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Self-disclosure in the nontraditional classroom

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Title:
Self-disclosure in the nontraditional classroom introversio n, extraversion, and gender influences
Creator:
Blackmann, Connie S
Publication Date:
Language:
English
Physical Description:
vi, 70 leaves : illustrations ; 29 cm

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Subjects / Keywords:
Self-disclosure ( lcsh )
Communication in small groups ( lcsh )
Communication in small groups ( fast )
Self-disclosure ( fast )
Genre:
bibliography ( marcgt )
theses ( marcgt )
non-fiction ( marcgt )

Notes

Bibliography:
Includes bibliographical references (leaves 67-70).
General Note:
Submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree, Master of Arts, Communication.
General Note:
Department of Communication
Statement of Responsibility:
by Connie S. Blackmann.

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Source Institution:
|University of Colorado Denver
Holding Location:
Auraria Library
Rights Management:
All applicable rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier:
37907438 ( OCLC )
ocm37907438
Classification:
LD1190.L48 1996m .B53 ( lcc )

Full Text
SELF-DISCLOSURE IN THE
NONTRADITIONAL CLASSROOM:
INTROVERSION, EXTRAVERSION, AND GENDER INFLUENCES
by
Connie S. Blackmann
B.S., Colorado Christian University, 1993
A thesis submitted to the
University of Colorado at Denver
in partial fulfillment
of the requirements for the degree of
Master of Arts
Communication
1996


This thesis for the Master of Arts
degree by
Connie S. Blackmann
has been approved
by
Michael Monsour
Date


Blackmann, Connie Sue (M.A., Communication)
Self-disclosure in the Nontraditional Classroom: Introversion, Extraversion and
Gender Influences
Thesis directed by Associate Professor Michael Monsour
ABSTRACT
This thesis studied influencing factors for self-disclosure within the
nontraditional classroom. This study measured six hypotheses: In the nontraditional
classroom environment, HI: Male students will differ from female students in the
frequency of self-disclosure; H2: Male students will differ from female students in
the level of intimate issues self-disclosed; H3: Male students will differ from female
students in the level of nonintimate issues self-disclosed; H4: Introverted students
will differ from extraverted students in the frequency of self-disclosure; H5:
Introverted students will differ from extraverted students in the level of intimate
issues self-disclosed; and H6: Introverted students will differ from extraverted
students in the level of nonintimate issues self-disclosed. Data were gathered by
distributing 216 questionnaires to nontraditional students at a western university. On
the questionnaire, participants identified their gender and then answered questions
with dichotomous scales and statements with 7-point Likert type scales. The level of
probability was set at alpha .05 for independent t-tests. Results indicated that only
iii


hypothesis four and five were supported. Introverted students will self-disclose
differently than extraverted students in frequency of self-disclosure and the
disclosure of intimate issues. Results will be used to further understanding of how
adult students communicate within the nontraditional classroom.
This abstract accurately represents the content of the candidates thesis. I
recommend its publication.
Signed
Michael Monsour
IV


CONTENTS
CHAPTER
1. THE PROBLEM..................................................1
Introduction............................................1
Defining Self-Disclosure................................5
Gender and Self-Disclosure...............................13
Introversion/Extraversion and Self-Disclosure........... 18
Key Terms Operationalized............................... 24
Conclusion.............................................. 26
2. METHODOLOGY................................................ 28
Subjects................................................ 28
Procedures...............................................29
Data Analysis........................................... 35
3. FINDINGS .................................................. 38
Purpose of the Study.................................... 38
Results................................................. 38
Summary................................................. 45
4. CONCLUSIONS................................................ 46
Conclusions Based on Findings........................... 46
Alternative Explanations of Findings.................... 53
v


Limitations of the Study.......................... 55
Implications for Professional Practice and
Decision Making................................... 56
Implications for Future Research.................. 57
Recommendations for Policy Development............ 59
Conclusion........................................ 60
APPENDIX.................................................59
A. CONSENT/COVER LETTER............................61
B. QUESTIONNAIRE...................................62
C. MEMO TO PROFESSORS............................. 66
REFERENCES...............................................65
vi


CHAPTER 1
THE PROBLEM
Introduction
If an observer were to sit down for the first time in a nontraditional classroom,
things would look somewhat normal for an academic setting. There are tables and
chairs, there is a blackboard; there are students, and there is a professor. Class starts,
and the professor makes a few announcements and then asks a question concerning
that weeks reading assignment. In answer to this question, a student raises his hand
and starts to tell the class a story about his own experience with the subject.
Immediately following, another student states, Yes, I feel that way too. This is what
happened to me. Before long, an hour has past with no lecture. Then, the professor
leads the discussion in another area. Again, the room is filled with students talking
one at a time about their experiences, asking questions of the professor and each
other to further their understanding of the topic being discussed. The observer
scratches his head and wonders, When is the lecture going to start? Why are
students doing most of the talking? And better yet, why are they talking about
themselves?
The purpose of the current study is to look further at this issue of talking
about self, more specifically, how self-disclosure functions within the
l


nontraditional classroom. As the above scenario indicated, most of the
communication that takes place within the nontraditional classroom is student
discussion about various topics related to the course. Minimal lecture is heard, with
students teaching each other through sharing their own stories, thoughts, feelings,
and experiences about course issues. Often, a significant percentage of a students
grade hinges on his or her participation in the discussions. From an instructional
standpoint, would placing all students into the same category and expecting them to
disclose the same way or the same amount be fair? Specifically, do all students
disclose the same?
Archer (1979) argued that specific characteristics would influence ones self-
disclosure. More exactly, he studied in what social situation does self-disclosure
occur most and what kind of person self-discloses. The situations in which self-
disclosure tended to exist the most were in intimate surroundings, the influence of
alcohol, when the discloser is attracted to the disclosee, strangers, eye contact,
physical closeness, and status differences between the discloser and the disclosee.
He (Archer, 1979) discussed certain personal characteristics that described the
discloser as gender and/or gender identity, birth order, age, social class,
characteristics of the recipient, culture, religious background, ethnicity, and social
preference (introversion/extraversion).
In the area of introversion and extraversion, Sorrell and Brown (1995) argued
that personal characteristics of a student will determine his or her apprehension and
2


willingness to communicate in class. Noel and Smith (1996) believed that ones
ethnicity plays a role in how much he or she is willing to disclose to another of a
different ethnic origin. How students view their own cultural norms and how they
view the targets (other students) cultural norms will influence their own disclosure.
Klinger-Vartabedian and OFlaherty (1989) postulated that perceived status
differences would possibly influence a students perception of self-disclosure (in
terms of appropriateness) within the classroom setting. In other words, students
would deem certain self-disclosures of female professors more appropriate than male
professors. Also, they hypothesized that a fellow students self-disclosure would be
viewed as more appropriate than the professors self-disclosure (regardless of that
professors gender).
Therefore, based on the literature about personal characteristics and
situational factors, it can be concluded that not all students will disclose the same.
If this is so, then expecting an introvert to disclose the same as an extravert, or a male
to disclose the same as a female may be unfair. It is important to study characteristic
differences of students and their influences on self-disclosure in order for educators
to design classroom assignments and teaching approaches that could meet the needs
of every type of student. Bowden and Merritt (1995) agreed that it is imperative
that the instructor understand and accept these diverse needs in preparing class
activities and requirements. This theory lends a significant part in the overall
learning process.
3


In a nontraditional classroom, learning takes place as students interact among
themselves with the instructor taking the facilitator role. If this is the case, then it is
important that students share their experiences to the best of their ability so that the
learning experience can be shared with all students. Consistent with John Deweys
(1944) philosophy that we learn by doing, from a communication perspective we
leam by disclosing.
Self-disclosure within a nontraditional classroom is the focus of the current
study. The amount of self-disclosure is what makes communication within a
nontraditional class unique from the traditional. What makes these classes unique are
the nontraditional students themselves, more commonly known as adult students.
Adult students differ from the traditional students in that they usually come to
class with years of corporate and personal experience. They also come to the
classroom with different needs. One of those needs is to have these professional and
personal experiences grounded in scholarly theory so that they will be able to flesh
out the details of an experience they may have had and put a name to that
experience (Bowden and Merritt, 1995, p. 427). What these authors meant is that
nontraditional students want to match experiences with theory so that they can make
sense of the phenomena they have observed, both personal and professional. In order
for this to happen, students often self-disclose their experiences in order for
themselves as well as other students to leam how theory and academic concepts
explain real life events.
4


Based on this need for experience to be used as part of the educational
experience, establishes part of the foundation for the nontraditional classroom
environment. As previously noted, much of class time is spent in discussion with
students sharing their stories with other students. This is done via self-disclosure, as
the student not only talks about the situation, but also tells what he or she did, plans
to do, thinks and feels about that experience. Therefore, it can be concluded that
student self-disclosure makes up a large part of classroom discussion.
Now that there is a better understanding of the nontraditional adult student,
self-disclosure in the classroom can be looked at more closely. However, before this
can be discussed further, self-disclosure itself must first be defined.
Defining Self-Disclosure
Starting with the founding father of self-disclosure study, Sidney Jourard
(1971) defined self-disclosure as the act of making yourself manifest, showing
yourself so others can perceive you (p. 19). Jourard originally developed the
concept of self-disclosure and its usefulness in understanding and maintaining ones
personality health. He believed that an individual who possessed characteristics of
a healthy personality was also someone who made him or herself fully known to at
least one significant other person.
5


