Self-disclosure and the liking of participants in reality TV

Nurit Tal-Or, Michal Hershman-Shitrit

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Reality TV shows are characterized by the very intimate self-disclosure of their participants early on in the shows. In everyday interactions, however, such intimate self-disclosure is welcomed only when it evolves gradually. This discrepancy between reality shows and real life apparently contradicts previous research documenting the similarity between real relationships and relationships with media characters. The current research explores this apparent contradiction by examining whether the relationship between self-disclosure and liking and the rules about the timing of self-disclosure that apply in everyday interactions apply in reality TV. Study 1 shows that viewers prefer characters who make early intimate disclosures, and Study 2 shows that they prefer this disclosure to evolve gradually and become more intimate, as in real relationships.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)245-267
Number of pages23
JournalHuman Communication Research
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1 Apr 2015

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2014 International Communication Association.


  • Gradual disclosure
  • Liking
  • Media characters
  • Reality TV
  • Self-disclosure

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Communication
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Anthropology
  • Linguistics and Language


Dive into the research topics of 'Self-disclosure and the liking of participants in reality TV'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this