City Research Online

He Said, She Said: Gender Differences in the Disclosure of Positive and Negative Information

Carbone, E., Loewenstein, G., Scopelliti, I. ORCID: 0000-0001-6712-5332 & Vosgerau, J. (2024). He Said, She Said: Gender Differences in the Disclosure of Positive and Negative Information. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 110, article number 104525. doi: 10.1016/j.jesp.2023.104525


Research on gender differences in (self-)disclosure has produced mixed results, and, where differences have emerged, they may be an artifact of the measures employed. The present paper explores whether gender – defined as self-identified membership in one’s sociocultural group – can indeed account for differences in the desire and propensity to divulge information to others. We additionally identify a possible moderator for such differences. In three studies employing two distinct research approaches – a free recall task for the extreme desire to disclose (Study 1, N = 195) and scaled responses to scenarios that manipulate valence experimentally in an exploratory study (Study 2, N = 547) and a preregistered replication (Study 3, N = 405) – we provide evidence of a robust interaction between gender and information valence. Male participants appear similar to female participants in their desire and likelihood to disclose positive information but are less likely than women to want to share negative information with others, and less likely to ultimately act on that desire. Men are reportedly more motivated than women to disclose as a means of self-enhancement, and self-reports reveal that women perceive their sharing behavior to be relatively normative, while men believe themselves to be more withholding than what is optimal. Information disclosure is increasingly pervasive and permanent in the digital age, and is accompanied by an array of social and psychological consequences. Given their disparate disclosing behaviors, men and women may thus be differentially advantaged by, or susceptible to, the positive and negative consequences of information sharing.

Publication Type: Article
Additional Information: © 2023. This manuscript version is made available under the CC-BY-NC-ND 4.0 license
Publisher Keywords: disclosure, self-disclosure, information sharing, gender differences
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor > HD28 Management. Industrial Management
H Social Sciences > HN Social history and conditions. Social problems. Social reform
Departments: Bayes Business School > Management
SWORD Depositor:
[thumbnail of 1-s2.0-S0022103123000823-main.pdf]
Text - Published Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial.

Download (901kB) | Preview
[thumbnail of He Said She Said_Manuscript_accepted.pdf] Text - Accepted Version
This document is not freely accessible due to copyright restrictions.
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial No Derivatives.

To request a copy, please use the button below.

Request a copy


Add to AnyAdd to TwitterAdd to FacebookAdd to LinkedinAdd to PinterestAdd to Email


Downloads per month over past year

View more statistics

Actions (login required)

Admin Login Admin Login