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Keeping Secret Means Physical Load

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As we know, females are pretty bad at keeping secrets and surprisingly often betray a friend’s trust within a matter of several minutes of being trusted in. But a new study that explains how it feels to be aware of someone’s top secrets might justify the need to promulgate it so fast. According to research conducted at Tufts University, the emotional load of a secret actually takes a physical losses!

The tests were carried out to see if there existed a relationship between metaphor and reality. It reads:

Language used to describe secrets, such as “being weighed down” or “being burdened,” suggests that carrying a secret is conceptualized metaphorically as a physical burden. If so, sensorimotor states associated with physical burdens could be activated or simulated when carrying a secret.”

We examined whether secrets would thus be experienced as physical burdens, influencing how people perceive and act in the world.”

Everyday Health explains that some participants were asked to remember a life-changing secret and others a minor, slightly less important, personal secret. Both groups were then invited to evaluate how high a hill was or how far a distance seemed.

The results revealed that those with the importants secret saw the hill and distance as higher and further respectively, thus suggesting that the weight of the secret manifested itself physically. And a group of candidates who were keeping the uncomfortable knowledge of their infidelity under wraps, were more likely to perceive tasks like carrying groceries upstairs or walking the dog as requiring more of an effort.

The study concluded:

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.”

P.S. Skincare brand Simple’s survey in which some women confessed to having to share a secret within only 32 minutes of hearing it.




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