Graduation Year

Spring 2013

Document Type

Campus Only Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts

Department

Psychology

Reader 1

Piercarlo Valdesolo

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© 2013 Isabela Osthoff-Magalhaes

Abstract

This study investigates the phenomenon of asymmetric interpersonal relationships—dyads in which one individual has greater knowledge of personal information about the other. Relationships usually benefit from self-disclosure when it is done in a reciprocal, personal manner; acquiring information through such means as Facebook can disrupt the process, offset information balance and negatively affect interrelationship factors. This study investigates the effect of information asymmetry on such factors as interpersonal attraction, subjective power, and social interaction anxiety. Participants were given Facebook profiles with varying amounts of information (high, low, or none) prior to interacting with a confederate. I predicted that participants in the high information condition would experience the greatest social interaction anxiety and the least interpersonal attraction. Increased anxiety would mediate a reduction in interpersonal attraction. Participants with no prior information were expected to exhibit opposite tendencies compared to the high information condition. A secondary effect on subjective power was also explored. Results did not reach statistical significance but were in the directions as hypothesized. Findings indicate that imbalance of interpersonal information has the potential to negatively impact relationship factors.

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