Ever been trading a flurry of text messages when there’s an awkward pause? Well, research from BYU shows you probably should be suspicious.
A new study finds when people lie in digital messages – texting, social media or instant messaging – they take longer to respond, make more edits and write shorter responses than usual.
“Digital conversations are a fertile ground for deception because people can easily conceal their identity and their messages often appear credible,” says Tom Meservy, BYU professor of information systems. “Unfortunately, humans are terrible at detecting deception. We’re creating methods to correct that.”
According to Meservy, humans can detect lies about 54 percent of the time accurately – not much better than a coin flip. It’s even harder to tell when someone is lying through a digital message because you can’t hear a voice or see an expression.
With the many financial, security and personal safety implications of digital deception, Meservy and fellow BYU professor Jeffrey Jenkins, along with colleagues at the University of Nebraska and the University of Arizona, set up an experimental instrument that tracked possible cues of online lying.
The researchers created a computer program that carried out online conversations with participants – similar to the experience consumers have with online customer service questions.
More than 100 students from two large universities, one in the southeastern U.S. and one in the southwestern U.S., had conversations with the computer, which asked them 30 questions each.
The participants were told to lie in about half of their responses. The researchers found responses filled with lies took 10 percent longer to create and were edited more than truthful messages.
“We are starting to identify signs given off by individuals that aren’t easily tracked by humans,” Meservy said. “The potential is that chat-based systems could be created to track deception in real-time.”
The findings appear online this week in the academic information systems journal ACM Transactions on Management Information Systems.
Meservy and Jenkins, who coauthored the study, said we shouldn’t automatically assume someone is lying if they take longer to respond, but the study does provide some general patterns.
The researchers are furthering this line of research by using a variety of other sensors including Microsoft’s Kinect to track human behavior and see how it connects with deception.
“We are just at the beginning of this,” Jenkins said. “We need to collect a lot more data.”
Douglas C. Derrick, assistant professor of IT Innovation at the University of Nebraska-Omaha, was the lead author for the study.
What do you suppose life would be like if you’d never gotten hooked on that oh-so-handy electronic tether?
Gary Sernovitz is the managing director of the investment firm Lime Rock Partners. And he doesn’t have a cell phone.
“For the last two decades, I have spent 83 percent of my waking hours enjoying the freedom of not owning a cellphone, 5 percent feeling smug about it, 2 percent in situations in which a phone would have been awfully convenient and 10 percent fielding incredulous questions,” he wrote for the Wall Street Journal. “But in a few weeks, I will buy a phone. I am scared. I am afraid of losing a small part of my identity.”
To hear the story on Market Place, click the link here: What would life be like without a cell phone? | Marketplace.org.
On April 19, the NW-ARM held a film screening of Half the Sky. Topics covered were sex trafficking in Cambodia and the empowerment of women through economics in Kenya. Along with showing portions of the film, there was a panel of several scholarly women. A journalist from the Gonzaga Bulletin wrote a story about the event.
It is finally here! The Spring 2013 Newsletter! We hope you enjoy the content of the issue, and we hope it creates awareness of media influence in our community and attracts you to attend some of our future events.
We appreciate your loyalty to Media Literacy!
Click to read: NWARMspring2013NewsLetter
Take a pledge and UNPLUG from the technological stresses of our day-to-day life. In the next couple days lets pledge to UNPLUG from nonsensical things! Visit the following link to learn more about National Day of UNPLUGGING: http://nationaldayofunplugging.com.
Here is what some of our faculty, staff and student at Gonzaga University are pledging to UNPLUG from:
Amy Goodman makes an important statement about one’s role of reporting and covering stories. The jounalist have a “moral responsibility” to to protect whistleblowers named in news reports because they are taking a risk by speaking up.
The Northwest Alliance for Responsible Media is committed to promoting responsible media and media coverage.
NW-ARM has used this blog to discuss problems such as cyberbullying and privacy concerns associated with the explosion of technology that has allowed increasing numbers of us to become “media producers” as well as “media users.” YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, cell phone cameras and other innovations that didn’t even exist a few years ago (even Facebook and YouTube are less than a decade old) have changed our media world.
Some of the change has been harmful, much of it trivial. But much of it also has been (or could be beneficial), which is largely why we’re sponsoring the student video contest advertised in the post at the top of this page. Those of us who care about both the effects of media and our First Amendment protections recognize that sometimes the way to fight bad media is with the use of good media. The following video is offered with that in mind:
Join the NW-ARM this Saturday, Feb. 2, 2pm at Gonzaga University’s Cataldo Hall, Globe Room for an intimate conversation with Rick Steves.