How Positive Secrets Reshape Our Inner Worlds: New Study

 / 

A recent study suggests that keeping positive secrets can be energizing, contrary to previous beliefs about the impact of secrecy on well-being. Let’s learn more!

Why Keeping Positive Secrets Can Be Good For You

A recent study led by Professor Michael Slepian at Columbia University suggests that keeping secrets can have positive effects on individuals, challenging the conventional belief that secrecy is detrimental to well-being.

Published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology: Attitudes and Social Cognition by the American Psychological Association, the research involved approximately 4,000 participants across five distinct experiments.

One experiment focused on the impact of keeping positive news a secret. Professor Slepian found that good news, when kept confidential, generated a sense of energy and excitement in individuals, prompting them to withhold the positive information rather than sharing it.

This counters previous research that primarily explored the negative implications of secret-keeping on well-being, as reported by BBC Science Focus.

Professor Slepian emphasized that, contrary to expectations, individuals did not experience fatigue or burden from positive secrets; instead, they found such secrets to be invigorating.

The study identified “positive secret keeping” as being motivated by intrinsic factors rather than external pressures, characterized by an autonomous choice to keep the secret.

According to Slepian, the anticipation of eventually revealing the positive secret contributes to the energizing effect. Moreover, the research revealed that people feel more in control of their positive secrets, emphasizing the empowering nature of maintaining such confidences.

One notable finding was that even when individuals did not intend to disclose their positive secrets, they still experienced excitement about them.

Slepian highlighted that this unexpected enthusiasm is rooted in the perception of control over the secret, reinforcing the notion that feeling in control contributes to a sense of energy.

Professor Slepian, who specializes in the psychology of secrets and their impact on social and organizational aspects of life, expressed surprise at these findings.

His research delves into how secret-keeping influences various variables governing social and organizational dynamics. Notably, he is the author of the book titled “The Secret Life of Secrets: How Our Inner Worlds Shape Well-Being, Relationships, and Who We Are.”

In summary, the study challenges the prevailing notion that secrecy is uniformly detrimental to well-being. Instead, it suggests that positive secrets, kept for autonomous reasons and with the anticipation of eventual revelation, can be energizing and contribute to a sense of control for individuals.

These findings offer a nuanced perspective on the psychology of secret-keeping, shedding light on the complex interplay between secrets and well-being.


— Share —

— About the Author —

Leave a Reply

Up Next

Lack of Sleep Linked to Rising Cases of Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease, Warns Expert

In a recent revelation, lack of adequate sleep has been associated with a concerning rise in cases of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), according to insights shared by medical experts. As sleep deprivation continues to plague a significant portion of the population, the implications on public health are becoming increasingly alarming.

More than a third of adults in the United States fail to attain the recommended seven to eight hours of sleep each night, a trend that has sparked growing concerns among healthcare professionals. The scarcity of shuteye, it turns out, can have profound effects beyond daytime fatigue and drowsiness.

What is Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease?

According to Ibrahim Hanouneh, a gastroenterologist with

Up Next

Study Explores Impact of Residential Green Space on Childhood Mental Health

A recent study published in JAMA Network Open investigates the relationship between residential green space and externalizing and internalizing symptoms in children. Conducted in the United States, the study aims to identify potential factors that can mitigate risks associated with childhood mental health disorders.

According to the study, up to 40% of children in the US may meet the criteria for mental disorders by adulthood, with an increased prevalence of externalizing (e.g., rule-breaking and aggression) and internalizing (e.g., depression and anxiety) symptoms.

Researchers suggest that environmental factors, such as green spa

Up Next

Study Links Volatile Work Hours to Burnout and Health Issues

A recent study conducted by NYU Social Work professor Wen-Jui Han has shed light on the detrimental effects of volatile work hours on both physical and mental health. The research, which analyzed data spanning over 30 years, found a significant correlation between irregular work hours and increased health concerns.

The study, which examined the work schedules and sleep patterns of over 7,000 Americans, revealed that individuals working rotating shifts were more prone to health problems such as diabetes, obesity, and heart disease. The primary factor contributing to these issues was identified as a disruption in sleep patterns caused by inconsistent work schedules.

Jamaica Shiers, a representative from Path Behavioral Health in Salt Lake City, emphasized the prevalence of burnout among adults, attributing it to the pressure to maintain peak performance at al

Up Next

New Study Suggests Balanced Diet Better Than Vegetarian Diet for Brain Health

In a groundbreaking study published in Nature Mental Health, researchers have shed light on the relationship between dietary patterns and brain health. The study suggests that a balanced diet, comprising various food types, may be superior to a vegetarian diet in supporting mental well-being and cognitive function.

The research, which analyzed data from nearly 182,000 participants, focused on four main dietary patterns: starch-free/reduced starch, vegetarian, high-protein/low-fiber, and balanced diet. Participants’ food preferences were examined in categories such as fruits, vegetables, starches, protein, and snacks.

Up Next

Optometrists Share Expert Tips to Prevent Eye Sunburn as Summer Approaches

As we gear up for the longer and sunnier days of summer, it’s essential to protect our eyes from potential harm caused by UV rays. Optometrists have shared expert advice on how to prevent eye sunburn and what to do if you experience it.

Eye sunburn, also known as photokeratitis, occurs when the sun’s UV rays damage the cornea and conjunctiva, leading to symptoms like pain, redness, sensitivity to light, and blurry vision. While discomforting, these symptoms typically resolve within 24 hours as the cornea heals.

Moreover, prolonged exposure to UV rays can also damage the retina, particularly if one stares directly at the sun. This damage, known as solar retinopathy, can cause distorted vision or even vision loss.

Unfortunately, retinal damage is often permanent due to the lack of pain receptors in the ret

Up Next

Researchers Share 5 Strategies to Complete Stress Cycle and Prevent Burnout

In a recent article published by The Conversation, Theresa Larkin and Susan J. Thomas, both associate professors at the University of Wollongong, shed light on the significance of completing the stress cycle to avoid burnout and depression. Chronic stress, they warn, can lead to severe health issues including heart disease, stroke, and diabetes.

The authors delineate the three stages of the stress cycle: perceiving the threat, experiencing the fight-or-flight response driven by stress hormones like adrenaline and cortisol, and finally, achieving relief which signifies the completion of the cycle.

While stress is an inevitable part of life, remaining in the heightened state of fight-or-flight can have detrimental effects on both physical and mental health.

Up Next

Delving into the Love-Hate Relationship Teens Have with TikTok and Instagram

Body: In an era where social media has become an integral part of daily life, a complex relationship has emerged between teenagers and platforms like TikTok and Instagram. A recent examination sheds light on the dichotomy of emotions that adolescents experience towards these ubiquitous apps.

Research has long highlighted the potential risks associated with heavy social media use among teens, including heightened anxiety, depression, and feelings of loneliness. Despite these concerns, TikTok and Instagram remain immensely popular among adolescents, serving as primary avenues for social interaction and connection with peers.

Teen’s Interest Towards TikTok and Instagram

One of the primary reasons behind teens’ affinity