Date of Award

8-2011

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science

Major

Communication and Information

Major Professor

Michael R. Kotowski

Committee Members

Courtney N. Wright, Michael A. Olson

Abstract

This study first examines the effectiveness of stealing thunder in increasing the target’s liking for the discloser. The study further inspects liking relative to the amount of information known about the discloser prior to their initial interaction. Additionally, the target’s perception of the negativity of the information revealed is observed. 120 subjects participated in an experiment during which they were either exposed to the negative information via the confederate or the experimenter or were not exposed at all. Results, although interesting, were largely inconsistent with the hypotheses. This could have been due to several factors namely, poor experimental execution and unreliability of measurement. However, stealing thunder, with further testing, has several implications for the current state of the stealing thunder literature and future research.

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