Last Updated Sep 2, 2010 11:09 PM EDT
Psychology Today recently chronicled the results of a Stanford Business School study in which a pair of researchers reviewed the transcripts of 30,000 quarterly earnings conference calls. From that, they linked the language used in the speeches to whether or not the firms later "materially restated their earnings." The findings are fascinating. Here's what the liars did:
- They used more general, less specific language.
- They made fewer references to shareholder value.
- They amped up the use of superlatives.
- They used less first person and more third person.
- There were more verbal pauses -- ums and ahs.
- They used more swearing.