When using computers, people are more likely to lie than when communicating via smartphones. And no, it is not a simple impression: the information emerges from a scientific research published in The International Journal of Conflict Management, signed by researchers from Rutgers and De Paul University. A study that, according to as explained by the authors on The Conversationrepresents an interesting point of view on the impact of technology on human behavior.
The experiment replicated what economists call ultimatum game. It is a hypothetical situation in which two people interact to decide how to divide a sum of money that is entrusted to them by the experimenters. In this case, the game involved 137 graduate students, who were asked to split $ 125 with a randomly assigned colleague. Half of them had a computer, the others a smartphone. According to what emerged from the experiment, 82% of laptop users lied during the negotiation, compared to 62% of those who used cell phones.
The experiment was also replicated in a different scenario, with 222 students divided between buyers and sellers and involved in one negotiation on the purchase price an imaginary semiconductor factory. Again, the participants who used the laptop were found to be more liars. In particular, they lied about the right purchase price of the asset, which was communicated to the buyers in advance.
Yes: online we are less honest and more aggressive. And in the metaverse it will get worse
by Emanuele Capone
Why do two similar technologies change our behaviors?
Smartphones and computers are now two technologies that tend to be very similar by now almost overlapping for a good part of the technical characteristics. Starting from this assumption, the researchers asked the participants, on the sidelines of the experiment, about details their relationship with these two devices. The answers explain the findings of the study quite well.
Smartphones generate an association with friends and family: they are the tools we use to communicate with those closest to us, in most cases. On the contrary, the PC is the device that almost everyone uses every day for professional reasons. For this reason, it is connected to work, to the search for success and goals. A circumstance, the latter, which, according to other data published in scientific literature, it can lead people to unethical behavior.
“It is clear that studies like ours cannot accurately predict the behavior of people in everyday life – the researchers explained to The Conversation – However, they represent a testimony of the ways, sometimes not very evident, in which technology can change human behavior “.