Loneliness : an examination of the nonverbal behaviors that accompany self-disclosures in unstructured conversations
Snitz, Ronald Steven
Master of Arts
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Loneliness is an interpersonal problem that involves a lack of intimacy and inappropriate self-disclosure patterns. Double bind theory predicts that high selfdisclosures should normally be accompanied by highintimate nonverbal behaviors. Discrepancy-arousal and intimacy-equilibrium theories predict that low selfdisclosures should normally be accompanied by highintimate nonverbal behaviors. Eighty female undergraduates, randomly paired into zero-history dyads, participated in unstructured 15 minute conversations. After controlling for the intimate nonverbal behavior of partners, lonelier people displayed significantly less intimate nonverbal behavior during low self-disclosures, and tended to display less intimate nonverbal behavior during high self-disclosures. However the results supported none of the above theories because the subjects (both lonely and nonlonely) did not behave differently during high, as compared to low, self-disclosures. Nonverbal intimacy while listening to self-disclosures was not associated with loneliness. Lonelier subjects liked their partners significantly less and tended to falsely perceive themselves as being disliked by their partners, bias associated suggesting a negative perceptual with the experience of loneliness.