Effects of experimental manipulation of self-disclosure on group cohesiveness

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Abstract

Self-disclosure in 8-hr experiential groups was systematically controlled by providing detailed audiotaped instructions and illustrations through a series of structured exercises. Two levels of self-disclosure (level of intimacy) were established. Four 8-person, heterosexually balanced groups were exposed to encounter group tapes that instructed them to share intimate feelings and experiences. Examples of high self-disclosure and openness were presented to clarify the instructions. In contrast, 4 comparable groups were conducted by encounter group tapes that furnished only moderate levels of personal disclosure and interpersonal sharing. Groups in both the high and low intimacy conditions received the same set of exercises and differed only in the instructions and accompanying behavioral examples. All Ss were undergraduates. Results indicate that higher levels of disclosure produced greater group cohesiveness as hypothesized, on 4 separate measures of the dependent variable. Findings on 3 different types of self-report instruments were corroborated by an unobtrusive behavioral measure of cohesiveness (the group hug). (25 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2006 APA, all rights reserved)

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