Measures of Self-disclosure: A comparative Analysis

Lillian Jones, Marquette University


It has been hypothesized that the drive to appraise abilities and opinions exists in all people (Festinger, 1954; Kelly, 1955). When objective measures are not available, people evaluate themselves through comparisons with others (Festinger, 1954). This necessitates interaction and communication. The act of making personal and private information about one's self known to others is most commonly referred to as self-disclosure. The term "self-disclosure" was first employed by Jourard (1958) in an attempt to examine directly the dynamics of this aspect of interpersonal communication. Jourard subsequently defined self-disclosure as ". . . the act of revealing personal information to others" (1971, p.2). The term "self-disclosure" can, however, be regarded as both a personality construct and as a process.