The coevolution of secrecy and stigmatization:evidence from the content of distressing secrets

Piazza, Jared and Bering, Jesse (2010) The coevolution of secrecy and stigmatization:evidence from the content of distressing secrets. Human Nature, 21 (3). pp. 290-308. ISSN 1936-4776

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Abstract

We propose a coevolutionary model of secrecy and stigmatization. According to this model, secrecy functions to conceal potential fitness costs detected in oneself or one’s genetic kin. In three studies, we found that the content of participants’ distressing secrets overlapped significantly with three domains of social information that were important for inclusive fitness and served as cues for discriminating between rewarding and unrewarding interaction partners: health, mating, and social-exchange behavior. These findings support the notion that secrecy functions primarily as a defense against stigmatization by suppressing information about oneself or one’s kin that evolutionarily has been devalued in mating and social exchange.

Item Type:
Journal Article
Journal or Publication Title:
Human Nature
Uncontrolled Keywords:
/dk/atira/pure/subjectarea/asjc/3300/3314
Subjects:
ID Code:
71243
Deposited By:
Deposited On:
15 Oct 2014 07:52
Refereed?:
Yes
Published?:
Published
Last Modified:
01 Jan 2020 09:00