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The influence of verbal reinforcement and experimenter self-disclosure on personality tests Arlett, Christine

Abstract

Experimenter self-disclosure and verbal reinforcement of subject disclosure during an interview were both predicted to result in increased subject disclosure in a subsequent testing situation, as compared with direct instructions to the subjects to be more open.. The results indicated that for male subjects, verbal reinforcement had the predicted effect, but experimenter self-disclosure did not. Female subjects were found to be more disclosive than male subjects in general, but were relatively uninfluenced by the experimenter treatment conditions. Experimenter self-disclosure was shown to result in an increase in social evaluative anxiety and in more favourable perceptions of the self and of the experimenter in the subjects concerned. Both of these factors are discussed as having counteracted any modeling effect of experimenter self-disclosure. An interpretation of the results in terms of an interaction between subject sex, experimenter sex and experimental conditions is proposed and the implications this has for the related literature, which in general has ignored such variables as subject and experimenter sex, are discussed.

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