ERIC Number: ED285237
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1987-May
Reference Count: N/A
Student Perceptions of Self-Disclosure in the Classroom Based on Perceived Status Differentials.
Klinger-Vartabedian, Laurel; O'Flaherty, Kathleen
A study examined the extent to which perceived teacher status differentials influenced students' perceptions of teacher self-disclosure. This study involved a two-step procedure. Initially 30 students in a basic speech section were asked to recall examples of teacher self-disclosure that had occurred in classes in which they were enrolled. Then 13 statements were selected representing a wide range of disclosure from low to high. Next, subjects, 263 female and 243 male undergraduates enrolled in a basic oral communication program, were randomly assigned to hear one of eight audiotape-recordings of a portion of a lecture. Speakers on each tape were either male or female and were identified either as professors or graduate teaching assistants (GTAs). The tapes contained identical material, except that four "moderately high disclosure" tapes illustrated examples with personal anecdotes. Students were then asked to complete a questionnaire concerning the appropriateness and interest of the illustrations. Results indicated that (1) students felt it was slightly more appropriate for professors to use stories than GTAs; (2) there was a slight tendency for professors to seem more likeable than GTAs, but that in a the low self-disclosure setting for females, the GTA was rated slightly more likeable than the professor; (3) in the high self-disclosure setting for females, the GTA was regarded as revealing more than the professor; and (4) students felt it was more appropriate for the male professor to disclose than for the male GTA to disclose. The results suggest that a moderate level of self-disclosure serves as an act of equalization, but as status differentials decrease, disclosures may have a neutral or negative effect. (One table, a copy of the questionnaire, footnotes, and 29 references are included.) (JC)
Descriptors: Classroom Communication, College Students, Communication Research, Communication (Thought Transfer), Higher Education, Interpersonal Communication, Self Disclosure (Individuals), Status, Student Attitudes, Student Evaluation of Teacher Performance, Teacher Behavior, Teacher Role, Teacher Student Relationship, Teaching Assistants, Teaching Methods, Teaching Styles
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers; Tests/Questionnaires
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual International Communication Conference (37th, Montreal, Quebec, Canada, May 21-25, 1987).