ERIC Number: ED244165
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1983-Oct
Reference Count: 0
Need for Privacy and Its Effect upon Interpersonal Attraction and Interaction.
Larson, Jeffry H.; Bell, Nancy J.
Little is known about the implications of individual differences in privacy preferences. To explore the relationship between privacy preferences and the style and quality of social interaction in a first encounter, 77 of 320 college students completing the Privacy Preference Scale were grouped according to their low (20 male, 20 female) or high (17 male, 20 female) need for privacy. Subjects were tested for extraversion-introversion and anxiety level; measures of interpersonal attraction and interpersonal behavior were also administered. Situational demands on privacy were varied by means of a self-disclosure task in which subjects discussed relatively intimate or non-intimate topics. The findings showed that for those with high compared to low privacy preference, interaction with a stranger was rated as significantly more awkward, tense, and unnatural. High privacy individuals used significantly fewer verbal reinforcements when speaking with strangers than did low privacy individuals. The manipulation of situational demands upon privacy did not significantly affect interpersonal attraction or interaction. The results support previous research suggesting that people with high preference for privacy may interact less and be less comfortable with a stranger than people with a low privacy preference. Such individuals may benefit from interpersonal skills training. (JAC)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the National Council on Family Relations (St. Paul, MN, October 11-15, 1983).