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In order to develop a more intimate relationship, partners must increase the breadth and depth of their conversations.
Breadth includes the variety of topics two people discuss and depth is the personal significance of these topics.
The third explanation, the norm of reciprocity, argues that reciprocating disclosure is a social norm and violating it makes a person uncomfortable.
There are two types of reciprocity: turn-taking reciprocity and extended reciprocity.
Reciprocal and appropriate self-disclosure is expected. Self-disclosure can be assessed by an analysis of cost and rewards which can be further explained by social exchange theory.
Most self-disclosure occurs early in relational development, but more intimate self-disclosure occurs later.
In this example, the beginning of a relationship is represented by a narrow and shallow wedge because only a few topics are discussed.
In return, the other will disclose something and behave in such a way so as to be responsive to the initial disclosure's content, while also conveying a degree of understanding and validation for what was revealed.
Three theories describe reciprocity: The social attraction-trust hypothesis, social exchange theory and the norm of reciprocity.
The range of topics discussed by two individuals is the breadth of disclosure.
The degree to which the information revealed is private or personal is the depth of that disclosure.