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A Partial Confession Makes You Feel Worse Than Full Disclosure (or No Disclosure)

Geplaatst op feb 14, 2014 in News

A partial confession to a misdeed may appear to be a low-emotional-cost alternative to a full confession, for the obvious reason that it wouldn’t require you to fully reveal what you’ve done. But in an experiment, people who partially confessed to cheating felt worse afterward than those who had fully confessed, as well as worse than people who hadn’t confessed at all (about 2.2 on a five-point negative-affect scale, versus about 1.8 for full confessors and nonconfessors), says a team led by Eyal Peer of Bar Ilan University in Israel. Confession is a powerful way to relieve guilt, but it works only if you tell the whole truth.

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