Abstract

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.
Authors
Michael Slepian, E.J. Masicampo, and N. Ambady
Format
Journal Article
Publication Date
Journal
Journal of Experimental Psychology: General

Full Citation

Slepian, Michael, E.J. Masicampo, and N. Ambady
. “The physical burdens of secrecy.”
Journal of Experimental Psychology: General
vol.
141
, (November 01, 2012):
619
-
624
.