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The Revelation Risk Model (RRM): Factors that Predict the Revelation of Secrets and the Strategies Used to Reveal Them

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Abstract:

The primary goal of this manuscript is to advance a new risk revelation model (RRM) that explains the factors that predict when people will reveal or continue to conceal secrets. We propose, among other things, that people assess the risks involved with the disclosure of secrets and that this risk assessment is what predicts people's “readiness” or willingness to reveal them. People are more willing to reveal their secrets under certain conditions: (1) for catharsis, (2) if the target needs to know/has the right to know the information, and (3) if other people (including the target) are encouraging the person to reveal the secret. Finally, the RRM assumes that people are more willing to actually reveal their secret when they have communication efficacy or they believe they have the ability to talk about it. The second goal of this manuscript was to use the RRM to predict the types of strategies people use to reveal their secrets. As a part of this process, we also generated an exhaustive list (and corresponding scale) of the strategies people use to reveal their secrets, which was the final goal of the manuscript. The findings and implications of the RRM and the strategies for revealment are discussed.

Keywords: Family Relationships; Revealment; Secrets; Strategies for Revelation

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/03637750902828412

Publication date: June 1, 2009

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