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Cyberpsychol Behav. 2006 Feb;9(1):54-9.

Online deception: prevalence, motivation, and emotion.

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  • 1Chais Research Center for the Integration of Technology in Education, Open University of Israel, Raanana, Israel.


This research has three goals: first, to find out how prevalent online deception is within a sample of Israeli users, second, to explore the underlying motivations to deceive online, and third, to discover the emotions that accompany online deception. A web-based survey was distributed in 14 discussion groups, and the answers of 257 respondents were analyzed. It was found that, while most of the respondents believe that online deception is very widespread, only about one-third of them reported engaging in online deception. Frequent users deceive online more than infrequent users, young users more than old, and competent users more than non-competent. The most common motivations to deceive online were "play" on the one hand and privacy concerns on the other. Most people felt a sense of enjoyment while engaging in online deception. The results are discussed in light of a possible mechanism for changing personal moral standards.

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