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People can afford to be more honest than they think: study
Last Updated: 2018-10-08 07:21 | Xinhua
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A study from the University of Chicago (UChicago) Booth School of Business determines that people can often afford to be more honest than they think.

The study has been newly published in the Journal of Experiment Psychology: General.

For purposes of the study, the researchers define honesty as "speaking in accordance with one's own beliefs, thoughts and feelings."

In a series of experiments, the researchers explore the actual and predicted consequences of honesty in everyday life.

In one field experiment, participants were instructed to be completely honest with everyone in their lives for three days. In a laboratory experiment, participants had to be honest with a close relational partner while answering personal and potentially difficult discussion questions. A third experiment instructed participants to honestly share negative feedback to a close relational partner.

Across all the experiments, individuals expect honesty to be less pleasant and less social connecting than it actually is.

However, the researchers conclude that such fears are often misguided. Honest conversations are far more enjoyable for communicators than they expect them to be, and the listeners of honest conversations react less negatively than expected.

"Taken together, these findings suggest that individuals' avoidance of honesty may be a mistake," the researchers wrote. "By avoiding honesty, individuals miss out on opportunities that they appreciate in the long-run, and that they would want to repeat."

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