Laboratory-based experiments in online self-disclosure research may be inadvertently compromising the accuracy of research findings by influencing some of the factors known to affect self-disclosure behavior. Disclosure-orientated interviews conducted with 42 participants in the laboratory and in nonlaboratory settings revealed significantly greater breadth of self-disclosure in laboratory interviews, with message length and intimacy of content also strongly related. These findings suggest that a contrived online setting with a researcher presence may stimulate motivation for greater self-disclosure than would occur naturally in an online environment of an individual's choice. The implications of these findings are that researchers should consider the importance of experimental context and motivation in self-disclosure research.
- COMPUTER-MEDIATED COMMUNICATION