Self-Concealment and Self-Disclosure in Two Group Contexts

by Daphne Bugental, Robert Tannenbaum, H. Bobele



The major goal of this study was to gain insights into the reasons why, at times, people choose to conceal selected aspects of their self-perception, including attitudes and experiences, from others. It was predicted that self-disclosure would be directly related to the expected consequences of revealing a self-perception in a particular context. The fact that people do, at times, conceal themselves from others, and particularly that they tend to misrepresent themselves to others, has been studied by Erick Fromm, Karen Horney, and David Riesman, among others. Fromm calls this inclination, the marketing tendency, selling one's self by following behavior patterns assumed to be desired by others. Horney notes the process of self-alienation, the detachment of feelings from one's self. Riesman discusses the other-oriented person, the person who derives the bases for his behavior from his perception of what others expect from him. Sidney M. Jourard's more recent investigation of self-disclosure stresses what people disclose or conceal, and how much people disclose or conceal to different people.

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