Scientific articles and studies about secrets

Should We Stop Keeping Secrets?

”Neuroscientists now believe it’s biologically better for us to confess our secrets, or better, just to refuse to be party to someone else’s. The reason: holding on to them puts the brain in an awkward, compromised position. The cingulate cortex, essential to our emotional responses, is wired to tell the truth. This ”logical lobe” signals other regions of the brain to share information so it can move on to more important functions, like learning. But when you keep a secret locked inside, you don’t allow the cingulate to perform its natural functions. Instead, the cortex becomes stressed.”

Read full article: keeping-secrets-can-be-hazardous-to-your-health

By Gina Roberts-Grey, Next Avenue Contributor

The Physical Burdens of Secrecy:

The present work examined whether secrets are experienced as physical burdens, thereby influencing perception and action. Four studies examined the behavior of people who harbored important secrets, such as secrets concerning infidelity and sexual orientation. People who recalled, were preoccupied with, or suppressed an important secret estimated hills to be steeper, perceived distances to be farther, indicated that physical tasks would require more effort, and were less likely to help others with physical tasks. The more burdensome the secret and the more thought devoted to it, the more perception and action were influenced in a manner similar to carrying physical weight. Thus, as with physical burdens, secrets weigh people down.
Keywords:secrets, embodiment, metaphor, perception, action



Revealing Personal Secrets, 1. First Published August 1, 1999 research-article

Sources: Camp NP, Masicampo EJ, Slepian ML. Exploring the secrecy burden: Secrets, preoccupation, and perceptual judgments. Journal of Experimental Psychology. 2015.

Ambady N, Masicampo EJ, Slepian M. Relieving the burdens of secrecy: Revealing secrets influences judgments of hill slant and distance. Social Psychological and Personality Science. 2014.