.

Totally legit. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38139644)

Dear Sir,

Good day and compliments. This letter will definitely come to you as a huge surprise, but I implore you to take the time to go through it carefully as the decision you make will go off a long way to determine the future and continued existence of the entire members of my family.

Please allow me to introduce myself. My name is Dr. (Mrs.) Mariam Abacha, the wife of the late head of state and commander in chief of the armed forces of the federal republic of Nigeria who died on the 8th of June 1998.

My ordeal started immediately after my husband's death on the morning of 8th June 1998, and the subsequent take over of government by the last administration. The present democratic government is determined to portray all the good work of my late husband in a bad light and have gone as far as confiscating all my late husband's assets, properties, freezing our accounts both within and outside Nigeria. As I am writing this letter to you, my son Mohammed Abacha is undergoing questioning with the government. All these measures taken by past/present government is just to gain international recognition.

I and the entire members of my family have been held incommunicado since the death of my husband, hence I seek your indulgence to assist us in securing these funds. We are not allowed to see or discuss with anybody. Few occasions I have tired traveling abroad through alternative means all failed.

It is in view of this I have mandated DR GALADIMA HASSAN, who has been assisting the family to run around on so many issues to act on behalf of the family concerning the substance of this letter. He has the full power of attorney to execute this transaction with you.

My late husband had/has Eighty Million USD ($80,000,000.00) specially preserved and well packed in trunk boxes of which only my husband and I knew about. It is packed in such a way to forestall just anybody having access to it. It is this sum that I seek your assistance to get out of Nigeria as soon as possible before the present civilian government finds out about it and confiscate it just like they have done to all our assets.

I implore you to please give consideration to my predicament and help a widow in need.

May Allah show you mercy as you do so?

Your faithfully,

Dr (Mrs.) Mariam Abacha (M.O.N)

N/B: Please contact Dr Galadima Hassan on this e-mail address for further briefing and modalities

Seriously? (1)

roc97007 (608802) | more than 2 years ago | (#38139654)

In the absence of physical tells, we tend to lie more? This is a revelation? I think I'm applying for a grant to find out why you get wet in the rain.

Re:Seriously? (1)

blair1q (305137) | more than 2 years ago | (#38139904)

Not me. I lie the most when I know people are trying to read tells.

But you still have to get the cards, so, no bracelets for me. Yet.

Are the results caused by the eletronic part? (1)

Nationless (2123580) | more than 2 years ago | (#38139672)

Is it because it's an e-mail that they lie more or because it's a constructed piece of written media?

Did they find the same results in normal letters/mail vs oral/IM communication?

I suspect it's all because lying is a lot easier to do when you can edit and rewrite what you're saying before you've actually said it.

Not in my previous company (1)

ddd0004 (1984672) | more than 2 years ago | (#38139796)

It was an extremely sales oriented company in a fairly shifty industry so, we just went with 100% lies on all communications (email/face to face/phone and customer facing or internal). Therefore, it wasn't more in this case.

most likely? (2)

Culture20 (968837) | more than 2 years ago | (#38139818)

e-mail messages are most likely to contain lies

As in email messages have a greater than 50% chance of containing a lie, or email messages seem to have more lies than texting or face-to-face conversation?

Most != More (1)

PPH (736903) | more than 2 years ago | (#38139866)

and that e-mail messages are most likely to contain lies.

Really? Can you quantify 'most'? P > 0.5?

I'm not disagreeing with the subject line premise (more common). I just think the summary exaggerates. Or perhaps they are just lying to us.

Its also possible that the statistics are biased by the number of Nigerian investment scheme offers and penis enhancement product ads piling up in most in boxes.

Writing for Fox News increases it the most. (0)

blair1q (305137) | more than 2 years ago | (#38139874)

[eom]

Most communications are visual (5, Interesting)

SlippyToad (240532) | more than 2 years ago | (#38139880)

I was taught in a communications course that over 90% of the "information" in a conversation is transmitted visually. We read each others' faces and body language.

My hobby is leading a rock band. I have noticed that people really don't hear as much of what we're doing as we think we are -- they are watching how we act on stage. This became apparent when we did a multi-band show one time and though the other bands were musically just as good as we were, we got a rousing ovation because my guitarist and I were jumping around on stage and cracking jokes. And the observations from the audience overwhelmingly confirmed -- it was how we behaved that sold our performance. We were good, we knew it, and we showed it.

So when you remove that element, that body language that will tell most people if you actually buy the bullshit you're selling, it frees you to sell far more bullshit.

Sociopaths and social manipulators don't even understand that what they're doing is wrong which is why one of the easiest ways to identify those folks is probably by their supernally smooth lying skills. Think about how charismatic TV preachers are, and think about how almost universally these folks turn out to be con-artists and frauds.

I never lie... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38139960)

I never lie, I always believe what I say. Sometimes others disagree though. Not my fault.

write it and forget it? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38140070)

What ever happened to "say it forget it, write it regret it"?

