Came across a fascinating paper titled Deception and Design: The Impact of Communication Technology on Lying Behavior that’s a must read for anyone interested in Online Dispute Resolution (ODR) and the design of applications in support of internet / web mediated conflict resolution processes.
Social psychology has demonstrated that lying is an important, and frequent, part of everyday social interactions. As communication technologies become more ubiquitous in our daily interactions, an important question for developers is to determine how the design of these technologies affects lying behavior. The present research reports the results of a diary study, in which participants recorded all of their social interactions and lies for seven days. The data reveal that participants lied most on the telephone and least in email, and that lying rates in face-to-face and instant messaging interactions were approximately equal. This pattern of results suggests that the design features of communication technologies (e.g., synchronicity, recordability, and copresence) affect lying behavior in important ways, and that these features must be considered by both designers and users when issues of deception and trust arise. The implications for designing applications that increase, decrease or detect deception are discussed.