ERIC Number: ED322441
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1989-Apr
Social Ambivalence: Interpersonal Consequences of Disclosing a Cancer Experience.
Berrenberg, Joy L.; And Others
The purpose of this experiment was to test the hypothesis that individuals who engage in high disclosure of a cancer experience invite a significant degree of social rejection. Undergraduate students watched a videotaped interview with a male or female actor who engaged in either high or low disclosure of feelings surrounding an experience with cancer or a serious car accident. Participants rated the actors' communications skills and likability, as well as their level of discomfort with the actor and the content of the communication. Contrary to prediction, the female actor who engaged in high disclosure of her cancer experience was rated as the most likable and skilled communicator. However, the disclosure of a cancer experience aroused high levels of discomfort across the board, even in those cases where the cancer victim was well-liked. Thus, it appears that hearing someone discuss a cancer experience may induce a state of ambivalence or an approach-avoidance conflict. The unexpected findings provide the impetus for the development of a new model to account for the social interactions of individuals with serious illnesses. (Author)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the combined Annual Convention of the Rocky Mountain Psychological Association and the Annual Meeting of the Western Psychological Association (Reno, NV, April 27-39, 1989).