And the results suggest “online deception is the rule, not the norm”, a perhaps concerning statement given our ever increasing reliance on social media and online communication.
The study, called “Why do people lie online? “Because everyone lies on the internet””, looked into online deception across dating platforms, social networks, anonymous chat rooms and sexual websites.
To obtain the results, researchers asked participants to comment on their own honesty, as well as how they thought other people presented themselves online, comparing answers across the four different types of social platforms.
And the results showed that 16—32% of people reported self-honesty when using the internet, and 90% expected others to lie about their appearance online.
The majority of people (32%) also believed others to be the most honest on social networks, with honesty levels on online dating platforms ranking second.
Researcher Michelle Drouin explains: “The reason for this is because these social media sites, we posited, have the most links to the outside world.
“It’s a lot harder to lie about your gender or your age, for example, when you have pictures of yourself, pictures of your family, and most importantly, shared acquaintances.”
However, participants did expect higher rates of deception on what the study called “sexual communication sites”.
And according to the research, people tend to base their own honesty on how realistically they believe others present themselves.
Drouin said: “Others said that they lied because they just thought everyone lies online. This is the place where lying is standard.”
To see the full study please click here.