An average person keeps about 13 secrets at a time – five of which they have never told another living soul, according to new research.
Researchers from Columbia University in the US analysed over 13,000 secrets from over 10 different studies to determine 38 most common categories of secrets.
They then asked study participants if they were keeping a secret from any of the categories ranging from infidelity to financial secrets.
The study, published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, found that at a time a person held 13 secrets, of which five they had never shared with anyone at all.
The most common secrets that people shared with no one else included illicit romantic desire, sexual behavior and lies, ‘The Atlantic’ reported.
Researchers also found that keeping a secret is primarily a solitary experience, and when people think about their secrets, they act as if they were burdened by physical weight.
“We actually don’t encounter many situations where we have to hide our secrets relative to all the times a secret will just come into our thoughts, and intrude upon our thinking,” said Michael Slepian, a professor at Columbia Business School.
In previous research, scientists found that when people were preoccupied by their secrets, they judged hills to be steeper and distances to be longer and thought physical tasks would take more effort.