Knowing me, Knowing You: reciprocal self-disclosure and Internet-based surveys

Joinson, Adam N. (2001). Knowing me, Knowing You: reciprocal self-disclosure and Internet-based surveys. Cyberpsychology and Behavior, 4(5) pp. 587–591.



Candid self-disclosure is desirable for many behavioral science studies. Although there is ample evidence that self-disclosure is increased when people communicate or participate in research over the Internet, few studies have looked at ways of increasing this effect. In the present pilot study, participants were randomly allocated to either a condition in which they received self-disclosing information about the experimenter (and then moved on to the study) or were directed straight to the study. Participants completed six open response questions on the Internet. Participants who received the experimenter disclosure divulged a significantly higher quantity of information about themselves, but their answers were not scored as significantly more revealing or intimate than those participants who did not receive the experimenter disclosure. Implications for conducting research over the Internet are discussed.

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