Social Penetration Theory Wikipedia

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Social penetration theory was formulated by psychology professors Irwin Altman and Dalmas Taylor as their attempt to describe the dynamics of relational closeness. They proposed that closeness occurs through a gradual process of self-disclosure, and closeness develops if the participants proceed in a gradual and orderly fashion from superficial to intimate levels of exchange as a function of both immediate and forecast outcomes.[1] This psychological theory, as with many others, is applied in the context of interpersonal relationships such as communications. It can also be defined as the process of developing deeper intimacy with another person through mutual self-disclosure and other forms of vulnerability.
Self-disclosure is the voluntary sharing of history, preferences, attitudes, feelings, values, secrets, etc., with another person; transparency. Self-disclosure is the act of revealing more about ourselves, on both a conscious and an unconscious level. Altman and Taylor believe that only through opening one's self to the main route to social penetration - self-disclosure - by becoming vulnerable to another person can a close relationship develop. Vulnerability can be expressed in a variety of ways, including the giving of anything which is considered to be a personal possession, such as a dresser drawer given to a partner.[2]
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Onion Metaphor
First of all, Social penetration is perhaps best known for its onion analogy. Self-disclosure is referred to in terms of breadth and depth, the latter of which is described in units of layers. This analogy is used to describe the multilayered nature of personality. When one peels the outer skin from an onion, another skin is uncovered. When the second layer is removed, a third is exposed, and so forth.
The outer layer of personality contains the public self, which is accessible to anyone who wants to look. The public self layer has a myriad of details which help to

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