ERIC Number: ED260347
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1985-Apr-20
Reference Count: 0
Effects of Prosocial Television Programming on Viewer Self-Perceptions.
Smith, Kyle D.
Moderate amounts of self-disclosure and willingness to let others disclose are considered essential in moving from casual to lasting relationships. Self-disclosure, however, is a private behavior which is seldom observed directly. Television provides a unique opportunity for the observation of otherwise personal behaviors, and may affect viewers' behavioral decisions. To quantify the impact of prosocial, self-disclosing behavioral content in television programming on viewers' self-disclosure responses, 32 college students completed questionnaires on their television and movie viewing habits and on their ease of self-disclosure. Subjects randomly assigned to the experimental condition watched vignettes from popular television programs which exemplified positive other-directed disclosure behavior. Both experimental and control subjects then taped a positive self-disclosing message to their closest same-sex friend and rated their own tapes according to how personal their messages were. Tapes were also rated by three judges. The results indicated that compared to control subjects experimental subjects rated their own tapes as significantly more personal in content. Ratings by judges, however, did not corroborate the self-perceptions of the experimental subjects. These findings suggest that exposure to prosocial self-disclosure in television programing does induce a positive shift in subjects' self-perceptions of subsequent disclosure behavior, although the observer-rated quality of this behavior may not be affected. (NRB)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Western Psychological Association (65th, San Jose, CA, April 18-21, 1985).