Following in Jourards footsteps came another expert in the field of self-
disclosure study, Samuel Culbert (1968). Culbert took a more direct approach to
studying the interpersonal aspect of self-disclosure and developed his own definition.
Self-disclosure refers to an individuals explicitly communicating to one or
more others some personal information that he believes these others would be
unlikely to acquire unless he himself discloses it. Moreover, this information
must be personally private; that is, it must be of such a nature that it is not
something the individual would disclose to everyone who might inquire about
it. (p. 2)
By this, Culbert means that not only does an individual need to know himself, the
information he is revealing, but that self-disclosure requires the presence of another
to receive this information. Within this context comes a greater understanding of
what happens not only within a person, but what happens between two individuals.
Cozby (1973) expanded this notion of the interpersonal in his literature review
of self-disclosure studies by developing his own definition. Self-disclosure may be
defined as any information about himself which Person A communicates verbally to
Person B (p. 73). By this, Cozby meant that self-disclosure is both a personality
construct (multiple characteristics of the discloser) and an interactive construct
(process that takes place between people).
After conducting a study which focused on the context with which self-
disclosure is measured, Allen (1974) narrowed Cozbys (1973) definition. Allen
believed that Cozbys definition was too broad and developed a more detailed
definition. He suggested that A multidimensional definition is more apt: self-
6


disclosure is the uncoerced exchanging of personal information in a positive
interpersonal relationship (p. 198). In other words, self-disclosure is voluntary and
plays a great part in developing a relationship between two people.
Fisher (1984) draws his own definition of self-disclosure after he conducted a
conceptual analysis of over 40 definitions previously developed. He concluded that
self-disclosure contains six attributes: truth, sincerity, intentionality, novelty, privacy,
and choice. Therefore, he proposed that self-disclosure be conceptually defined as
Verbal behavior through which individuals truthfully, sincerely and intentionally
communicate novel, ordinarily private information about themselves to one or more
addressees (p. 278).
In a more contemporary approach, Derlega, Metts, Petronio, and Margulis
(1993) took an interactive view and studied how self-disclosure works in the
development and breakdown of close relationships. For the purpose of their study,
they developed their own definition as what individuals verbally reveal about
themselves to others (including thoughts, feelings, and experiences) (p. 1). In order
to make their research in this broad area more manageable, they focused on verbal,
rather than non-verbal self-disclosures. The focus of their studies was not just on the
verbal messages that two people disclosed to each other but on the reactions of these
messages by the recipients, thus, what takes place between them.
Dindia (1994) took the interactive definition by Derlega, Metts, Petronio, and
Margulis; the definition by Jourard (1971) as an act; and the intrapersonal perspective
7


by Archer (1979) and developed an analysis of self-disclosure with three
perspectives. First, she looked at self-disclosure as an act. Second, she viewed it as
an interpersonal process. Finally, it was looked at as an intrapersonal process. Based
on these three perspective, she developed her own definition: Self-disclosure is a
dialectical process that occurs both within and between persons (p. 56).
Through the years, from Jourard (1971) to Dindia (1994), self-disclosure has
become more and more refined in its definition and usage, leading researchers to
deeper levels of understanding about this complex, multifacetic communication
concept. However, since the above definitions all seem to fit within the context of
dyadic relationships, does self-disclosure exist in a group of individuals? Meaning, if
Person A is the discloser and the recipients are now Persons B Z, is this still defined
as self-disclosure? A review of the study on group dynamics will give the answer.
First, what is a group? According to Tubbs (1992), a group is where
perceptions, motivation, goals, organization, interdependence, and interaction exist
between at least three or more people. Based on this definition, a classroom of
approximately 15 adult students who meet together, make an impression on each
other, are motivated to attend class, are organized into various roles (e.g. class
representative, class leader, etc.), are dependent on each other for answers and
support, and interact by face-to-face communication can logically be called a
group. If this is so, what is self-disclosure within a group?
s


Jourards (1971) definition of self-disclosure, as previously discussed, appears
in many studies conducted on various aspects of group dynamics. George Egan
(1971) in his book Encounter Groups: Basic Readings includes Jourards (1971)
chapter on Healthy Personality and Self-Disclosure. In the context of Egans book
on group encounters, Jourard argues that there is a relationship between self-
disclosure and group effectiveness. This seems to imply that in various context, in
particular group effectiveness, self-disclosure exists because it comes from the
self. One other note, Jourards (1971) classical, traditional theory that revealing
ones self to at least one other person is good for ones personality health lends strong
support that revealing ones self as a group member to other group members within
the group environment is good for the personality health of the group.
Tubbs (1992) also recognizes Jourards (1971) definition of self-disclosure
and uses it in his text on small group interaction. Tubbs defines self-disclosure as a
process, whereby an individual voluntarily shares information in a personal way,
about his or her self that cannot be discovered through other sources (p. 240).
Although his definition does not indicate specifically that this sharing of
information take place in a group environment, the context in which is it defined
indicates a group setting. Tubbs (1992) main point to his section on self-disclosure
refers to group members decisions about both when and how much self-disclosure
should take place. In other words, each group member must agree as an individual
and as a group that too little self-disclosure will negatively affect the groups
9


cohesiveness (trust, relationships, communication), and too much may take away
from the time needed to accomplish its goals. Keeping this focus, group members
can move away from the self and move toward more quality communication for the
group.
Archer and Earle (1983) argue that self-disclosure and group process be
studied hand in hand. They believe that the traditional definition of self-disclosure is
the act of revealing personal information to others, so self-disclosure is inherently
social in nature and a part of the traffic among group members (p. 189). Their basic
thought here, and the main point to their chapter The Interpersonal Orientations of
Disclosure, is that the evolution of self-disclosure from the m/rapersonal to the
interpersonal not be restricted, but expanded to the various dimensions of social
interaction. Self-disclosure is imperative to understanding communication within
groups. And, in turn, understanding how self-disclosure works in groups helps
broaden the understanding of self-disclosure itself.
Katherine Allen (1995) is a professor and a lesbian who uses her sexual
identity as a means to teach her students enrolled in family studies courses. She
believes that self-disclosing her sexual identity to students in class demonstrates the
effectiveness of sexual orientation and self-disclosure on students learning about
themselves as well as the dynamics of family relationships. Basically, she argued that
ones sexual orientation via self-disclosure adds tremendous value to teaching.
10


She takes a feminist approach to teaching. Not only did she explain her
position but offered suggestions for other professors and instructors (regardless of
their sexual orientation) to use self-disclosure in the classroom as a means to improve
the quality of their teaching approaches.
Allen (1995) did not provide her own definition of self-disclosure in this
article, and she did not argue for the existence of such concept in a group
environment. However, looking at the context with which she stated her main idea,
she set the stage of teacher (Person A) revealing to students (a group) within the
classroom. Therefore, it can be concluded that by her using the term self-
disclosure in this context, it does exist in a group.
Elias, Johnson, and Fortman (1989) looked at task-focused self-disclosure and
its effects on three areas, group cohesiveness, commitment to task, and productivity.
Their purpose for this study stemmed from the questions developed out of small
group studies and communication as to how self-disclosure influences various
dynamics of group functioning. They were able to test their theory by studying 144
undergraduate college students, ages 18 to 24. Their findings, based on the results of
the study, supported that task-focused self-disclosure did significantly increase group
cohesiveness, member commitment to the task assigned, and to overall group
productivity.
Like Allen (1994), Elias et al. (1989) did not develop their own definition of
self-disclosure, nor did they define it as a group concept. However, the context in
li


which they studied the function of self-disclosure within a group lends support that it
does exist.
With the concept of group or public self-disclosure (as opposed to private,
one on one self-disclosure) Priest and Dominick (1994) applied self-disclosure to the
mass media. They stated that although over 1400 self-disclosure studies have been
conducted since Jourard started in 1958, their study was the first to bring self-
disclosure into mass communication. The purpose of their study was to determine
why people self-disclose personal issues about themselves on national TV via talk
shows.
Priest and Dominick (1994) also did not develop their own definition, but
used Fishers (1984) (as indicated earlier in this chapter). They focused especially on
the ordinarily private. These are the issues that a person would normally disclose
to specific individuals such as a close friend, a family member, clergy, or a therapist.
They looked even closer at the concept of one or more addressees as being the talk
show host as well as the studio and national audience.
Based on all of the preceding definitions of self-disclosure, both in the context
of a dyadic relationship and in a group, this researcher has defined self-disclosure for
the purpose of the current study. Self-disclosure is any issue concerning the self,
revealed by the self, for the purpose of making self known to others. Simply stated,
self-disclosure whether it exists between two people or between members of a group
is self-disclosure.
12


Now that the main construct of this study has been defined, it is essential to
review studies on self-disclosure that are most relevant to self-disclosure in the
nontraditional classroom. Although self-disclosure in the nontraditional classroom
has not exactly been addressed, other studies on self-disclosure are relevant if they
concern variables that will also be functioning in the classroom environment. Two
such variables that have applicability to self-disclosure in a classroom environment
are ones gender and whether one is an introvert or an extravert.
Gender and Self-Disclosure
Beer and Darkenwald (1989) looked at the adult student classroom
environment. Specifically, they took a closer look at what influences affiliation and
involvement for the adult student within the classroom. They suggested that gender
is one influencing factor in understanding human behavior within a specific social
setting. After much review of research in this area (Bardwick, 1971; Belenky,
Clinchy, Goldberger and Tarule, 1986; Cross, 1981; Deaux, 1985; Gilligan, 1982;
Goldberg, 1982; Lott, 1985; andMezirow, 1978) Beer and Darkenwald hypothesized
that women and men adult students will exhibit divergent perceptions of
Relationship [sic] dimensions of the classroom social environment (p. 35). More
specifically, female adult students will perceive more affiliation and involvement in
the classroom environment than male students.
13


