It's easier to tell a believable lie online than it is face to face

Lie detection has consistently been a topic of study especially in law enforcement and terrorism studies. 

Lie detection stems from the ability to read someone's body language and facial expressions to determine in real-time if someone is lying. 

There are not only verbal and nonverbal cues, such as speech stumbles and compressed lips, but there are also questions that an interviewer can ask to be able to determine truthfulness. However, the widespread use of technology has changed the paradigm of lie detection. 

People with higher levels of trust have a harder time distinguishing lies online, but not offline.

In the study "Deception Detection: The Relationship of Levels of Trust and Perspective Taking in Real-Time Online and Offline Communication Environments"  researchers Friend, MSc & Fox Hamilton, MSc found that in a study of 40 college students, individuals with high levels of trust could only detect 25.10% of lies online compared to detecting 39.4% of lies offline, in person. The data suggests that not only is it easier to lie online, but also that those who have high levels of empathy actually are inaccurate in online lie detection while they are accurate in face to face lie detection.

Online behavior suggests that people are more willing to be vulnerable sharing personal details about themselves online rather than in person.

People are also more willing to be vulnerable sharing personal details about themselves online rather than in person which leads to higher trust and less lie detection. There is more of a predisposition to trust online due to reduced social inhibitions, which means that people are less guarded and more comfortable in divulging information to people online which then builds up trust. For example, in a study done by Reynolds, Smith & Birnholtz, 92% of text messages received by participants were rated as honest, despite those same participants rating their honesty as 73% in the texts sent. This suggests the theory that people believe that things told to them online will more likely be true.

The possibility of online business deception has many customers concerned and untrusting. 

This theory has many wide spread implications, not only in terrorism studies but also in business. The article "Online trust: a stakeholder perspective, concepts, implications, and future directions" by Shankar, Urban & Sultan mentions that while people are more trusting online with other people, it is harder in terms of people to organization relationships. Not only does the customer have to be able to trust the organization, but it also has to be able to trust the transactional technology the organization implements, which has many facets including privacy and credit card protection.

Professionals are not necessarily good at lie detection, but those who can scan environments are the best at it. 

Lie detection is not a skill every person has. It's assumed that certain people who hold professions in which lie detection in necessary are particularly good at it. However, in a meta analysis done by Aamodt & Custer the results revealed that professionals were no better at lie detection than students. Their results also revealed that out of 7 characteristics: confidence, age, experience, education, neuroticism, extraversion, and self monitoring, that those with high levels of self monitoring were better at lie detection. Self monitoring is the ability to scan the environment to determine how others are behaving and then adjust their own behavior accordingly. The act of self monitoring is being able to read verbal and nonverbal cues of others, which aids in lie detection. It would be good moving forward to begin research with those who are high self monitors and online lie detection.


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