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Theories of Self Disclosure


NVCC Communication Theories: Self-Disclosure

Professor Lucy Holsonbake from Northern Virginia Community College talks about self-disclosure on this video exploring a range of concrete situations about sharing information about oneself.

Irwin Altman infoamerica.org

Read this sketch of Irwin Altman from infoamerica. It also provides links to summaries of his work with Dallas Taylor on Social Penetration Theory.

Social Penetration Theory

Kriztine-Rosales-Viray offers this interpretation of Social Penetration theory on the Free Republic page.

ERIC: Social Penetration: A Description, Research, and Evaluation

Nicole Allensworth provides a 1996 paper on Social Penetration. Note the link for the full PDF file.

Johari Window

This page was created by Mallan Group Training and Management, Inc. to illustrate the quadrants of the Jorhari Window as a model of self disclosure.

Johari Window

Another web critique of the Johari model is provide by Duen Hsi Yuen

FIRO Theory of William Schutz

This essay by Em Griffin summarizes Schutz's model of interpersonal needs for inclusion, control and affection and explains how the theory was developed from Schutz's work with encounter groups. The author observes how Schutz relates the interpersonal needs to an overriding concern for openness in relationships.


Some Things are Better Left Unsaid II: Topic Avoidance in Friendships. Walid A. Afifi and Laura K. Guerrero. Communication Quarterly, Summer 1998 v46 i3 p231(1).

This study examines the extent to which members of same- and cross-sex friendships avoid topics related to relationship issues, negative life experiences, dating experiences, sexual experiences, and outside friendships. Four reasons for topic avoidance are also explored: self-protection, relationship protection, partner unresponsiveness, and social appropriateness. InfoTrac.

The Influence of Family Communication on the College-Aged Child: Openness, Attitudes and Actions about Sex and Alcohol. Melanie Booth-Butterfield and Robert Sidelinger. Communication Quarterly, Summer 1998 v46 i3 p295(1).

This study examined how openness in family communication patterns relates to attitudes and behaviors of college-aged children. InfoTrac.

Diversity, perceptions of equity, and communicative openness in the workplace. Deloris McGee Wanguri. The Journal of Business Communication, Oct 1996 v33 n4 p443(15).

Openness about issues of diversity is encouraged as a solution of perceived inequalities. InfoTrac

Communication Apprehension as a Predictor of Self-Disclosure

James C. McCroskey and Virginia Richmond examine whether one's level of communication apprehension affects feelings about self-disclosure. Results indicate that high communication apprehensives, as compared to lows, think that they do not share as much information about themselves, have less conscious intent to disclose, disclose more negative information, are less honest in their disclosures, and may have less control of the depth or intimacy of their disclosures.

An inductive analysis of verbal immediacy: alternative conceptualization of relational verbal al approach/avoidance strategies. Timothy P. Mottet and Virginia P. Richmond. Communication Quarterly, Wntr 1998 v46 n1 p25(16).

This study observes that when people want a relationship to develop, they engage in approach verbal strategies. However, when they want to keep a relationship from forming, instead of using avoidance strategies, they decrease their level of approach strategies. An argument is presented as to why these verbal approach and avoidance strategies do not comprise verbal immediacy and instead comprise a measure of relational approach and avoidance. InfoTrac.

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Copyright, 2000-05 by Terrence A. Doyle, Ph. D.
Feedback to tdoyle@nvcc.edu