Recent work suggests that secrecy is perceived as burdensome. A secrecy–burden relationship would have a number of consequences for cognitive, perceptual, social, and health psychology, but the reliability of these influences, and potential mechanisms that support such influences are unknown. Across 4 studies, the current work examines both the reliability of, and mechanisms that support, the influence of secrecy processes upon a judgment that varies with diminished resources (i.e., judgments of hill slant). The current work finds that a manipulation of secret "size" fails to reliably predict judged hill slant, whereas measurement and manipulation of preoccupation with a secret does reliably predict judged hill slant. Moreover, these effects are found to be mediated by judged effort to keep the secret, consistent with a resource-based mechanism of the burdens of secrecy.
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Slepian, Michael, N.P. Camp, and E.J. Masicampo. "Exploring the secrecy burden: Secrets, preoccupation, and perceptual judgments." Journal of Experimental Psychology: General 144, no. 2 (April 2015): e31-e42.
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