ISSN 1671-3710
CN 11-4766/R

Advances in Psychological Science ›› 2020, Vol. 28 ›› Issue (12): 2114-2124.doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1042.2020.02114

• Regular Articles • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Intentional concealment of personal information: Secrecy and its consequences and coping

DUAN Jinyun1(), SUN Hanbin1, SUN Yinsi2   

  1. 1School of Psychology and Cognitive Science, East China Normal University, Shanghai 200062, China
    2School of Education, Soochow University, Suzhou 215123, China
  • Received:2019-11-24 Online:2020-12-15 Published:2020-10-26
  • Contact: DUAN Jinyun


Secrecy is quite common in daily life. However, the non-public nature of secrecy remains a large obstacle to the development of secrecy research. The exiting literature mainly centered on the negative effects of secrecy such as the sense of burden and self-punishment, while the positive impacts of secrecy (e.g., social protection and prosocial lies) lack attention. Scholars have proposed several frameworks such as inhibition model of secrecy, preoccupation model of secrecy, perseverative thinking model and shared reality theory that can be used to explain the mechanism of secrecy’s negative effects. Furthermore, the present research findings demonstrated that individuals can mitigate the negative influence of secrecy by means of confiding secrets, exerting creativity, training emotional markers and self-awareness. Having recognized the critical role of secrecy, future research can be improved with a more accurate and consistent conceptualization as well as a precise measurement and manipulation. In addition, the empirical research could be intensified by focusing more on the positive impacts and the mechanism of secrecy and enhancing its application in different fields.

Key words: secrecy, recall manipulation, preoccupation model of secrecy, shared reality theory, confiding secrets

CLC Number: