I'm all ears: The need to belong motivates listening to emotional disclosure

Joy Hackenbracht, Karen Gasper

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations

Abstract

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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)915-921
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Experimental Social Psychology
Volume49
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 1 2013

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Social Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science

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