Although it doesn’t always feel like it, honesty is usually the best policy. Three studies conducted by researchers at University of Chicago Booth School of Business and Carnegie Mellon suggests that we overestimate the negative consequences of speaking honestly.

Subjects were asked to speak in accordance with their own beliefs, thoughts and feelings to people with whom they had existing relationships. Across the board, individuals expected honesty to be less pleasant and less socially connecting than it turned out to be.

Professor Emma Levine and Associate Professor Taya Cohen contend that we believe giving critical feedback and opening up about our secrets will be more uncomfortable than it actually is.

Levine and Cohen’s findings suggest that believing we will pay a price for being honest results in missing out on important opportunities that we will appreciate in the long run.


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