The Implications of Multiple Dimensions of Self-Disclosure for the Nature and Functions of Reciprocity in Initial Interactions

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Conference Proceeding

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Communication Studies


A review of the literature on reciprocal self-disclosure indicates that scholars have limited their investigations to one aspect of disclosure--intimacy--while recent research suggests that disclosure is a multidimensional phenomenon. A study was conducted to assess the possibility of reciprocation of intimacy, amount, and valence (positive or negative nature) of disclosure. From this assessment, six combinations emerged: (1) intimacy/intimacy, (2) intimacy/amount, (3) amount/amount, (4) intimacy/valence, (5) amount/valence, and (6) valence/valence. The relationship between these forms of reciprocity and evaluations of personality and communication competence as well as uncertainty reduction were then investigated using 126 college students. The subjects were asked to get acquainted with a new classmate and then to complete self-report measures of disclosure and evaluation. The results of a canonical correlation indicated that two forms of reciprocity resulted in positive evaluations of communicative competence: intimacy/amount and intimacy/valence. (FL)

Publication Title

Annual Meeting of the International Communication Association

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