According to Dr Anita E. Kelly of the University of Notre Dame, telling the truth can greatly improve everyone’s health. She has carried out research to see if lying has an impact on our health. It turns out that it is.
The experiment was carried out on 110 people aged 18 to 71 years. Half of the respondents were to refrain from lying for 10 weeks; the rest could lie at will. Once a week, the respondents filled out health questionnaires and underwent polygraph tests (commonly known as a lie detector).
Results of study
The results were amazing. It found that there was an overall improvement in health in the truthful group. It was related to the fact that lying causes ailments of a psychological nature (e.g. stress, depression). As we know, the psyche has an influence on the physical condition of the organism, so high mental tension increases the number of ailments. Apart from the positive effects on health, the researchers also noticed other advantages of telling the truth. Fewer lies translated into better relationships with other people; conversations were smoother, there were fewer misunderstandings and quarrels. The experiment showed that improved well-being by reducing lies can be largely explained by improved interpersonal relationships.
Unfortunately, the research did not last long enough to determine how long it takes to be honest to see lasting health improvement. Dr Kelly and her colleague Dr Lijuan Wang intend to continue their research. Perhaps soon we will learn even more about the positive effects of honesty on the human body.