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Honesty Can Make You Feel Better

Studies show telling the truth can have a positive effect on overall healthLying, even telling "little white lies" may be taking a toll on your health. A new study from Notre Dame showed that when participants in a truth-telling experiment stopped telling major and minor lies for 10 weeks they reported less tension and feelings of melancholy as well as fewer sore throats and headaches. The researchers recruited 110 people for the study. Most (66 percent) were college students and the rest were adults living in the surrounding community. The participants were divided into two groups. Members of one group were told to stop telling major and minor lies for 10 weeks; the others received no special instructions about lying. All participants took weekly polygraph tests to assess the number of major and minor lies they had told that week. The purpose of the study was to find out if being more honest could lead to better health. In weeks when participants told fewer lies, they reported that their close personal relationships had improved and that their social interactions overall went more smoothly. The study was presented at the American Psychological Association’s annual convention in August.

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