It could pay to be sceptical next time you check your inbox, according to research which suggests that people are more likely to lie in an email than in other forms of communication.
But psychological tests conducted by business professors at Rutgers, Lehigh and DePaul universities in the U.S. found people are significantly more likely to lie in emails than in handwritten documents.
In the tests, 48 students were given $89 and told to split it with somebody they didn’t know . A total of 92 per cent of the students lied when dividing the money over email, while 64 per cent lied when asked to write by hand.
Emailers ended up handing over an average of $29 — keeping $60 for themselves — while pen-and-paper negotiators gave up $34 and kept $55 for their own pocket.
In a second test of 69 students, subjects were asked to split the money with somebody they knew. The incidence of lying was reduced but not entirely eliminated. — © Guardian Newspapers Limited, 2008