Sharing secrets: Disclosure and discretion in dyads and triads

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Explored the impact of group size on sharing secrets to develop a more comprehensive picture of the variables that influenced disclosure patterns. It was hypothesized that Ss would be more willing to disclose intimate information in a dyad than in a triad (V. J. Derlega et al; see record 1979–21044–001). The results of Exp I with 21 undergraduates, which used a role-playing methodology, confirmed the hypothesis. The main effect of group size was observed over a range of roles and items of information. In addition to the main effect, group size interaction effects also indicated that the difference between dyad and triad disclosure rates increased with more intimate items of information and with more intimate roles. These interaction effects suggested that the importance of a closed dyadic boundary depends in part on the expected confidentiality of the interchange. In Exp II with 35 undergraduates, the conversations of groups of acquaintances were recorded and rated for intimacy. As predicted, the conversations of dyads were more intimate than those of triads. Suggestions for understanding the intimate quality of dyads are discussed. (42 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2006 APA, all rights reserved)

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