17. Digital Deception in Personal Relationships (Norah E. Dunbar / Matthew Jensen)
Digital Deception in Personal Relationships
Norah E. Dunbar
Trust and sincerity are the foundation on which close relationships are built. Paradoxically, it is that trust which allows deception to flourish because it prevents us from fully scrutinizing the messages from our relationship partners (Knapp, 2008; Guerrero & Floyd, 2006). Individuals lie to their closest relationship partners for a variety of reasons and the discovery of deception can have a profound impact on both the partners and the relationship itself. New technologies present an interesting challenge for deception researchers because the number of verbal and nonverbal cues available is more limited than when we are speaking in person. Whether it is a college student emailing her parents about her latest calculus test, a forward-deployed military officer using Skype to speak with his wife, or a salesperson in the field using her iPhone to communicate with her boss at the head office, deception in personal relationships is affected by the modality of the communication.
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