Deception in Computer-Mediated Communication

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Deception in Computer-Mediated Communication
Abstract
This paper examines deception in computer-mediated communication. Types of deception are identity deception, mimicking of data and processes, insincere responses, false excuses and promises, and fraud. Reasoning and factors for engaging in deceptive online behavior is personal gain, to avoid punishment, release aggression, create a sense of power, wish fulfillment, assist own or other’s self-deception, help a loved one, resolve role-conflict or just for plain enjoyment. Also research on factors that affect deception and its detection such as sensation seeking, Internet dependency, synchronous versus asynchronous communication, deception cues, and family online communication are examined. It is found that sensation seeking and Internet dependency both increase deceptive behavior online, (Lu, 2008). Deception is less detected in synchronous computer-mediated communication that asynchronous, (Burgoon, Chen & Twitchell, 2010). Deception cues often go unnoticed in online shopping leading to lack of deception detection, (Grazioli, 2004). Having family interaction online lessens deceptive behavior but increases discomfort, (Goby, 2011). Deception in Computer-Mediated Communication

When it comes to online communication deception is a key issue. Deception online consists of identity deception, mimicking of data and processes, insincere responses, false excuses and promises, and fraud, (Rowe). Identity deception involves lies of who the person really is or even what they are like and often occurs in online chat rooms, videogames, forums, and discussion groups. Mimicking of data and processes consists of fake websites, bills and emails as well as hijacking of websites and personal profiles. Insincere responses, known by today’s youth as “trolling,” involves exaggerating responses, posturing, replacing actual emotions with false ones in responses, or purposely responding in a manner that is meant to engage a response in the receiver. False excuses and promises are commonly used and difficult to identify in interpersonal computer-mediated communication but is also present publicly through false advertisements and other similar media. Fraud is the most well-known and feared source of deception for computer users since it often is for criminal ends and comes in many forms, such as computer viruses, credit card fraud, fake investments or charities and spam email. These forms of deception occur for several reasons all involving personal gain, to avoid punishment, release aggression, create a sense of power, wish fulfillment, assist own or other’s self-deception, help a loved one, resolve role-conflict or just for plain enjoyment, (Rowe). People are found to be more susceptible to deception online since computer-mediated communication lacks verbal cues and social constraints that are present in face-to-face communication. Lu, (2008) found a positive correlation between high sensation seeking and engaging in deceptive behaviors online as well as Internet dependency or addiction. The rationale behind this claim is that Internet dependents receive arousal from interacting with others online which satisfies their sensation seeking needs of novelty, complexity, thrill and adventure but the satisfaction doesn’t last and creates the intention to use deception to satisfy the sensation seeking craving. This result was found by a survey of 675 college students in Taiwan, mean age of 20.3 years. The survey consisted three questionnaires that measured engagement in online interpersonal deception, sensation seeking and Internet dependency. The information gathered was analyzed via a t-Test for independent samples, p < .05, (Lu, 2008). The results supported the two hypotheses that both high sensation seekers and people with high levels of Internet dependency are more likely that their counter parts to engage in interpersonal deception online. Burgoon, Chen and Twitchell (2010) examined...
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