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In 1992 lying on the internet was still considered rather uncommon (Curtis, 1992).
After two years of observation of social interactions of more than 3500 players on MUD servers, which are used to meet people and play various roles in a fictive world, Curtis ends the study with a statement that suspicion of lying was most often expressed towards women playing woman characters.
The goal of our study was to find out how the frequency of lying varies in diverse environments of the internet, who is the most frequent recipient of lies and what are typical motivations for lying.
We were interested in how these variables partake in the frequency of lying in various areas of the internet (e-mail, chat rooms, discussion forums, instant messengers, computer games).
Cornwell and Lundgren (2001) made a comparison of “misleading” in virtual environments and real life.
22.5% (5% in real life) lies about their age, while 27.5% (12.5% in real life) lied about their physical appearance.
In our study we focus on adolescents and young adults, whereas results are confronted with the age group of 27 and above, where a lesser level of computer knowledge can be expected as well as a lower frequency of internet communication use.15% (20%) lied about their hobbies and 17.5% (10%) about their job and, education.The relatively large age spread of 18-55 (with an average of 26) could however be considered a certain drawback of the study.So, the internet allows us to emphasize the parts of our personalities which we consider most important as well as to suppress those which we are ashamed of.We can present ourselves as rich, successful, humorous, younger or older (Döring, 2002).