Well a big fucking DOH !!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38140268)

Duh !!!!"

I don't think so.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38140458)

Really. Most people only understand 44% of what you say, and email is forever! Sound's like a bunch of people are going to get in trouble. I don't know about you but in the IT world you always cover your butt with email, word of mouth is nothing.

The Internet was a pretty lady, and we loved her (1)

cstacy (534252) | more than 2 years ago | (#38140558)

But if everything you post is a lie and you say you are lying...

This is already proven... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38140598)

by Wikipedia

OMG! Please tell me you are kidding! (1)

140Mandak262Jamuna (970587) | more than 2 years ago | (#38140674)

People don't tell the truth in e-mails? What are you saying? Crown Prince Abalua Ngmbutte, who is seeking my help to move 23 million US Dollars out of the Central Reserve Bank of Nigeria might not be telling the truth? OMG! What am going to do? I was counting on my honest share of 8.2 million US Dollars to restart my life! Am I going to be ruined? Why bad things keep happening to me? When I am going to get my just reward?

The problem (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38140728)

Someone e-mailed me this article. But, I am pretty sure it is all lies. After all, they e-mailed it to me...

Am I lying right now? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38140790)

Maybe, maybe not.

Not true (1)

hamsjael (997085) | more than 2 years ago | (#38140920)

That's simply not true! And i should know since i invented both OpenBSD, The Internet and the vaccine against small pox!

Siri, please help (1)

PPH (736903) | more than 2 years ago | (#38141198)

I am walking along a trail in the jungle. I arrive at a fork in the trail leading to two villages of Amazon tribeswomen. At the fork, there is a member of one of the two tribes, but I'm not certain which. One tribe's members always tell the truth, the other always lie. One tribe kidnaps travelers and makes them their sex slaves. The other does not.

Siri, what question should I ask this woman?

I think it would differ per motivation for com. (1)

eepok (545733) | more than 2 years ago | (#38141290)

If you're an honest and forthcoming person, I think you're willing to use the text aspect of internet communication to be more so.

If you're a dishonest person, you probably see the utility of electronic communication for deception and deceive more.

Time (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38141464)

"Dr. John Doe,

I apologize for the delay in getting your PC back out to you. I realize this is an urgent priority and I am working as fast as I can to fix it in a timely manner. At this time, I would continue to use your laptop computer to dictate so that you do not fall behind. The reason it is taking so long with this PC is your hard drive is actually defective. I had to remove the hard drive and copy off your data in parts, making sure I get it all. Your data and this PC are my number one priority and you will have it later this week. I thank you so much for your patience.

Thanks,

-Me"

Lies? Yeah. It's not my top priority since he has another PC... and I am working on six other "high priority" PCs, each of which affect patient care. The bad hard drive? Yeah, not true... just a way to delay the process (Although it is a 40GB Maxtor drive may as well be bad). Nonetheless, he obtained a brand new Desktop a few days later and was very happy. So yeah, I lied but in the end all is well.

Lies aren't always bad (2)

SphericalCrusher (739397) | more than 2 years ago | (#38141474)

"Dr. John Doe, I apologize for the delay in getting your PC back out to you. I realize this is an urgent priority and I am working as fast as I can to fix it in a timely manner. At this time, I would continue to use your laptop computer to dictate so that you do not fall behind. The reason it is taking so long with this PC is your hard drive is actually defective. I had to remove the hard drive and copy off your data in parts, making sure I get it all. Your data and this PC are my number one priority and you will have it later this week. I thank you so much for your patience. Thanks, -Me" Lies? Yeah. It's not my top priority since he has another PC... and I am working on six other "high priority" PCs, each of which affect patient care. The bad hard drive? Yeah, not true... just a way to delay the process (Although it is a 40GB Maxtor drive may as well be bad). Nonetheless, he obtained a brand new Desktop a few days later and was very happy. So yeah, I lied but in the end all is well. (I made another post by accident as an Anonymous Coward. Sorry for duplicate).

Re:Lies aren't always bad (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38142334)

Why do you need to white lie?

When I can't get to something in a timely manner I just tell them I'm swamped and will get it finished as soon as I can. Most people will gladly accept that answer. If not, have them speak to your boss so that your boss knows the situation your department is in with regards to workload.

I can certainly believe that... (1)

avatar139 (918375) | more than 2 years ago | (#38142138)

...Seeing as how I've been getting e-mails from all over the world for years now telling me that if I reply back with my credit card information I can get thousands of dollars from overseas bank accounts, but I never have, no matter how many times I reply telling them I've never had a credit card and never will! ;)

You got it wrong. (2)

Lisias (447563) | more than 2 years ago | (#38142358)

Liers wil lie.

There're psychological triggers that inhibits liers from lie when facing the interlocutors. These triggers doesn't happens they use a computer.

Digital media does not favors lying. It simply does not inhibits it.

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