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Personalistic Self-Disclosure and Attraction: Basis for Relationship or Scarce Resource

Richard L. Archer and Christie E. Cook
Social Psychology Quarterly
Vol. 49, No. 3 (Sep., 1986), pp. 268-272
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2786809
Page Count: 5
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Personalistic Self-Disclosure and Attraction: Basis for Relationship or Scarce Resource
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Abstract

The effects of personalistic self-disclosure on attraction were first predicted from attribution theory as the result of perceptions of a special relationship beginning between revealer and recipient (Jones and Archer, 1976). Recently, a commodity theory explanation has been proposed in which attraction is seen as the result of the delivery of valuable information that is difficult to obtain elsewhere (e.g., Petty and Mirels, 1981). To pit both versions of the hypothesis against each other, a laboratory experiment was conducted in which availability of information (available versus unavailable) about the subject's confederate partner and the attribution for the partner's disclosure (personalistic versus situational) were manipulated independently, along with the disclosure's intimacy (high versus low). In accord with commodity theory, personalistic disclosure effects on attraction emerged only when the information revealed was unavailable through another source. However, in keeping with attribution theory, inferences about the partner's attraction to the subject were also based on the availability of the information.

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