Honesty May Boost Health, Study Finds
Religion TodayReligious persecution, missions, Christianity around the world
- 2012 Aug 13
People who tell fewer lies experience improved health, such as less stress and fewer headaches, according to new research presented at the annual meeting of the American Psychological Association, Baptist Press reports. "Recent evidence indicates that Americans average about 11 lies per week," said lead author Anita Kelly, professor of psychology at the University of Notre Dame. "We wanted to find out if living more honestly can actually cause better health. We found that the participants could purposefully and dramatically reduce their everyday lies, and that in turn was associated with significantly improved health." The study followed 110 people for 10 weeks, half of which were told to stop telling lies for the duration of the study. Those who told fewer lies reported fewer mental health complaints, such as feeling tense or melancholy, and fewer physical complaints, such as sore throats and headaches. Some said they realized they could simply tell the truth about their daily accomplishments rather than exaggerate, and others said they stopped making false excuses for being late or failing to complete tasks, Kelly said.