Amanda Pendolino
September 09, 2013

Study Says Slow Texters Are Liars

Are people slow to respond to your texts? Are their messages shorter than usual? They may be lying.

Researchers at Brigham Young University studied 100 college students who had online conversations with a computer. The computers asked the students 30 questions, and the students were instructed to lie in about half of their answers.

They found that the students spent 10 percent longer writing messages with lies – and they also spent more time editing those messages.

“We are starting to identify signs given off by individuals that aren’t easily tracked by humans,” study co-author Dr. Tom Meservy, BYU professor of information systems, wrote in a statement about the findings. “The potential is that chat-based systems could be created to track deception in real-time.”

He added: “Digital conversations are a fertile ground for deception because people can easily conceal their identity and their messages often appear credible.”

Okay, so that’s not exactly shocking news… but if someone’s pattern of communication changes, you may have reason to be skeptical. We like to think that we’re completely unpredictable, but we’re actually pretty boring creatures of habit.

Then again, 25-35% of people actually text while sleeping – so perhaps it’s best not to over-analyze every text message we get!