• The Social Penetration Model

-Irwin Altman and Dalmas Taylor: social penetration model: illustrates how much and what kind of information we reveal in various stages of a relationship.

-In their theory, interpersonal communication in relationships moves gradually from the superficial to the more intimate.

-Two aspects of this communication increase: the breadth of the information (the variety of topics discussed) and the depth (the personal significance of what is discussed).

-Their model is a configuration of rings, commonly referred to as concentric circles.

-Superficial level – Intimate level – Very intimate level

  • The Johari Window

-Reflects various stages of relational development, degrees of self-awareness, and others’ perceptions of us.


  known to self Not known to self

Known to Other





Open Blind

Not known to other





Hidden Unknown



Open quadrant represents that part of yourself that you know and have revealed to the other person. As a relationship becomes more intimate, the Open quadrant grows larger.


The Hidden quadrant is information you know about yourself but have not shared with other person. This quadrant is fairly large initially; but as you self-disclose, it shrinks, and Open quadrant grows.


Unknown quadrant is that part of yourself which you have yet to discover or realize. As you learn and self-disclose more, or as others learn more about you, this quadrant becomes smaller and smaller.


-Sometimes our friends observe things about us that we don’t realize or perceive about ourselves. This kind of unintentional self-disclosure is represented by the Blind quadrant.

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