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Studies of self-disclosure conducted in the lab report that individuals report greater liking for those who disclose highly intimate information; whereas field studies report that individuals report greater liking for those who disclose information of lower intimacy. One possible explanation for such inconsistent findings is that laboratory studies typically create a scenario where the recipient of self-disclosed information is expected and obligated to reciprocate. Field studies, however, remove the obligation for the participant to reciprocate, thus creating an unbiased evaluation. Thus far, research has not directly compared the level of intimacy with whether the participant is obligated to respond or not (the participant’s role), nor has it examined how these factors influence a participant’s willingness to respond when given the choice to do so. The current study examines the effects of self-disclosure on liking when level of intimacy and participants’ roles are manipulated in a lab setting. Participants are given the opportunity to evaluate an individual based on a vignette of high or low intimate content. The interactive effects of participant role and intimacy level on reports of interpersonal liking as well as the role of perceived similarity with the disclosing target will be examined.

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Graduate Research

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Erin O'Mara

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