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Honesty & Stress Roundup

August 17, 2012

Telling lies can endanger your health.



The health benefits of honesty. I’m Bob Hirshon and this is Science Update.

Telling the truth can make you healthier, according to a study presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Psychological Association. Researchers divided volunteers into two groups, one of which was told to stop telling all lies for ten weeks. The volunteers came to the lab every week for checkups and a polygraph test asking them about their lying behavior. Those who had been told to lie less and who reported telling fewer lies had fewer sore throats, headaches and other health complaints.

In other news, researchers at the University of Westminster in London report in the journal PLOS ONE that stressed men find heavier women more attractive than do unstressed men. The result is consistent with earlier findings showing that environmental stress can indicate hard times and that causes males to seek out more robust mates. I’m Bob Hirshon, for AAAS, the science society.