Beer and Darkenwald (1989) collected their data from 439 adult students,
ages 19 and older, (the current study limited the age to 24 and older) who were
enrolled either full or part time and had previously been out of school for at least two
years after high school graduation. Each student was measured as to his or her degree
of affiliation in the classroom as well as personal involvement.
Results indicated that their hypothesis was supported. Based on this, it can be
concluded that there is a difference between how women and men perceive a
classrooms social setting.
Since this was the first study conducted which looked at gender differences
within an adult classroom environment, Beer and Darkenwald (1989) hoped that
future research would be conducted to help adult educators meet the needs of the
adult student. The current study will do just that. By increasing awareness that not
all students are the same in both characteristics and values, educators can alter their
teaching styles and approaches to better meet the needs of the adult learner.
Klinger-Vartabedian and OFlaherty (1989) also looked at self-disclosure
within the classroom setting. Their purpose was to determine whether perceived
status differentials would influence a students perception concerning the
appropriateness of self-disclosure. In other words, students will assess whether
certain self-disclosures made in class are appropriate based on their perception of the
presenter (e.g., the instructor, or another student). They hypothesized two sets of
relationships. First, Students will perceive self-disclosure by fellow students as
14


more appropriate than self-disclosure by professors and second, Students will
perceive self-disclosure by a female instructor as more appropriate than self-
disclosure by a male instructor (p. 157).
Data were collected from 740 speech communication undergraduates. They
were tested by watching video tapes where the presenter was identified as either a
professor or an undergraduate student from another university. Content of the tapes
were based on self-disclosure of the presenters personal experiences and non-
personal issues. After viewing all tapes, the participants were given a questionnaire
that measured their perceptions of the self-disclosure contained in the tapes.
Results indicated that self-disclosures made by professors were deemed more
appropriate. This indicated that higher status individuals could get away with various
self-disclosing behavior. Also, female self-disclosure was not viewed as more
appropriate than male, as the authors hypothesized. In fact, the opposite seemed to
be supported by the data collected.
This study is relevant to the current study because it focused on self-
disclosure within an academic setting. Although most participants for this study were
younger than 21, it looked at the possibility that a presenters gender and status would
influence a students (observer) perception of self-disclosure. It did not, however,
address the observers gender and status as influencing factor of these perceptions.
The current study will look at the observers end and how ones self-disclosure
15


behavior within the classroom is influenced by preference for social interaction and
gender differences.
In an article by Dindia and Allen (1992) comes a collection of modem
research conducted on gender differences and self-disclosure. Their main argument
is that although there has been a tremendous amount of research conducted on gender
differences in self-disclosure, the findings tend to be inconsistent. In the early 60s,
Jourard (1964) concluded that women tended to self-disclose more than men, based
on his own research and self-developed measuring tools. However, since his time,
more research has been conducted (e.g., Cline, 1982; Cozby, 1973; Hill and Stull,
1987; Rosenfeld, Civikly, and Herron, 1979) on these differences, but came up
inconsistent with Jourards theory. Dindia and Allen suggested that perhaps these
inconsistencies occurred because of moderator variables.
In short, these variables were narrative reviewing techniques; meta-analysis
(method of measurement); situational factors; sex of target; relationship to target;
measure of self-disclose (how self-disclosure was measured); interaction effects;
publication dates (possible changing times) and publication status (publishing
uneven number of studies that do or do not support gender differences).
They (Dindia and Allen, 1992) investigated their hypotheses by means of a
literature search using the key terms of self-disclosure and human sex differences.
They used 205 of the 250 articles found for their meta-analysis. Broken down
16


further, they conducted a meta-analysis using 205 studies on gender differences,
involving 23,702 subjects, that were published from 1958 to 1989.
Dindia and Allen (1992) concluded from their meta-analysis that the gender
of the target did influence the self-disclosure of the sender. Relationship to target did
not moderate these effects. Measure of self-disclosure did not account for the
participants perception of what the norms for self-disclosure are and could have
skewed results based on these stereotypes. Publication year had no bearing in that
within the past 30 years, results of gender differences have not changed. Publications
status did not hold in that there were an even number of articles published with
different conclusions about gender differences. Results supported that interaction
effects (situational factors) may moderate these differences--the situation in which
men and women disclose could explain why there were differences in the outcomes.
The current study used the assumption by Dindia and Allen (1992) as a basis
for support in developing six hypotheses on gender and self-disclosure. Since there is
no definitive support that gender differences do exist in self-disclosure, directional
hypotheses cannot be justified. Therefore, the following nondirectional hypotheses
were developed for the current study: In the nontraditional classroom environment,
HI: Male students will differ from female students in the frequency of self-
disclosure; H2: Male students will differ from female students in the level of
intimate issues self-disclosed; and H3: Male students will differ from female
students in the level of nonintimate issues self-disclosed.
17


Introversion/Extraversion and Self-Disclosure
Introversion and extraversion are both social preferences that people generally
posses which dictates their behavior toward others (Keirsey and Bates, 1984).
Introverted people are generally territorial and tend to gain their energy by being
alone. Interacting with others tends to tire them out. On the other hand, extraverted
people tend to become energized by interacting with others and, therefore, do so as
often as possible. The following study by Meleshko and Alden (1993) uses the terms
socially anxious and socially nonanxious. In the context of this study, one could
draw a conclusion that these terms could be very similar in nature to introversion and
extraversion as they all deal with how a persons characteristics influences his or her
interaction with others.
This study (Meleshko and Alden, 1993) focused on motivation and self-
disclosure with an emphasis on anxiety and reciprocity. They looked at two types of
people, the socially anxious and the socially nonanxious. They hypothesized
that socially anxious subjects would (a) display patterns of self-disclosure
different from those of nonanxious subjects, (b) conform to the moderated
pattern of disclosure suggested by Arkins (1981) self-protection theory [see
following paragraph], (c) be less likely to display the reciprocity effect than
nonanxious subjects, and (d) elicit more negative interpersonal reactions than
nonanxious subjects, (p. 1001).
The above predictions were based on several assumptions concerning self-
disclosure. First, Meleshko and Alden (1993) suggested that shy people tend to
protect themselves from rejection or disapproval, and their behavior is motivated by
18


this desire for protection. In contrast, non-shy people are motivated by social
approval and want to gain positive outcomes. They are motivated by attention and
recognition. Therefore, it was hypothesized that socially anxious and nonanxious
individuals would self-disclose differently based on different motivations for
interaction.
A second issue was used, that of mutual self-disclosure or reciprocity. The
theory that self-disclosure is reciprocal was challenged in that anxious people may
not be willing to reciprocate intimate issues even though their partner initiates highly
intimate issues.
Data were collected from 84 out of 489 women undergraduates. First, these
women completed a Social Avoidance Distress Scale by Watson & Friend (as cited in
Meleshko and Alden, 1993). Then, they were classified into two categories:
Nonanxious subjects (those with SAD scores equal to or less than 2) and socially
anxious subjects (those with SAD scores at a minimum of 12). Students older than
22 or who were married were excluded from this study. The division was 42 socially
anxious subjects (ages 17 and 22) and 42 nonanxious subjects (ages 17 20). It was
not discussed why these researchers chose women and not mixed-gender participants.
This experiment used a 2 x 2 (socially anxious or nonanxious) (high or low
confederate intimacy) factorial design, where the task was to observe a conversation
between the subject and another individual (the confederate). The confederate was to
initiate self-disclosure ranging from low-intimacy (non-intimate) to high-intimacy
19


(highly intimate). Observation was made using a comfortable and naturalistic setting
with a one-way mirror.
Results indicated that socially anxious individuals did differ from nonanxious
individuals in terms of self-disclosure to another. This study lends support for the
current study by suggesting that a construct similar to introversion/extraversion may
have an impact on self-disclosure.
The study by Meleshko and Alden (1993) studied socially anxious and non-
anxious individuals and how their motivation for interaction influenced their self-
disclosure. The current study looked at similar connections. The current study
looked at ones preference for social interaction (introversion or extraversion) as an
influencing factor. Meleshko and Alden studied only women, but the current study
will test both male and female students to determine if gender is also an influencing
factor in self-disclosure behavior.
Sorrell and Brown (1995) recently wrote an article which suggested that
educators (specifically nurse educators) must be aware that students are of different
temperament types. The temperament types referred to were from Myers and Briggs
(Keirsey and Bates, 1984) as extroversion/introversion, intuition/sensing,
thinking/feeling, and judging/perceiving. Course requirements must be made
sensitive to those differences, especially to the introverted student. Many
instructors/professors design course requirements (e.g. class participation) around
extraverted temperament types and set the standard for all students, not taking into
20


consideration those 25% who are introverted. The purpose of this article was to
provide information to nurse educators that would assist them in developing class
participation activities suited for introverted students. In this way, extraverts and
introverts can receive the most fair educational requirements for their own diverse
social interactive preference.
There were no data collected by Sorrell and Brown (1995). In fact, it was not
even suggested that nurse educators test their students to determine their
temperament types, but to be aware of the basic characteristics. By this increased
understanding, Sorrell and Brown can heighten faculty awareness that differences do
exist within the classroom. Therefore, the article summarized the differences
between extraversion and introversion, intuition and sensing, thinking and feeling,
and judging and perceiving (Keirsey and Bates, 1984). In each category, they
speculated on how the temperament type influenced student behavior within the
classroom. For the extraverted students, they enjoy classroom discussions,
exchanging concepts because they exchange issues and ideas with other students gain
energy at the same time. However, for the introverted students, they tend to enjoy
solitude of pre-class preparation, becoming exhausted by the forced interaction with
other students in the classroom.
The implications of this study (Sorrell and Brown, 1995) suggested that based
on an increased understanding and awareness of these different temperament types,
educators can move forward in changing and developing class participation activities.
21


The activities suggested in this study were specifically designed for extraverted and
introverted students that would best meet their diverse needs.
Sorrell and Brown (1995) strongly suggested that more learning can take
place when people are active in the learning process itself. The current study agrees
with this philosophy and will hypothesize that extraversion and introversion
influences a students class participation, manifested as different levels of self-
disclosure.
Another article which addressed the assumption that extraverts communicate
differently than introverts was written by Collins (1991). In this article, he gives one
basic question that many communication scholars ask: Why is it that our
communications often misfire or fall flat? (p. 16). He offers a suggestion that
people must become aware of what works with whom (p. 16). By this, he suggests
that because all individuals fall into the basic four preference types on the Myers-
Briggs type indicator, one must first become aware of his or her own preferences,
then become aware of his or her communication partners. First, he offers
suggestions about how to change ones own behavior according to these preference
types. Then, he suggests ways to bring about change in others communication
behavior based on their preference type.
Data was not collected for the article by Collins (1991), but it does lend some
support that there is a difference in communication behavior between extraverts and
introverts. However, it does not give guidelines on how to recognize someones
22


preference, which would be a great error if one was trying to change an extraverts
behavior assuming that he or she were an introvert. Further, Collinss (1991) claims
are not supported by any other research done in this field. In fact, it was the only
article published that linked extraversion and introversion to communication. This
supports the current study in that there is a need to conduct empirical research in this
area to solidify that a difference does indeed exist in these two preferences where
communication is concerned, specifically self-disclosure.
On a purely practical level, based on the definition and study of introvert
behavior and extravert behavior, it would seem logical to conclude that extraverted
students would disclose differently than introverted students. However, the literature
on extraversion/introversion, communication, self-disclosure and the classroom
environment does not support directional hypotheses, based on the lack of empirical
testing linking these areas together. Although the authors propose a strong case to
support their theories, they are all based on speculation, not empirical investigation.
Therefore, the following nondirectional hypotheses are proposed: In the
nontraditional classroom environment, H4: Introverted students will differ from
extraverted students in the frequency of self-disclosure; H5: Introverted students will
differ from extraverted students in the level of intimate issues self-disclosed; and H6:
Introverted students will differ from extraverted students in the level of nonintimate
issues self-disclosed.
23


