Liars could have a little more than burnt underwear to worry about, according to a new study, which found lying could contribute to physical and mental health issues.
Researchers from the University of Notre Dame found that when people managed to reduce their lies in given weeks across a 10-week study, they reported significantly improved physical and mental health in those same weeks.
Lead author Anita Kelly, a Notre Dame psychology professor whose research includes the study of secrets and self-disclosure, said: “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 focused on 110 people over a period of ten weeks. Half the participants involved were told to stop telling both minor and major lies for the duration of the study, with the other half acting as a control group.
They found the link between less lying and better health was significantly stronger for participants in the no-lie group. This included fewer mental-health complaints, such as feeling tense or melancholy, and about three fewer physical complaints, such as sore throats and headaches.