It takes two to self-disclose: Incremental theorists facilitate others’ self-disclosure more than do entity theorists

Liat Levontin, Ora Nakash, Shai Danziger

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations

Abstract

Objective: We tested the prediction that incremental theorists are more likely to facilitate others’ self-disclosure than are entity theorists. Method: We conducted three studies: (a) a field study that examined client’s self-disclosure (N = 122; Mage = 41.9, 67.8% woman; Israelis) during an intake interview with a professional therapist (N = 38; Mage = 46.2, 84.20% woman; Israelis), (b) a survey of adults (N = 120; Mage = 37.14, 57.6% female) who reported self-perceptions and behaviors during conversations and their perceptions of others’ self-disclosure. In both studies participants reported their implicit theories, and (c) an experiment (N = 250; Mage = 28.27, 56.6% female) in which participants whose implicit theories were manipulated reported their opening behaviors during a conversation and their perceptions of others’ self-disclosure. Results: Ones’ incremental theory of personality was positively related to another’s self-disclosure, to one’s opening and disclosure-encouraging behaviors, and was negatively related to one’s perceptions of others’ self-protection tendency. Furthermore, one’s opening behaviors and perceptions of others’ self-protection tendencies mediated the effect of one’s incremental theory on others’ self-disclosure. Conclusion: Those who believe people can grow and change, can influence others to trust their personal information with them, even when the information is negative.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1264-1276
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Personality
Volume87
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Dec 2019
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • implicit theories of personality
  • listening
  • opening behaviors
  • self-disclosure
  • self-protection

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