Self-disclosure and liking: An integration theory approach


  • This research was supported by a grant from Research and Grants (Southeastern Louisiana University) to the first author. The authors wish to thank Doreen Atchison for her technical assistance throughout the experiment and Bobbie Threeton for her secretarial assistance.

Requests for reprints should be sent to Hunter McAllister, Department of Psychology, Southeastern Louisiana University, Hammond, Louisiana 70402.


Integration theory models predict that sequences increasing or decreasing in intimacy should have less impact on attraction than constant intimate or nonintimate disclosures. Male and female subjects (N= 159) conversed with a videotaped confederate. Each confederate relayed six disclosures in one of five intimacy sequences: increasing, constant high, decreasing, constant low, and random. The confederate either had a choice of topics and sequence or they were imposed. Substantial support was found for integration theory models. The constant high disclosers by choice were liked more than their no-choice controls and the constant low disclosers by choice were disliked more than their no-choice controls. The mixed sequences (increasing, decreasing, and random) produced no significant differences.