10. 09. 2008
The email effect: experiment shows typing encourages lying
Anyone who has blogged for more than two minutes knows about the abusive comments the activity can invite. It's always been assumed that the anonymity of the Internet was a big reason for the proliferation of online nastiness - but is there actually something about typing, rather than writing, that makes people more unpleasant?
It sounds strange, but that's what a recent study seems to suggest. Researchers gave MBA students at Leheigh, Rutgers and DePaul universities a pool of money and asked them to split it with someone else, who they could communicate with via email or via written note.
Everyone lied about the amount of money involved (three cheers for the business people of the future!) but the people who communicated by email lied more. Perhaps the act of typing distances us from ourselves? It certainly distanced the CEOs of tomorrow from their consciences...