People regularly disclose their emotions with friends. But why do people listen to their friends' emotional disclosures? In this investigation, we tested the belongingness hypothesis - which is that the need to belong motivates people to listen to their friends disclose emotional, but not descriptive, information. Study 1 reveals that the need to belong is associated with wanting to listen to friends' emotional, but not descriptive, self-disclosures. Studies 2 and 3 manipulate the need to belong via two different mechanisms. They reveal that increased belonging needs, and not differences in mood and self-esteem, were associated with an increased desire to listen to friends disclose emotional, but not descriptive, information. This research provides new insights into the self-disclosure process, by illustrating a potential process that encourages people to listen to their friends.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Social Psychology
- Sociology and Political Science