Key Terms Operationalized
Other key concepts for this study were adult nontraditional students,
frequency of self-disclosure, intimate self-disclosure, nonintimate self-disclosure,
extraversion, introversion, and gender. According to Bowden and Merritt (1995)
adult students are those who somewhat differ from the 18-24 year old college
student(p. 426), thus labeled nontraditional. These adult students possess diverse
needs, desires, and goals. One of those needs is the desire to take work and personal
experiences and ground them in scholarly theory-theory that puts a name to or
explains these phenomena. For the purpose of this study, nontraditional adult student
is operationalized as all students ages 24 and older enrolled in an undergraduate
degree program at Colorado Christian University-Colorado Springs.
Along with the definition of self-disclosure, as discussed earlier, comes two
factors: Frequency and Intimacy. Frequency of self-disclosure is defined as how
often one self-discloses to another. For the purpose of this study, frequency of self-
disclosure will be operationalized by using 10 self-developed statements on the
questionnaire with a 7-point Likert type scale with 1 = almost never; 4 = sometimes;
and 7 = almost always.
Intimate self-disclosure is defined as those issues that are considered very
personal (e.g. negative feelings toward ones parents, shameful past behavior, sexual
experiences, etc.) (Jourard, 1971). For the purpose of this study, intimate issues were
measured with 10 statements from Jourards Twenty Self-Disclosure Topics Rated
24


for Intimacy Value (1971) rated as intimate issues and a students willingness to
disclose this information in the classroom by responding on a 7-point Likert type
scale with 1 = low self-disclosure; 4 = moderate; and 7 = high self-disclosure.
Nonintimate self-disclosure is defined as those issues disclosed on a more
surface level (e.g. recreation one enjoys, literature of interest, favorite TV programs,
etc.) (Jourard, 1971). For the purpose of this study, nonintimate issues were
measured with 10 statements from Jourards Twenty Self-Disclosure Topics Rated
for Intimacy Value (1971) rated as nonintimate issues and a students willingness to
disclose this information in the classroom by responding on a 7-point Likert type
scale with 1 = low self-disclosure; 4 = moderate; and 7 = high self-disclosure.
According to Keirsey and Bates (1984), extraversion is a preference for
people as a source of energy (p. 14). These individuals need people in their
everyday occurrences in order to charge their batteries (p. 14). Key words for an
extrovert are sociability, breadth, external, extensive, interaction, multiplicity of
relationships, expenditure of energy, and interest in external happenings (p. 16).
Introversion, on the other hand, is a preference for solitude to recover
energy (Keirsey and Bates, 1984, p. 14). These individuals need solitude to regain
energy lost from interaction with others. Key words for an introvert seem to be
territoriality, depth, internal, intensive, concentration, limited relationships,
conservation of energy, interest in internal reactions (p. 16).
25


These differences in preference are not black and white. One can be
somewhat either preference, but one preference will hold out over the other (Keirsey
and Bates, 1984). Therefore, one can range anywhere from high, moderate, or low
for both preferences, with one dominating the other. For the purpose of this study,
extraversion and introversion will be operationalized by using 21 questions from the
Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (Myers & Myers, 1993) to determine which category an
individual will fall based on his or her response to those questions. According to the
results, each student will be identified as either an I (Introvert) or an E (Extravert).
Gender can also influence communication behavior. According to Tannen
(1990) gender communication is cross-cultural in that men and women talk and
interpret communication from two different cultures. Men do more report talk,
focusing on facts and information. Women do more rapport talk, focusing on
relationships. For the purpose of this study, gender will be determined by a students
selection of Male or Female on the questionnaire.
Conclusion
Again, based on the lack of research conducted in the area of extraversion,
introversion, and gender and their influence on ones self-disclosure in the
nontraditional classroom the current study is proposed. It will use the survey research
method to gather data to test the six hypotheses developed to determine if a
difference in self-disclosure does exist between extraverts and introverts, and
26


between male and female nontraditional students. If these differences do indeed
occur, based on the data collected, this information can prove valuable to the
educator as well as the nontraditional student for increased understanding of the
communication that takes place within this environment.
27


CHAPTER 2
METHODOLOGY
The purpose of this study was to determine the impact of social preference
and gender on self-disclosure among adult nontraditional students in the classroom
environment. More specifically, it addressed the influencing factors between
extraverted and introverted students and between male and female students on the
depth and frequency of self-disclosure.
Subjects
At the time this survey was conducted there were 325 adult students enrolled
in nontraditional undergraduate degree programs at Colorado Christian University-
Colorado Springs, Colorado. Students ranged in age from 24 55, with a mean age of
37. Forty-nine percent were male and 51% were female. Around 95% of these
students have full-time jobs and are motivated (as indicated by the director) to
complete their degrees for career purposes as well as self-fulfillment.
Of these 325 students, 216 participated in the study. Eighty four were female,
and 132 were male, with both ranging in ages 24-55 with a mean age of 37.
Upon enrollment into a degree program, students are placed (average 15
students per class) in a specific group where they stay with the same students
28


throughout the entire duration of their program. Therefore, they get to know each
other quite well after being together for many classes. This sample of participants for
the current study was selected by convenience. Therefore, a non-probability
sampling method was used.
Procedures
The survey research method was used for this project. Not all variables were
strictly controlled and manipulated. Data were gathered by one questionnaire,
incorporating four different scales designed to measure the variables in this study.
The first one measured the independent variable of either extraversion or
introversion, the second measured the dependent variable of intimate self-disclosure,
the third measured the dependent variable of nonintimate self-disclosure, and the
fourth measured the dependent variable of frequency of self-disclosure. The other
independent variable of gender was measured by indicating either male or female on
the questionnaire. This study measured the differences between two independent
variables of social preference (extravert or introvert) and gender to three dependent
variables of intimate self-disclosure, nonintimate self-disclosure, and frequency of
self-disclosure all within the nontraditional classroom environment.
In more detail, the questionnaire used to gather data was a combination of
scales formulated to measure the independent and dependent variables for each
hypothesis. It included 21 questions from the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (Myers,
29


and Myers, 1993) (See Appendix B). The Myers-Briggs type indicator (as cited in
Keirsey and Bates, 1984) is an inventory designed to measure 16 different patterns of
an individuals behavior. For this study, only those 21 questions on this inventory
(Myers and Myers, 1993) were used to measure a students preference for
extraversion or introversion. The level for intimacy of self-disclosure was measured
using the modified Jourard Topic List for Intimacy Value (Jourard, 1971) (See
Appendix B). This list consisted of 10 statements rated for intimacy value and 10
statements for nonintimacy value. Respondents were to select on a 7-point scale their
willingness to self-disclose a specific topic in the statement from either low-self-
disclosure to high-self-disclosure. Frequency of self-disclosure was measured by 10
self-developed statements where again, respondents were to respond on a 7-point
scale ranging from almost always to almost never (See Appendix B). It is important
to note that these self-developed statements were not tested for statistical reliability
or validity. Also, no pilot study was conducted for this thesis.
In addition, there were four statements that did not measure the hypotheses.
Statements 23,32,26, and 29 (See Appendix B) were used as a means with which to
justify the outcome of the data collected and the results of the survey. Statement 23,
My self-disclosures made in class are relevant to the topic being discussed was
used to measure the appropriateness of a students self-disclosure in the classroom.
Responses ranged on a 7-point scale with 1 = almost never; 4 = sometimes; and 7 =
almost always. Quite possibly, the depth and frequency of self-disclosure would be
30


higher if a student felt that it was relevant to the topic of discussion. Statements 32,
26, and 29 measured a students perception of how he or she viewed the other
classmates. The statements read, Generally speaking, I consider most of my
classmates to be casual acquaintances, Generally speaking, I consider most of my
classmates to be casual friends, and Generally speaking, I consider most of my
classmates to be close friends, respectively. Responses ranged on a 7-point scale
with 1 = strongly disagree; 4 = unsure; and 7 = strongly agree. Depending on how
each student felt about the other students may contribute to how often and/or how
deep he or she self-discloses. All measuring scales were combined on a single
questionnaire so that the administration of the survey would be simple and less time
consuming for the participants.
The questionnaire contained a cover/consent letter explaining that research
was conducted for the purpose of fulfilling graduate requirements. The letter did not
give the details of the study so the respondents were less likely to be led to answer the
questionnaire according to the researchers beliefs. This letter also served as a
consent form where respondents were asked to read the letter and sign and date it,
giving consent for their responses to be used in this study.
In answering the first set of questions on the questionnaire (See questions
1-15 and the six pairs of words, pages 1 2 in Appendix B), the respondent was
asked to think of his or her attitude and behavior on a general basis. This allowed for
measurement of the preference for extraversion or introversion. The remaining
31


