For instance, stealing from a person known to you, and stealing from an organisation were put into the category 'theft'.
Distinctions were made between things like emotional infidelity (flirting), and sexual infidelity (cheating).
34 of these categories were listed in the study's appendix along with the questionnaire.
Harmed another person
Doing something illegal
Been the other woman/man in someone else’s relationship
Social discontent (disliking a friend)
Poor work performance
Marriage proposal (planning)
Family detail (something about your family kept secret)
Not having sex
Preference (pretending to like something you don’t)
Belief or ideology
Employment (secret job)
Some secrets were so personal to a participant that they did not fit into one of the other categories.
13 Common Secrets
The study showed the compiled categories to a new set of participants.
On average each person currently was keeping at least 13 secrets from the list.
According to the study, at least five of them were ones they had never told to anybody.
The most common secrets:
60 per cent - a lie or financial impropriety
47 per cent - a violation of trust
33 per cent - theft, a hidden relationship, or discontent at work
Burden of secrets
The study found that secrets weigh on us, even when there's little danger that they will be uncovered.
Measuring the frequency of 'mind wandering' onto one's secrets, the study found that people dwell on their secrets on a more frequent basis than when they are 'actively concealing' the secret from a person or group of people.
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