On April 12, 2021, Colin Wayne Leach, professor of psychology, published a new article in the journal Current Psychology. The scholarly work, titled “Risking the social bond: motivations to defend or to repair when dealing with displeasing information,” explores the consequences of withholding versus disclosing displeasing information from another person, as measured in two experiments on university students in Norway.
The first experiment suggests that withholding information results in feelings of shame, inferiority, and rejection. The second experiment indicates that withholding information elicits more defensive motivation than disclosing information. The work goes on to discuss the various implications these findings have on our current understanding of shame and social bonds. The takeaway from this study is that withholding unpleasant information rather than disclosing it likely leads to a greater concern for self-image and social-image.