statements were to be answered according to how they viewed their self-disclosure
with the other classmates in the classroom. All respondents were to reply to the
questions or statements by giving only one answer per question/statement. For
example, when given the question Do you tend to have deep friendships with a veiy
few people, or broad friendships with many different people?, the respondent must
choose only one of the two choices. Likewise, when given a statement such as The
types of play and recreation I enjoy with a corresponding 7-point Likert type scale
with which to indicate his or her willingness to self-disclose this issue within the
classroom, the student was to choose only one response by circling a 1,2, 3,4, 5, 6,
or a 7 (1= low self-disclosure; 4 = moderate; and 7 = high self-disclosure). The
current survey was designed to measure if ones self-disclosure behavior was
influenced by the difference in preference for social interaction or gender or both.
The questionnaires were distributed 29 January through 1 February 1996, at
Colorado Christian University-Colorado Springs. Permission to conduct the survey
and distribute questionnaires was given by the director of the university in Colorado
Springs before this thesis was fully developed. Upon recommendation of this
director, all professors were informed of the survey at least one week prior to their
course. It was agreed that this was sufficient lead time for professors to schedule
their course work around time needed for students to complete the questionnaires.
Each night of that week, the researcher hand delivered to each professor prior,
to his or her class, envelopes containing the questionnaires plus a memo of
32


instruction (see Appendix C). The researcher also verbally explained the procedures
they were to follow. Each professor was given the correct amount of questionnaires
for the number of students in each class, along with an envelope with which to place
the completed ones. During the first break (30 minute dinner break), the professors
were directed to hand one questionnaire to each student with instructions to read the
cover letter, sign both copies, and tear off one copy and hand it in separate from the
questionnaire. This kept all questionnaires anonymous. The respondent was to keep
the other copy. Then, they were to answer the statements on the questionnaire
according to the instructions at the top. The students had approximately 10 minutes to
complete the questionnaire~or up to 30 minutes (the entire time of the break) if
needed. Before class resumed, the professor collected all completed questionnaires,
along with any blank ones where students either declined to partake in the survey or
were absent, and put them back in the envelope. The envelope was placed in the
class folder where the researcher collected them that night or the next morning at the
universitys office. The above course of action was taken each night of that week.
Due to a virus in the computer lab, one professor was unable to administer his
questionnaires to two classes. Therefore, he kept the questionnaires and distributed
them one week later. He then placed the envelopes with completed questionnaires in
the researchers box at the university where they were collected on Friday of that
week.
33


Prevention for duplication (one student answering more than one
questionnaire) was reduced two ways. First, most students attend only one class per
week. Those students scheduled to attend two nights per week had the same
professor; therefore, the professor was given only one packet of questionnaires and
verbally instructed that the survey was to be conducted only once per class of
students. Second, if a student scheduled to attend once a week did attend twice, they
were verbally asked by the professor not to complete the questionnaire if they had
already done so in a previous class.
The researcher offered to share the results of this study with any student,
faculty, or administration upon request. It was explained to the participants that this
study was conducted to fulfill thesis requirements and that no results would be sold,
formally published, or used in any way that would violate the privacy of the
participants or the university. All participants were assured that the results would be
kept confidential, thus, they were not required to put their names on the
questionnaire. Only gender would be indicated as to the identity of the student.
They were also told that this thesis would be bound and placed in the University of
Colorado-Denver library. Based on the above, any student who did not feel
comfortable participating in this survey could decline.
34


Data Analysis
Each questionnaire was hand calculated according to each statement
answered. Any statement that indicated more than one answer or no answer was
eliminated. Scores were calculated and adjusted accordingly.
Data were calculated by first determining whether the respondent was an
extravert of an introvert. This was done according to the instructions indicated by
Myers and Myers (1993). There were 10 statements from the Jourard Twenty Self-
Disclosure Topics Rated for Intimacy Value scale (Jourard, 1971) that were
considered intimate. Mean scores were determined for each respondent for the level
of self-disciosure of intimate issues. There were also 10 statements from the same
scale that were considered nonintimate. Mean scores were determined for each
respondent for the level of self-disclosure for nonintimate issues. Then, there were
10 statements that measured the respondents frequency of self-disciosure. Each
questionnaire was hand calculated for the mean response for frequency. Two of the
ten statements were negatively worded and were, therefore, inverted when calculating
the average. Again, any statements with more than one answer or no answer were
eliminated and adjustments were made in calculating the mean.
After all questionnaires were calculated, all raw data were entered into SPSS
for data analysis. Data were analyzed using independent t-tests. This statistical
method of data analysis was best suited for the type of hypotheses presented, because
they dealt with measuring the probability of difference between two independent
35


variables with multiple dependent variables. Also, independent ts will test for
homogeneity of groups. If homogeneity of groups is not achieved, the independent ts
are robust and will, therefore, compensate by calculating an alternative of
heterogeneity for significance. By using t-tests in the current study,
we can calculate the probability of whether a particular difference between
sample means would be expected under the terms of the null hypothesis, that
is, attributed to sampling error. If a particular probability is equal to, or less
than, a level of probability set as a criterion for rejecting the null hypothesis,
we reject the null hypothesis and accepts its logical alternative, the research
hypothesis, and conclude that the sample means reflect different population
means. (Williams, 1992, p. 83)
Independent ts were run two ways. First, the difference between the
independent variables of male and female students were analyzed to the dependent
variables of intimacy, nonintimacy, and frequency of self-disclosure. Then, the
independent variables of extraverted and introverted students were analyzed to the
dependent variables of intimacy, nonintimacy, and frequency of self-disclosure.
The level of probability for each of the following null hypotheses was set at
alpha .05:
Hl0: In the nontraditional classroom environment, males do not differ from
females in the frequency of self-disclosure.
H20: In the nontraditional classroom environment, males do not differ from
females in the level of intimate issues self-disclosed.
H30: In the nontraditional classroom environment, males do not differ from
females in the level of nonintimate issues self-disclosed.
36


H40: In the nontraditional classroom environment, introverts do not differ
from extraverts in the frequency of self-disclosure.
H50: In the classroom environment, introverts do not differ from extraverts in
the level of intimate issues self-disclosed.
H60: In the nontraditional classroom environment, introverts do not differ
from extraverts in the level of nonintimate issues self-disclosed.
In summary, a survey research method was chosen for this study to test six
hypotheses suggesting influencing factors in nontraditional students self-disclosure
in the classroom. The hypotheses were measured with the use of a questionnaire and
administered to 216 student participants currently enrolled at Colorado Christian
University-Colorado Springs Center. Results of the survey would determine whether
there are differences between the way extravert and introvert students self-disclose
and if there are differences between the way male and female students self-disclose
within the classroom setting.
37


CHAPTER 3
FINDINGS
Purpose of the Study
The purpose of this study was to determine what influences self-disclosure
among adult nontraditional students who interact in a highly discussion based
educational environment. The current study determined whether a students
preference for extraversion or introversion and gender differences influenced self-
disclosure in terms of intimate disclosure, nonintimate disclosure, and frequency of
disclosure. The significance of this study was to bring a greater understanding to
instructors about student communication behavior in the classroom.
Results
HI: In the nontraditional classroom environment, males will differ from
females in the frequency of self-disclosure. Ten statements on the questionnaire
measured the frequency of self-disclosure. The alpha level was set at .05: t (214) =
.76, p > .05. Results indicated p = .448. Therefore, the results failed to reject the
null hypothesis (See Table 3.1). Males do not significantly differ from females in the
frequency of self-disclosure. However, there is a .05 chance of a type II error in that
38


I
I
the null may be incorrectly accepted. The change of a type II error is equal to the
probability level set for accepting the null hypothesis. (Williams, 1992).
Table 3.1
t-tests for Independent Samples of Gender Concerning
Frequency of Self-disclosure
Number
Variable of Cases Mean SD SE of Mean
Frequency of
Self-disclosure
Male 132 4.2182 .888 .077
Female 84 4.1167 1.057 .115
t-tests for Equality of Means
Variances t-value df 2-Tail Sig
Equal .76 214 .448
H2: In the nontraditional classroom environment, males will differ from
females in the level of intimate issues self-disclosed. Ten statements on the
questionnaire measured intimate issues. The alpha level was set at .05: t (214) =
1.32, p >.05. Results indicated p =. 187. Therefore, the results failed to reject the
null hypothesis (See Table 3.2). Males do not significantly differ from females in the
level of intimate issues self-disclosed. However, there is a .05 chance of a type II
error in that the null may be incorrectly accepted.
39


Table 3.2
t-tests for Independent Samples of Gender Concerning
Intimate Levels of Self-disclosure
Number
Variable of Cases Mean SD SE of Mean
Intimate
Self-disclosure
Male 132 3.5553 1.054 .092
Female 84 3.3524 1.164 .127
t-tests for Equality of Means
Variances t-value df 2-Tail Sig
Equal 1.32 214 .187
H3: In the nontraditional classroom environment, males will differ from
females in the level of nonintimate issues self-disclosed. Ten statements on the
questionnaire measured nonintimate issues. The alpha level was set at .05: t (214) =
1.01, p > .05. Results indicated p = .312. Therefore the results failed to reject the
null hypothesis (See Table 3.3). Males do not significantly differ from females in the
level of nonintimate issues self-disclosed. However, there is a .05 change of a type II
error in that the null may be incorrectly accepted.
40


Table 3.3
t-tests for Independent Samples of Gender Concerning
Nonintimate Level s of Self-disclosure
Variable Number of Cases Mean SD SE of Mean
Nonintimate
Self-disclosure
Male 132 5.3492 1.019 .089
Female 84 5.2071 .985 .107
t-tests for Equality of Means
Variances t-value df 2-Tail Sig
Equal 1.01 214 .312
H4: In the nontraditional classroom environment, introverts will differ from
extraverts in the frequency of self-disclosure. Ten statements on the questionnaire
measured frequency of self-disclosure. The alpha level was set at .05: t (214) = 4.76,
p < .05. Results indicated p = .001. Therefore, the results rejected the null
hypothesis (See Table 3.4). Introverts do differ from extraverts in the frequency of
self-disclosure. However, there is a .05 chance of a type I error, incorrectly rejecting
the null. The chance of a type I error is equal to the probability level set for rejecting
the null hypothesis. (Williams, 1992).
41


