Study: Liars Text More Slowly

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Because we don’t already check our phones compulsively enough, Brigham Young University informs us that when people lie in texts or instant messages, they take longer to respond, make more edits, and write shorter messages than they typically do. In the study of 100 college-age instant messagers, lies took 10 percent longer to compose than honest messages. It gets worse. The study authors claim timing text-message responses might be one of the better lie-detection tools at our disposal. According to Tom Meservy, a professor of information systems, humans are “terrible” at lie detection, only spotting it about half the time. “We're creating methods to correct that,” he said. “We are starting to identify signs given off by individuals that aren't easily tracked by humans. The potential is that chat-based systems could be created to track deception in real-time." That would be bad news for those of us who prefer texting for the freedom to choose our words carefully and ignore people until they feel insecure.