One of the biggest problems researchers in academia face is the fact that people lie constantly, for reasons ranging from shame to really just wanting the test subject money to finding it hilarious to mess with PhD candidates.
But, increasingly, academics are discovering a method of communication with test subjects that offers a much higher chance of truth: texting.
According to the study that revealed this:
The researchers also found that those responding to questions via text were less likely to use a method known as ‘satisficing’ when giving answers. That is the practice of giving answers that are ‘good enough’. For example, an example of satisficing is round a numerical answer to ten. Because those using text messaging to respond to questions don’t have the time pressure that someone responding to questions via a hone call might feel, text messaging often leads to more precise answers “as respondents are able to take longer to arrive at more accurate answers.” Michael Schober, a professor psychology and dean of the graduate faculty at the New School for Social Research, said that while these are early days in the study, it appears that text messages remove the users “tendency to shade the truth” including personal details.
In other words, because you feel no time pressure and can accurately look things up before replying, you’re more likely to tell the truth instead of what you think the researcher wants to hear.
Sadly, they have no data about whether this is true in relationships.
(Image via Dan Zen on Flickr)