BETHLEHEM, Pa., Oct. 3 (UPI) -- U.S. researchers suggest that e-mail is the most deceptive form of workplace communication and people feel justified in lying when using e-mail.
Study co-author Liuba Belkin of Lehigh University said people are not afforded the luxury of seeing non-verbal and behavioral cues when communicating by e-mail, and in an organizational context that leaves a lot of room for misinterpretation and, as the study indicates, intentional deception.
Belkin -- who co-authored the paper with Terri Kurtzberg of Rutgers University and Charles Naquin of DePaul University -- said the researchers handed 48 full-time MBA students $89 to divide between themselves and another fictional party, who only knew the dollar amount fell somewhere between $5 and $100. There was one pre-condition -- the other party had to accept whatever offer was made.
Students using e-mail lied about the amount of money 92 percent of the time, while less then 64 percent lied about the money when using pen and paper.
In a second, related study of 69 full-time MBA students, the researchers found the more familiar e-mailers are with each other, the less deceptive their lies are -- but they still lie, regardless of how well they identified with each other.