Tell The Truth And Feel Better
People who tell fewer lies have better relationships and feel better, according to a study presented at the American Psychological Association’s 120th Annual Convention.
Researchers from Notre Dame conducted a 10-week experiment with 110 people to see if people who told fewer lies would feel better.
Half the participants were instructed to stop telling major and minor lies for the study duration, while the other half got no special instructions.
All participants returned to the lab weekly to complete surveys on health and relationships and to take polygraph tests to asses the number of lies they told that week.
Over the course of the study the group instructed to be more truthful told significantly fewer lies. Telling fewer lies was associated with better self-reported physical and mental health in both groups, but the link between not telling lies and health was stronger among people who were instructed to not tell lies.
Personal relationships and social interactions were better in weeks when people told fewer lies. The authors say that the improvement in relationships accounted for the health improvements associated with telling the truth.
Because these findings were presented at a meeting, they are preliminary and subject to change until published in a peer-reviewed journal.