ERIC Number: ED288773
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1987
Reference Count: N/A
The Function of Self-Disclosure in Social Interaction.
Prager, Karen J.; And Others
Self-disclosure is a process by which individuals permit themselves to be known by a select other and has been shown to be central to the development and maintenance of close relationships. Two studies were done to investigate whether people self-disclose for reasons that are related to a relationship with their listener and whether the intimacy level of the disclosure is affected by its functional value. In the first study, 144 undergraduates wrote self-disclosing paragraphs to one of two hypothetical recipients: a significant other, or a stranger (a new acquaintance). Reasons for disclosure were found to vary significantly with the participant's relationship with the target, and disclosures for purposes of self-clarification or self-expression were more intimate than those for purposes of eliciting information or social control. In the second study, 119 undergraduates maintained daily records of interactions in which they self-disclosed. Reasons for disclosure again varied with the recipient, and certain functions were associated with the same targets in each study. The relationship between function and intimacy level was also replicated, with the most intimate disclosures being associated with the goals of self-expression and social validation. The importance of the reasons for disclosure in understanding its various dimensions, such as appropriateness and intimacy, was discussed. (Author/SM)
Descriptors: Interpersonal Communication, Interpersonal Competence, Psychology, Self Disclosure (Individuals), Self Expression, Social Attitudes, Social Behavior, Social Cognition, Social Development
Karen J. Prager, School of General Studies, The University of Texas at Dallas, Box 830688, Richardson, TX 75083-0688.
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Texas Univ., Dallas.
Authoring Institution: N/A