First Advisor

Susan B. Poulsen

Term of Graduation

Fall 1991

Date of Publication


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (M.A.) in Speech Communication


Speech Communication




Self-disclosure, Interpersonal communication -- Japan



Physical Description

1 online resource (3, vi, 119 pages)


The study of self-disclosure has been developed and elaborated mainly in the United States, and only a few studies have directly examined self-disclosure in the Japanese cultural context. This study was designed to extend the study of self-disclosure to Japanese culture, and using the concept of ingroup and outgroup relationships, examine the relationship between the level of self-disclosure and perceived social attraction in initial interaction between Japanese strangers. Based on the literature on self-disclosure and features of Japanese culture and communication, two hypotheses were constructed:

H1: For the ingroup members, the high discloser will be perceived to be more socially attractive than the low discloser.

H2: For the outgroup members, the low discloser will be perceived to be more socially attractive than the high discloser.

As respondents, a total of 328 Japanese college graduate and undergraduate students living in the Kansai area in Japan participated in the research. The data collection instrument consisted of McCroskey and McCain's (1974) social attraction scale and a culture-specific scale of social attraction constructed by the researcher. A two-way analysis of variance (ANOVA) and t tests were used to test the two hypotheses and interaction between the two variables. In addition, to test gender effects, the data were analyzed by using three, three-way ANOVAs.

The results of the data analyses revealed that in initial interaction between Japanese strangers, the level of self-disclosure was a main factor in determining the stranger's perceived social attraction. Low self-disclosure led to positive evaluation of perceived social attraction, and high self-disclosure led to negative evaluation of perceived social attraction. The results also suggested that the stranger's group identification mediated the relationship between the stranger's level of self-disclosure and perceived social attraction. Ingroup membership produced greater perceived social attraction than did outgroup membership. Thus, the highest perceived social attraction was produced by the low disclosing stranger identified as being an ingroup member. Further, Japanese subjects distinguished ingroup and outgroup membership for low self-disclosure, but not for high self-disclosure. No significant effects due to gender were found in this study.


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