Self-Disclosure - Relationships

  • Created by: chloeb123
  • Created on: 30-11-18 10:55

Self-disclosure factor affecting attraction in romantic relationships. Refers to the sharing of personal information.

Greater self-disclosure tends to lead to greater levels of intimacy, and research has found that individuals tend to prefer people who are prepared to disclose intimate details about themselves

The theory

The idea that relationship formation is built on trust with another person, which is demonstrated by gradually revealing personal information (thoughts, feelings, experiences)

Disclosing thoughts and feelings and allowing a partner to reveal their ‘true selves’ leads to greater intimacy in relationships and more satisfaction

A central concept in the Social Penetration Theory (SPT) proposed by Altman and Taylor (1973)

  • Theory claims by gradually revealing emotions and experiences and listening to their reciprocal sharing, people gain a greater understanding of each other and display trust

Has two dimensions: breadth and depth

  • SPT uses an ‘onion metaphor’ to describe these dimensions
  • People often share a lot of information about certain aspects of themselves (depth), but consider some topics to be ‘off-limit’ (breadth)

Research examining self-disclosure

Concept of self-disclosure has


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