Table 3.4
t-tests for Independent Samples of Introversion/Extraversion Concerning Frequency of Self-disclosure
Number
Variable of Cases Mean SD SE of Mean
Frequency of Self-disclosure
Introvert 102 3.8667 .870 .086
Extravert 114 4.4579 .947 .089
t-tests for Equality of Means
Variances t-value df 2-Tail Sig
Equal -4.76 214 .001
H5: In the classroom environment, introverts will differ from extraverts in the
level of intimate issues self-disclosed. Ten statements on the questionnaire measured
intimate issues of self-disclosure. The alpha level was set at .05: t (214) = -2.20, p <
.05. Results indicated p = .029. Therefore, the results rejected the null hypothesis
(See Table 3.5). Introverts differ from extraverts in the level of intimate issues self-
disclosed. However, there is a .05 chance of a type I error, incorrectly rejecting the
null.
42


Table 3.5
t-tests for Independent Samples of Introversion/Extraversion Concerning
Intimate Levels of Self-disclosure
Variable Number of Cases Mean SD SE of Mean
Intimate
Self-diselosure
Introvert 102 3.3039 1.017 .101
Extravert 114 3.6307 1.152 .108
t-tests for Equality of Means
Variances t-value df 2-Tail Sig
Equal -2.20 214 .029
H6: In the nontraditional classroom environment, introverts will differ from
extraverts in the level of nonintimate issues self-disclosed. Ten statements on the
questionnaire measured nonintimate issues of self-disclosure. The alpha level was set
at .05: t (213.96) = -1.34, p > .05. Results indicated p =. 183. Therefore, the results
failed to reject the null hypothesis (See Table 3.6). Introverts do not significantly
differ from extraverts in the level of nonintimate issues self-disclosed. However,
there is a .05 chance of a type II error, incorrectly accepting the null hypothesis.
Table 3.6
t-tests for Independent Samples of Introversion/Extraversion Concerning Nonintimate Levels of Self-disclosure Number Variable of Cases Mean SD SE of Mean
Nonintimate
Self-disclosure
Introvert 102 5.1980 .9514 .094
Extravert 114 5.3798 1.049 .098
t-tests for Equality of Means
Variances t-value df 2-Tail Sig
Unequal -1.34 213.96 .183
43


As discussed in Chapter 2, statements 23, 32,26, and 29 did not measure the
hypotheses, but were used as a means with which to justify the outcome of the data
collected and the results of the survey.
Statement 23 read, My self-disclosures made in class are relevant to the topic
being discussed. 1 = almost never; 4 = sometimes; and 7 = almost always. Results
indicated that male students responded at 5.3, and female students responded at 5.5.
Introverted students responded at 5.3 and extraverted students responded at 5.4.
Going by the standard significance level of 4.5 on a 7-point scale, it can be concluded
that all students, regardless of social preference or gender felt their self-disclosure
was appropriate and/or relevant to the topic of discussion.
Statement #32 read, Generally speaking, I consider most of my classmates to
be casual acquaintances. 1 = strongly disagree; 4 = unsure; and 7 = strongly agree.
Results indicated that male students responded at 3.3, and female students responded
at 4.8. Introverted students responded at 4.9, and extraverted students responded at
4.6. This would indicate that male students do not significantly feel that their fellow
classmates are casual acquaintance, but introverted and extraverted females do.
Statement 26 read, Generally speaking, I consider most of my classmates to
be casual friends. 1 = strongly disagree; 4 = unsure; and 7 = strongly agree. The
results indicated that males responded at 4.7, and females responded at 4.9.
Introverts responded at 4.7, and extraverts responded at 4.8. In this relationship, all
students tend to significantly view their fellow classmates as casual friends.
44


Statement 29 read, Generally, speaking, I consider most of my classmates to
be close friends. 1 = strongly disagree; 4 = unsure; and 7 = strongly agree. Males
responded at 3.9, and females responded at 3.1. Introverts responded at 2.9, and
extraverts responded at 3.4. All students, regardless of social preference or gender
did not significantly feel that they were close friends with most of their classmates.
As mentioned in the previous section, some students just started the program shortly
before the administration of the survey. In fact, one student supported this by
commenting next to Statement 29, Too early to tell-weve only had three classes.
Summary
The results of running independent ts on the two independent variables of
gender and social preference has supported that gender does not influence a students
self-disclosure behavior in terms of frequency. Also, gender does not influence a
students self-disclosure of intimate and nonintimate issues. Further, the results show
that a students preference for introversion or extraversion does not influence his or
her self-disclosure of nonintimate issues. However, the results do support that a
students preference for introversion or extraversion does influence his or her self-
disclosure in terms of frequency and self-disclosure of intimate issues within the
classroom environment.
45


CHAPTER 4
CONCLUSIONS
Conclusions Based on Findings
Overall, based on the results of the 221 nontraditional students surveyed at
Colorado Christian University-Colorado Springs, it was concluded that there is no
significant difference between male and female students in terms of intimate,
nonintimate, and frequency of self-disclosure within the nontraditional classroom.
The same holds true for the introverted and extraverted students in the area of
nonintimate issues self-disclosed. However, there was a significant difference
between the introverted and the extraverted student in terms of frequency and
intimate issues self-disclosed. So, what does this mean? How do the findings of the
current study integrate with the other research (Beer and Darkenwald, 1989; Klinger-
Vartabedian and OFlaherty, 1989; Dindia and Allen, 1992; Meleshko and Alden,
1993; Sorrell and Brown, 1995; and Collins, 1991) already studied in the area of
gender, introversion/extraversion and self-disclosure in the classroom? First, the
hypotheses (HI, H2, H3, and H6) that were not supported will be discussed.
Hypothesis one stated that within the nontraditional classroom environment,
male students will differ from female students in the frequency of self-disclosure.
According to the results of the current study, there is no significant gender difference
46


in how often a student seif-discloses. Hypothesis two stated that within the
nontraditional classroom environment, male students will differ from female students
in the level of intimate issues self-disclosed. As with Hypothesis one, the results of
the current study indicated that there is no significant gender difference in regard to
intimate issues self-disclosed. Hypothesis three stated that within the nontraditional
classroom environment, males students will differ from female students in the level
of nonintimate issues self-disclosed. Again, according to the results of the current
study, there is no significant gender difference in regard to intimate issues self-
disclosed.
The results of the current study on gender differences were inconsistent with
the findings of Beer and Darkenwald (1989). As mentioned in Chapter 1, these
researchers studied gender differences in the perception of classroom involvement.
Their study supported that male students differ from female students in the
perception of classroom affiliation. More specifically, males felt less affiliation with
other students in the classroom than did females. Even though the current study did
not support a gender difference in all three areas of self-disclosure in the classroom,
the results of the three statements (#s 32,26, and 29, in Appendix B) on a students
relationship to the other students indicated that both male and female students felt the
same. They both viewed their fellow classmates as casual friends, but not close
friends. Even though the current study used the results of Beer and Darkenwald to
47


formulate hypotheses of gender differences within the same environment (classroom
setting), the findings were not consistent with their findings.
The results of the current study on gender differences are also inconsistent
with the second hypothesis findings of Klinger-Vartabedian and OFlaherty (1989).
These researchers supported that self-disclosures of male professors were more
accepted by students than self-disclosures of female professors. Again, Klinger-
Vartabedian and OFlaherty supported gender differences with self-disclosure issues
within the classroom, whereas the current studys findings found no difference
concerning self-disclosure behavior and appropriateness of student self-disclosures
(as indicated by the results of Statement 23 in Appendix B).
Integrating the findings of the current study and the studies mentioned above,
lends support to a major claim by Dindia and Allen (1992) that gender differences in
many self-disclosure studies are inconsistent. This claim drove their meta-analysis to
see what moderator variables would influences the possibilities of gender difference
inconsistencies. Two of those variables that were most relevant to the current study
were relationship to target (how the student related to other students) and situation
(the classroom environment).
Dindia and Allens (1992) findings indicated that relationship to target did not
significantly influence gender differences in self-disclosure. The current studys
findings indicated that both genders viewed their fellow classmates the same, and
there were no gender differences in their self-disclosure. Therefore, according to
48


Dindia and Allens claim, there is no relationship for the current studys findings that
relationship to target would influence the way both genders self-disclosed.
However, one cannot ignore the fact that quite possibly the reason why the current
studys findings posed no gender difference in self-disclosure could be based on the
fact that there was no gender difference in the way they viewed their fellow
classmates, thus making the relationship inconsistent with Dindia and Allens claim.
Perhaps the second variable, situation, could help explain this inconsistency.
According to Dindia and Allen (1992), situational factors can moderate
gender differences based on how men and women view the situation.
Since this was the first study to examine gender and self-disclosure within a
nontraditional classroom environment, the situation itself could explain why the
findings were inconsistent with the others. Beer and Darkenwald (1989) only looked
at gender differences in student affiliation within the classroom, not actual behavior
such as communication. And, although Klinger-Vartabedian and OFlaherty (1989)
did find gender differences with issues of self-disclosure in the classroom, they did
not look at gender as an influencing factor in a students self-disclosure. Both of the
above studies as well as the current study had a similar situation, the classroom
environment. However, the current study looked at the nontraditional classroom
environment, which differs significantly from the traditional (Bowden and Merritt,
1995) which was the setting for Beer and Darkenwalds and Klinger-Vartabedian and
OFlahertys studies. If situational factors can influence a gender difference, this
49


would explain the inconsistency with the current study. Again, in the nontraditional
classroom, student disclosure is a vast part of the learning experience. It could be
looked at as a cultural norm by the group of students. If students, both male and
female alike, accept this norm, there gender differences may not be strong enough to
influence a difference in their self-disclosure.
In addition, the implications of Hypotheses 1,2, and 3 support Dindia and
Allens (1992) claim that when there is a gender difference, the variances tend to be
very small. According to the mean scores of the current study (See Tables 3.1, 3.2,
3.3, and 3.4), it does appear that males do disclose more often than females (M =
4.2182; F = 4.1167). In terms of intimate self-disclosure, the mean scores indicate
that males self-disclose more than females (M = 3.5553; F = 3.3524). And, males
also self-disclose more nonintimate issues (M = 5.3492; F = 5.2071). However, these
differences are not significant and, therefore, do not support a gender difference.
The current studys findings add one more dimension to the studies of Beer
and Darkenwald (1989), Klinger-Vartabedian and OFlaherty (1989), and Dindia and
Allen (1992). Together, they shed greater light on the understanding of the classroom
environment in terms of gender influences and communication among students.
Hypothesis six stated that within the nontraditional classroom environment,
introverted students will differ from extraverted students in the level of nonintimate
issues self-disclosed. As with the results on gender differences, there is no significant
difference with ones social preference and nonintimate issues self-disclosed.
50


