Haider, S. (2020). Sharing is caring: The effects of communication mediums on self-disclosure in adolescents. The Young Researcher, 4 (1), 34-49.
Self-disclosure, the process by which individuals disclose intimate information about themselves, is a psychotherapeutic technique used to decrease tension and build trust between a therapist and their patient. This true experimental study focuses on identifying the communication medium (face-to-face, online chat-room, or virtual reality chat) which induces the highest rates of self- disclosure in adolescents. The study was conducted at a University Preparatory School and used a series of disclosure sessions with 42 students aged 13-18. In each of the three communication mediums, participants were asked to respond to a series of discussion questions. Responses were recorded and analyzed using a computer software to generate quantitative self-disclosure levels. Both face-to-face and virtual reality communication stimulated high levels of self-disclosure and greater usage of vocabularies associated with high-intimacy topics such as death and violence. The study therefore concluded that virtual reality is a promising medium that can be utilized during therapy sessions.
Keywords: Self-disclosure, virtual reality, psychotherapy, communication mediums