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Are people who respond quickly to a question more honest?

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Whenever someone answers a question, usually we only look at whether the answer is yes or no, but, some people, too they notice if they respond quickly or, however, take longer. Is this fact related to your sincerity? Do they really know what they are talking about if they are slow to respond? They are saying the true?

A new study by researchers from the Grenoble Ecole de Management in France, found that the speed with which a person responds to a question can provide an inadvertent clue to credibility of the person.

When someone slowly answer a question, the person who asked is likely to see it as that is not being sincere. However, responding quickly, on the other hand, creates the impression of authenticity.

This is because assessing the sincerity of other people is a ubiquitous and important part of social interactions. Therefore, this research showed that speed of response is an important clue on which people base their sincerity inferences.

Think fast or invite doubt

Study authors Dr. Ziano and Dr. Deming Wang conducted 14 experiments with 7,565 participants from the United States, United Kingdom and France.

Thus, in each experiment, the people observed a person answering a question in a video, they listened to their answer on an audio recording or read about a question-and-answer exchange.

Response times ranged from instant responses to responses that came after a ten second pause. The participants then assessed the sincerity of the person who answered the question using a sliding scale.

In this sense, participants consistently judged people who took the longest to respond as less sincere. Also, the results were not affected by whether the questions were serious or not. Some were harmless, while others concerned the commission of crimes.

The only exception to the correlation between response time and authenticity was when one participant allowed additional leeway based on extenuating circumstances. For example, if a person took longer to give an unpleasant or socially problematic response, such as admitting that they did not like a cake that a friend baked, the participants they did not consider a longer response time as an indicator of dishonesty.

Similarly, when you answer a question that requires some thought, such as the need to remember something that one may or may not have done a long time ago, the credibility of the respondent is not affected by responding slowly.

Furthermore, the urge to interpret response time as a marker of sincerity turned out to be so strong that participants they could only partially ignore it when instructed to do so.

Slow responses in the everyday world

This bias revealed by the study may have profound implications in everyday life, since, whenever people interact, judge the need of others. In this way, the results of the study can be applied to a wide range of interactions, from conversations in the workplace to discussions between partners and friends.

In serious contexts, the bias against slow responses can be especially harmfulFor example, in court hearings or trials, as people are tasked with making judgments of sincerity.

The conclusion is that speed counts if we want others to believe us. Therefore, the study shows that, in general, a quick answer seems to be perceived as more sincere, while a response that is delayed, even a couple of seconds, can be considered as a lie.

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