This investigation examines whether individuals' reasons for keeping secrets predict whether they eventually reveal those secrets and whether individuals can accurately anticipate the outcomes of revealing. Respondents (n = 342) first reported on a secret they were keeping and then returned 2 months later to report whether they had revealed it and, if so, what happened when they did. Findings indicated that participants' reasons for keeping a secret predicted whether they revealed it. The results also indicated both accuracy and inaccuracy in secret tellers' expectations of the outcomes of revealing a secret. Finally, despite some demonstrable inaccuracies in the forecasted outcomes, participants' retrospective accounts after revealing suggested that participants typically believed that they had accurately predicted the consequences of revealing.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Social Psychology
- Developmental and Educational Psychology
- Life-span and Life-course Studies