The findings of Hypothesis six are inconsistent with the work of Meleshko
and Alden (1993). The results of their study indicated that socially anxious
individuals did differ from nonanxious individuals in terms of self-disclosure.
Meleshko and Alden did not look at the levels of self-disclosure as did the current
study, but it is surprising that introverted students and extraverted students did not
differ in the self-disclosures of nonintimate issues since these issues tend to be the
least personal (Jourard, 1971). On a purely practical level, if one is more socially
anxious (or introverted) he or she may be more comfortable in discussing less
personal items than those considered intimate or more personal (Jourard, 1971).
However, the results of Hypothesis six did not support this.
The results of Hypothesis six are also inconsistent with the claim by Sorrell
and Brown (1995). They felt a strong connection between the differences of ones
preference for introversion or extraversion and how that student would self-disclose
in the classroom. Like Meleshko and Allen (1993), Sorrell and Brown did not look at
differences in depth of self-disclosure, but looked at a students communication
within the classroom in general. Perhaps the findings of Hypothesis six shed some
important light on the assumption that Sorrell and Brown made about there being a
difference between how an introverted and an extraverted student will communicate
in class. Likewise, Collins (1991) also makes a claim that introverts and extraverts
(regardless of the situation) will communicate differently. Again, Hypothesis six
indicates no difference when it comes to nonintimate self-disclosure.
51


Now that the results of Hypotheses 1,2,3, and 6 have been examined further,
what about the hypotheses that were supported? What are the implications of
Hypotheses 4 and 5?
Hypothesis four stated that within the nontraditional classroom environment,
introverted students will differ from extraverted students in the frequency of self-
disclosure. According to the results of the current study, this hypothesis was
supported. As mentioned above, Meleshko and Alden (1993) found that socially
anxious people will self-disclose differently than socially nonanxious. Sorrell and
Brown (1995) claimed that within a classroom environment, introverts will
communicate differently than extraverts. And, with communication in generally,
Collins (1991) claimed the same relationship. The results of Hypothesis four are
consistent with all of the above researchers. Again, the current study did not measure
any directional variance, but the mean scores (see table 3.4) would suggest that
extraverts (4.4579) do disclose significantly more often than introverts (3.8667).
Hypothesis five stated that within the nontraditional classroom environment,
introverted students will differ from extraverted students in the level of intimate
issues self-disclosed. The results of this hypothesis added stronger support for the
above mentioned researchers (Meleshko and Alden, 1993; Sorrell and Brown, 1995;
and Collins, 1991) in that depending on the level of personal issues, introverts will
disclose differently than extraverts. Perhaps this hypothesis was supported over
Hypothesis six in that the more personal the issues become, the greater difference
52


there will be between an introverted student and an extraverted student. Although
Hypothesis five is nondirectional, according to the mean results (see table 3.5)
extraverted students (3.6307) do disclose a higher level of intimate issues than
introverted students (3.3039).
Alternative Explanations of Findings
Some of the reasons for these results other than the hypotheses already noted
will be addressed in this section. First, some students were relatively new to the
program, having only started two weeks prior to the administration of the survey. It is
postulated that these students were not able to accurately determine their self-
disclosure behavior as they had not attended class enough times to make that
assessment. In addition, they probably did not know their fellow classmates well
enough to feel comfortable self-disclosing intimate issues as those students who had
already been with the program for several months or close to a year.
Second, no pilot study was conducted in the current project. The 10 self-
developed statements on the questionnaire that measured frequency of self-disclosure
were not tested for reliability. Therefore, the tendency for an error in measurement
must be recognized.
Third, the study was limited to a small, private university where the number
of nontraditional students was limited. Expanding this research to other universities
in the local vicinity (University of Colorado- CS, Phoenix University, Chapman
53


University, Regis University, and Colorado Technical Institute) which also have
similar adult programs could have produced different or more conclusive results.
Finally, although there are many other issues that could have contributed to
the results, one most important were the results of the four statements (#s 23,26,29,
and 32 in Appendix B). Again, the purpose of these statements was to shed some
light on why the results came out the way they did. The results of these four
statements (discussed in Chapter 3) could possibly explain why students responded
they way they did based on how they viewed the recipients of their self-disclosure.
Because of the fact that some students were at the beginning of their program, some
in the middle, and some at the very end, it can be concluded that of those students
surveyed, they do view their fellow classmates as casual friends, more than just
casual acquaintances (except for introverted and extraverted males), but not as close
friends.
Based on the responses, it is interesting to note that both male and female
students tended to view other students the same in terms of relationship. Quite
possibly, this may be one reason why there was no significant difference between the
men and women in terms of their self-disclosure within the classroom. Similarly, the
introverted and the extraverted students also viewed their classmates the same;
however, the results of their self-disclosure posed a significant difference.
54


Limitations of the Study
There were a few limitations to the current study. The population of this
study had only 216 participants. As indicated previously, a larger population would
produce results that are more conclusive. The results were generalized to the
population studied as well as other students in academic environments under the
same conditions as the population that was studied. Any generalization beyond this is
not warranted.
Although the questionnaire was modeled after valid scales that measured
intimacy and nonintimacy of self-disclosure, students may not have felt that intimate
self-disclosure of sexual issues was appropriate in the classroom. These statements
could have been left out or changed. Perhaps further research would have come up
with another valid scale which would have seemed more appropriate to the
environment to which it was addressing. Also, the 10 self-developed statements
measuring frequency introduced bias into the survey results. As indicated earlier,
these statements were not tested for reliability. Therefore, if the survey were to be
given again, the results may be completely different. Many of these limitations could
have been reduced had a pilot study been conducted. Also, the interaction effect of
gender and social preference was not examined. Again, referring to the literature
review, studies on gender and self-disclosure and studies on introversion/extraversion
and self-disclosure did not support interactive hypotheses.
55


Implications for Professional Practice and Decision Making
This study is important due to the fact that most students are greatly
concerned with grades. When class participation is made a significant percentage of
the grade for a course, introverted students are at a disadvantage to extraverted
students as they self-disclose differently in the area of frequency. There are two ways
a professor could solve this dilemma.
Perhaps one way is to lower the percentage for class participation. Therefore,
if a student is extremely introverted, they would not be at such a disadvantage, grade
wise. Understanding that not all students will communicate the same way or the
same amount is key. However, since sharing stories and experiences is such an
integral part of the nontraditional style, class participation should not be done away
with completely.
A second way is for a professor to balance this. Instead of asking probing
questions such as How do you feel about this concept, Mary? or What has been
your experience with this, Tom? to ask less disclosure questions. For example, he
or she could ask, What does the author of our text have to say about leadership,
John? or Jim, how could this model be used in a hypothetical organization?
Keeping the probing statements self-less could allow those students who generally
do not speak out in class to do soallowing them to fulfill participation points
without having to talk about themselves.
56


Another issue is that some students who self-disclose often and who may also
self-disclose more intimately tend to be viewed by other students as blabber
mouths, teachers pet, or someone who is trying to dominate classroom time. This
issue could be solved one way.
The professor could simply explain what introversion and extraversion is and
what the differences tend to be. Since each student will fall into either category,
explain that there is a difference between the two in terms of self-disclosure.
Therefore, if a student does tend to self-disclose more than another, one factor could
be that there is a difference in their preference for social interaction, one could be an
extravert and another an introvert. This awareness not only could bring a better
understanding between the student and the professor, but perhaps an increased
acceptance among the students themselves.
Implications for Future Research
On the macro level, Bowden and Merritt (1995) argued that the nontraditional
student has different needs than the traditional. Therefore, professors must be aware
of and accept these differences by altering teaching styles to meet these students
needs. Future research should be conducted, as with the current study, on the micro
level, looking at more specific characteristics of the adult student and how various
issues influence their communication within the classroom. The current study looked
at gender and social preference. However, more study needs to be conducted on
57


other factors such as communication apprehension, willingness to communicate, the
feedback process, listening, etc., and how issues such as age, ethnic background, or
number of years of corporate experience could influence these communication
behaviors. Lack of empirical research in these areas related to the nontraditional
student supports the vast potential for learning in this field.
Also, further research should be conducted based on the findings of the
current study. Since it has been established based on the sample surveyed that
introverts do disclose differently than extraverts, measurement of variance must be
done. Seldom is one classified as a straight extravert or a straight introvert. Looking
at the scores of the Myers Briggs Inventory (1993), people generally fall into one or
the other category in various degrees from low, moderate, to high. The current study
took the assumption that even though variances exist, generally, a person is placed in
either category (extravert or introvert) which holds the greatest weight (Keirsey and
Bates, 1984). However, further research could measure the variances and correlate
low, moderate, or high introversion with low, moderate, or high self-disclosure;
likewise for the extravert. This information would be valuable to confirm that not all
extraverts or introverts will disclose the same.
Academicians at this level of teaching must be enlightened about the
characteristics of the adult student, not only with their needs for learning and
obtaining a degree, but more specifically how they communicate. Nontraditional
programs such as the ones offered at Colorado Christian University-CS are
58


successful. The more that is learned and understood about communication within
this unique setting, the better these unique students will learn, and the more
successful these programs will be for everyone involved.
Recommendations for Policy Development
Since classroom discussion is such a critical part of the nontraditional
classroom, instructors and professors are trained to emphasize classroom
participation as part of the class grade. One valuable mistake, as pointed out by
Sorrell and Brown (1995), is that this assumes that all students are the same. The
results of the current study lends support that this assumption is false. Students will
not disclose the same because introverts and extraverts do not disclose the same. The
current study did not support a difference between males and females. Although a
students gender is salient to the professor, a students preference for social
interaction may not be. If a professor were to treat all students the same in terms of
course requirements for participation, they are violating these results and perhaps
treating many students unfairly. They may be setting their requirements, as pointed
out by Sorrell and Brown (1995), based on an extraverts perception, not taking into
consideration that introverts may not be capable of meeting up to those standards.
Since all students surveyed in this study feel that self-disclosure is appropriate
when it is relevant to the topics being discussed, they do feel differently about the
amount and the depth. Professors need to be made aware, through proper training,
59


that these difference exist, what these differences are, and adjust their curriculum
requirements accordingly to give all students the chance to excel to their fullest
potential.
Conclusion
This study can be added to many others done in the area of influencing factors
of self-disclosure. Taking it into the nontraditional classroom only helps to further
the understanding of this ever growing segment of college students. Nontraditional
programs are here to stay. And, as more and more colleges and
universities across the nation are developing, expanding, and perfecting these
programs, understanding the communication which takes place within this unique
environment can aid greatly in this endeavor.
60


