New Research Shows When And Why People Divulge Other People’s Secrets

If you’ve ever had someone tell a secret of yours, did you wonder why?

Researchers from Arizona State University and Columbia University found that the divulging of a secret has a direct correlation to a person’s morals. In other words, when someone learns another person’s secret that breaks their own moral code, then the person who was confided in seems to be willing to divulge that secret to “punish” the secret holder.

Researcher Jessica Salerno explains, “Confiding in others is important, but we assume that the people we confide in have similar motivations to keep the information quiet as we do to protect us and prevent us from being punished for that secret behavior. Yet, our discovery is that it’s not just that people often don’t keep our secrets, but they may be inclined to actively reveal the secret to see us punished when they think the secret behavior is immoral.” The data also showed that people revealed other people’s secrets 30 percent of the time on average.  (EurekAlert!)