Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)




Modeling theorists, norm of reciprocity theorists, and social exchange theorists predict that person A will reciprocate person B's level of intimacy from low levels of intimacy all the way up to high levels of intimacy. Trust theorists predict that reciprocation will occur at low and moderate, but not at high levels of intimacy. Siirdliarly, trust theorists would predict that subjects high in social desirability, due to their suspicious nature, would not reciprocate at high levels of intimacy. The other theorists would predict reciprocation at high! levels of intimacy due to the conforming nature of the subjects high in social desirability.

To test this, 400 undergraduates were given the Marlowe-Crowne Social Desirability Scale and 72 of the subjects were split into low, medium, and high groups. These subjects then held conversations with accomplices who disclosed at low, medium, and high levels of intimacy.

The following results were obtained: 1. There was partial confirmation of the hypothesis of linearity of reciprocity from low to high levels of intimacy. 2. There was no relationship between liking and level of intimacy. 3- There was no relationship between social desirability and intimacy.

It was conjectured that the opposing tendencies of the SDS scorers to be highly suspicious and high conforming may have cancelled each other out, that the high intimacy condition was not strong enough and that the liking scale was biased towards the favorable end. Alternative ways of teasing out the trust factor were discussed.