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Risking the social bond when communicating unpleasant information: How self-relevant appraisals and feelings explain distancing and repair motivations

Torp Løkkeberg, Stine (2016) Risking the social bond when communicating unpleasant information: How self-relevant appraisals and feelings explain distancing and repair motivations. Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) thesis, University of Kent,. (KAR id:60955)

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Abstract

This thesis focuses on the communication of unpleasant information in six experimental studies. Specifically, the experimental studies investigate how withholding and/or disclosing unpleasant information is appraised by the communicator in three various ways (degree of severity, concern for one's self-image and concern for one's social-image in the eyes of others), how these appraisals relate to three core feelings (felt rejection, felt inferiority and felt shame), and how these explain two main motivations (wanting to distance oneself from the other, wanting to repair the social bond with the other) across various social bonds (both private and professional). In the two first studies it was found that disclosing unpleasant information caused the communicator to report significantly less distress (lower levels of appraisals, feelings and motivations) compared to when the communicator withheld the unpleasant information. In studies three to six, it was found that, when communicators disclosed the unpleasant information, the prototypical communication strategy of being person-centred caused the communicator to feel significantly less distress (lower levels of appraisals, feelings and responses) than if two other prototypical ways of communicating were used (the fully direct strategy and the fully indirect strategy). In all six studies, I found that the motivation of wanting to distance oneself from the other was explained by a "concern for one's social-image ? felt rejection" pathway, while the motivation to repair the social bond with the other was explained by a "concern for one's self-image ? felt shame" pathway. The thesis argues the importance of disclosing the unpleasant information and of disclosing it in a person-centred way.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctor of Philosophy (PhD))
Thesis advisor: Giner-Sorolla, Roger
Thesis advisor: Gausel, Nicolay
Thesis advisor: Leach, Colin Wayne
Uncontrolled keywords: Communication, unpleasant, information, social bond, self-image, social-image, rejection, inferiority, shame, distancing, repair, motivations.
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion
Divisions: Faculties > Social Sciences > School of Psychology
Depositing User: Users 1 not found.
Date Deposited: 17 Mar 2017 14:00 UTC
Last Modified: 06 May 2020 03:15 UTC
Resource URI: https://kar.kent.ac.uk/id/eprint/60955 (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
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