“I Have to Talk to Somebody”

A Fever Model of Disclosure
  • William B. Stiles
Part of the Perspectives in Social Psychology book series (PSPS)


In this chapter, I consider some consequences of the propositions (a) that people tend to disclose when they are distressed and (b) that they obtain some benefit from doing so. To put it more strongly, I propose that the amount of disclosure tends to increase with the intensity of a person’s distress and that this disclosure tends to help to relieve the distress. I call this a fever model because it suggests that disclosure’s relation to psychological distress is analogous to a fever’s relation to physical infection: both are a sign of disturbance and part of a restorative process.


Psychological Distress Good Process Disclosure Level High Disclosure Psychotherapy Outcome 
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© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1987

Authors and Affiliations

  • William B. Stiles
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyMiami UniversityOxfordUSA

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