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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Disclosure and attraction : the Carnegie effect Wiggins, Candace Taylor


Considerable evidence indicates that disclosing personal information tends to increase the listener's attraction to the discloser. Wiggins and Paulhus (1984) demonstrated the complementary effect -- subtly inducing a person to talk about herself increases liking for the listener (The Carnegie Effect). A study was designed to replicate their findings and examine the processes that underlie the Carnegie Effect. In addition, it was predicted that intimacy would moderate the disclosure-attraction relationship. Eighty-four female subjects were assigned to one of six cells in a 2 (talk-time: low vs. high) x 3 (topic intimacy: low, moderate or high) ANOVA design. After completing several individual difference measures, each subject participated in a 14-minute conversation with a confederate. Following the interaction, subjects completed state self-evaluation and affect measures, rated their impressions of the discussion, and rated the confederate on several liking and evaluation indexes. In general, the Carnegie Effect was confirmed: Subjects encouraged to talk about themselves expressed high global liking for the confederate, indicated a desire for future interaction with her, and rated her positively on a number of likeability items. Ratings of interestingness, however, were unaffected by the talk-time manipulation. There was no main effect for intimacy, although a number of interesting interactions emerged between that factor and the individual difference variables. Of the several intervening processes examined, inferred liking appears to be the variable that mediates the Carnegie Effect. Results are discussed in the context of the multidimensional nature of interpersonal attract ion.

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