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Title: Risking the social bond when communicating unpleasant information : how self-relevant appraisals and feelings explain distancing and repair motivations
Author: Torp Løkkeberg, Stine
ISNI:       0000 0004 6061 9008
Awarding Body: University of Kent
Current Institution: University of Kent
Date of Award: 2016
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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.
Supervisor: Giner-Sorolla, Roger ; Gausel, Nicolay ; Leach, Colin Wayne Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion