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New Study Concludes: Make a Full Confession

Do you want to make the act of confessing your sin as pleasant as possible? Then make a full not a partial confession. That's the message from a recent study conducted by researchers in the U.S. and Israel titled "I Cheated but Only a Little." Based on a series of studies involving over 4,000 people, the researchers found that people who only partially confessed a transgression felt worse than those who do not confess at all.

Dr. Eyal Pe'er, the study's lead author, had a surprisingly biblical angle on the results. He said, "Confessing to only part of the guilt of one's transgression is attractive to a lot of people because they expect the confession to be more believable and guilt-relieving than not confessing. But our findings show the exact opposite … People seeking redemption by partially admitting their big lies feel guiltier because they do not take complete responsibility for their behaviors." The Harvard Business Review summarized the research this way: "Confession is a powerful way to relieve guilt, but it works only if you tell the whole truth."

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