APPENDIX A
COVER/CONSENT LETTER
Dear Participant,
As part of my thesis requirements for the University of Colorado, I am asking you to participate in a
survey by completing the attached questionnaire. This research involves preference for social
interaction, self-disclosure, and the nontraditional adult student.
This questionnaire contains statements with a selection of answers for each statement. You are asked to
choose ONE answer per statement. Some of these statements are very personal in nature. Therefore, if
you do not feel comfortable answering any or all of these statements, you may decline at any time
without prejudice. If you have any questions at any time concerning this survey, please ask your
instructor. You may also contact me for further questions at 593-2065, M-F 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. If you
have any concerns regarding your rights as a subject, you may direct them to the Office of Sponsored
Programs, CU-Denver, Campus Box 123, P.O. Box 173364, Denver, CO 80217-3364, telephone 556-
2770. All data gathered for this project are held in strict confidence. Your name and other identification
are not requested on the questionnaire.
The results of this project will not be sold, formally published, or used for any commercial profit.
However, the completed project will be bound on thesis bond and placed in the University of Colorado-
Denver library. Other people will have access to it to read or use as a reference text for other research.
If you would like a copy of the results of this study, please leave a self-addressed stamped envelope in
my box at CCU. Results will be mailed to you as soon as this research is completed. The anticipated
completion date is May 1996.
By signing below, you are giving consent for this information to be used in this research. After signing
both copies, please remove them from the questionnaire. Keep one copy for your record and hand the
other to your instructor.
Participant: ___________________________________________________ Date:______________
(signature)
(please print name)
Thank you for your participation!
Connie S. Blackmann
Graduate Candidate
Department of Communication
University of Colorado, Denver
61


APPENDIX B
QUESTIONNAIRE
Questionnaire of Social Preference and Self-disclosure
Please answer the following questions by indicating the response that most closely resembles your own
thoughts or behavior. It is important that you give only ooe answer per question.
Male__________ Female___________
1. Are you usually
____a good mixer," or
____rather quiet and reserved?
2. Do you tend to have
____deep friendships with a very few people, or
broad friendships with many different people?
3. Do you think the people close to you know how you feel
about most things, or
____only when you have had some special reason to tell them?
4. When you are with a group of people, would you usually rather
join in the talk of the group, or
talk with one person at a time?
3. Among your friends, are you
____one of the last to hear what is going on, or
____full of news about everybody?
6. When you are in an embarrassing spot, do you usually
turn it into a joke, or
change the subject, or
days later, think of what you should have said?
7. In a large group, do you more ofren
____introduce others, or
get introduced?
8. Do you
____find a lot to say only to certain people or under certain conditions, or
____talk easily to almost anyone for as long as you have to?
9. When you are at a party, do you like to
help get things going, or
____let the others have fun in their own way?
10. Can the new people you meet tell what you are interested in
____right away, or
____only after they really get to know you?
11. At parties, do you
____sometimes get bored, or
always have fun?
12. Do you usually
show your feelings freely, or
keep your feelings to yourself?
13. When something new stans to be the fashion, are you usually
____not much interested, or
____one of the first to try it?
62


Self-disclosure
2
14. Would you say you
get more enthusiastic about things than the average person, or
get less excited about things than the average person?
15. Are you
hard to get to know, or
easy to get to know?
Circle the word in each of the following pairs that is more appealing to you.
Talkative or Reserved Sociable or Detached
Lively or Calm Party or Theater
Speak or Write Hearty or Quiet
After reading the following statements, circle the number (only one per statement) that identifies how
willing you would be to self-disclose this information in class. Self-disclosure is something you share with
the class that they did not previously know about you. (e.g. You are frustrated with your new boss, and it
is causing you to lose sleep.)
1. The types of play and recreation 1 enjoy.
1--------2---------3-----4----------5-------6------------7
low self-disclosure moderate high self-disclosure
2. Characteristics of my parents that I dislike.
I--------2---------3-----4----------5-------6------------7
low self-disclosure moderate high selfdisclosure
3. The things in my past which I am most ashamed.
low self-disclosure moderate high self-disclosure
4. The type of literature that interests me the most.
I--------2---------3-----4----------5-------6------------7
low self-disclosure moderate high seif-disclosure
5. The aspects of my body with which I am most dissatisfied.
low self-disclosure moderate high self-disclosure
6. The amount of primping I do.
I--------2---------3-----4----------5-------6------------7
low selfdisclosure moderate high self-disclosure
7. The extent of traveling I hope to do.
low self-disclosure moderate high self-disclosure
8. TV programs that interest me.
I--------2---------3-----4----------5-------6------------7
low self-disclosure moderate high self-disclosure
9. Disappointments I have experienced with the opposite sex.
1--------2---------3-----4----------5-------6------------7
low self-disclosure moderate high self-disclosure
63


Seif-disclosure 3
10. How I react to others criticism of me.
1-------2----------3-------4-------5-------6-----------7
low self-disclosure moderate high self-disclosure
11. How often I have sexual experiences.
1-------2----------3-------4-------5-------6-----------7
low selfdisclosure moderate high selfdisclosure
12. The kind of person with whom I would like to have sexual experiences.
1-------2----------3-------4-------5-------6-----------7
low self-disclosure moderate high self-disclosure
13. Places where I would like to live.
1-------2----------3-------4-------5-------6-----------7
low selfdisclosure moderate high selfdisclosure
14. My general reaction to charming, flirtatious males/females.
I-------2----------3-------4-------5-------6-----------7
low self-disclosure moderate high selfdisclosure
15. My opinion on foreign aid to pro-Communist countries.
1-------2----------3-------4-------5-------6-------7
low selfdisclosure moderate high seifdisclosure
16. The most crucial decisions I have had to make.
1-------2----------3-------4-------5-------6-------;---7
low selfdisclosure moderate Ugh selfdisclosure
17. The aspects of my personality that I dislike.
1-------2----------3-------4-------5-------6-----------7
low selfdisclosure moderate high selfdisclosure
18. Feelings about my sexual adequacy.
1-------2----------3-------4-------5-------6-----------7
low self-disclosure moderate high self-disclosure
19. My opinion on marrying for money.
low self disclosure moderate high self-disclosure
20. The subject I enjoy studying the most.
1-------- 2--------3-------4-------5-------6-----------7
low self-disclosure moderate high self-disclosure
Answer the remaining statements in the context of your classroom environment.
21. I selfdisclose when asked to.
1-------2---------3------4--------5--------6---------7
almost never sometimes almost always
22. I selfdisclose voluntarily.
I-------2---------3------4--------5--------6---------7
almost never sometimes almost always
23. My self-disclosures made in class are relevant to the topic being discussed.
1-------2---------3------4--------5--------6---------7
almost never sometimes almost always
64


Self-disclosure 4
24. I self-disclose in class.
1-------2------3--------4--------5-------6--------7
almost never sometimes almost always
23. I share my personal experiences with other students in class.
1-------2------3--------4--------5-------6--------7
almost never sometimes almost always
26. Generally speaking, I consider most of my classmates to be casual friends.
1-------2------3--------4--------5-------6--------7
strongly disagree unsure strongly agree
27. I do discuss my personal issues in class.
1-------2------3--------4--------5-------6--------7
almost never sometimes almost always
28. I keep my personal experiences to myself.
1-------2------3--------4--------5-------6--------7
almost never sometimes almost always
29. Generally speaking, I consider most of my classmates to be close friends.
1-------2------3--------4--------5-------6--------7
strongly disagree unsure strongly agree
30. I talk about my own experiences to illustrate a point.
1-------2------3--------4--------5-------6--------7
almost never sometimes almost always
31. I talk about myself in class.
1 _2----------3-------4--------5------6----------7
almost never sometimes almost always
32. Generally speaking, I consider most of my classmates to be casual acquaintances.
1-------2------3--------4--------5-------6--------7
strongly disagree unsure strongly agree
33. I have no motivation to self-disclose in class.
1-------2------3--------4--------5-------6--------7
almost never sometimes almost always
34. I like to share my stories with others.
1------2--------3-4------------5------6----------7
almost never sometimes almost always
Thank you again for your participation.
65


APPENDIX C
MEMO TO PROFESSORS
31 January 1996
Dear Instructor,
Here are the questionnaires that I spoke to you about last week. Enclosed are enough
questionnaire packets for each student in your class. Please take approximately 20
minutes tonight (during their dinner break would work great if you do not want to
take up class time) to pass out one questionnaire packet to each student. It is
important that you conduct the survey in one set, controlled time. Please do not
give the survey to the students to have them complete sometime tonight. The more
control over the survey process, the better.
Have them read the consent letter and sign both copies. They are to keep one copy
and give the other copy to you. Please place these copies back in the envelope.
Then, have them complete the questionnaires (this should take about 10-15
minutes). After each student has completed his or her questionnaire, please collect
them and place them in the same envelope.
Give the envelope to the class rep and have him or her place it inside the class folder.
I will collect them the next day.
Again, I really appreciate your help LH
Connie B.
66


References
Allen, J. G. (1974). When does exchanging personal information constitute
self-disclosure?. Psychological Reports, 35, 195-198.
Allen, K. R. (1995). Opening the classroom closet: Sexual orientation and
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