How Risky Is It, Really?

Why our fears don't always match the facts

Want a Healthier LONGER Life? Stop Lying.

Honesty IS the best policy, for your health. Lying produces stress, which damages health and accelerates aging. Read More

I wouldn't want to hang out

I wouldn't want to hang out with someone who decided to stop lying for health reasons. It's kind of inherently sick to say you choose health over morality. At best, this new info about lying will perhaps tip a sickly person towards a reassessment of their behavior, and at worst it'll act as a sociopath detector.

i agree about 'honest' but

i agree about 'honest' but the problem, how make everyone to be honest?sometimes 'not honest' is be needeed, isn't it? of course not honest for kindness? in that problem we'll stress too. so i think stress is usual, that's a challance. The most important is how we can overcome our stress as mean no problem we stress but don't stay too long in our stress.

Very interesting article and

Very interesting article and subject. As I get older I realize that EVERYONE lies at times, (yes, me too!). Most of us lie not out of malice but the opposite, to keep from hurting someones feelings, so telling the truth sometimes is also quite stressful, hence lying seems easier! I've heard it said, if everyone told the truth all the time, this world would be one big smoking crater!

Things cannot be

Things cannot be black/white.
Apart from "Lying" and "Being honest" there is also "judgement".

Very interesting perspective indeed

This definitely is an interesting perspective. I have personally always felt very strongly about honesty and being careful with each and every word I say, but had never thought of it from that point of view. It is quite true that lying causes stress, too, and hopefully it would make people think more deeply about the 'innocent' lies they tell from time to time. On the other hand, to some individuals it may not cause any stress at all, because they might just not care...

Thanks for writing the

Thanks for writing the article, Mr (or Dr.?) Ropiek. I read the pdf of their presented results (Anita Kelly PhD and others) online. I noticed an error in your article that is somewhat significant. The test subjects who weren't part of the control were NOT JUST GIVEN ADVICE about how not to lie. (They were given a definition, which was important: you can keep secrets or refuse to answer, but you can't say anything you don't believe to be true for the 10-weeks). I want to distinguish your statement in the article that they "were given advice how not to lie" and what Kelly studied, which was a group of people against a control group who explicitly agreed not to lie and to report each week how it went (along with the polygraph which the control group also received weekly with their reports. Another study focuses on the different neural structures and pathways that honesty and lying take, which are different and support the stress/health hypothesis directly, because of the temporal lobes role in social stress. Again, very glad to have read your article.

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David Ropeik is the author of How Risky Is It, Really?, an Instructor at Harvard University Extension School, and a risk-communication consultant.


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