Relationship Maintenance

Social Exchange Theory and Equity Theory

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  • Created by: Ashlee
  • Created on: 26-04-11 14:51

Social Exchange Theory

These theories are economic theories as people weigh the costs and benefits of the relationship. To have a successful relationship, benefits must outweigh the costs of the relationships.

Thibaut and Kelley suggested that there were 4 main stages in long-term relationships:

  1. SAMPLING- This is where the costs and rewards are explored
  2. BARGAINING- The costs and rewards are negotiated between the parties’
  3. COMMITMENT-The costs and rewards are quite expected and predictable
  4. INSTITUTIONLISATION – The costs and rewards are not firmly established

AN ADDITIONAL ASSUMPTION IS THE USE OF A COMPARISON LEVEL, WHICH SUGGESTS THAT INDIVIDUALS COMPARE THE REWARDS THEY ARE RECEIVING IN COMPARISON TO PREVIOUS RELATIONSHIPS. And another is comparison levels for alternatives so there compare the rewards to alternative relationships that they could have.

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Equity Theory

This theory argues that fairness is more important tin the relationship and if there is no fairness, the relationship breaks down which can be used for Relationship dissoulution.

A02:- DeMaris which showed martial breakdown in 1500 American couples. Large sample and ITV COP.

The main assumption were expressed by Walster et al. He suggested that firstly that rewards are maximised by individuals and costs and minimised. Secondly those in an inequitable relationship will feel distressed if they are the most disadvantaged. Thirdly, the person that will usually be trying to make the relationship equitable will be the one who is disadvantaged. Lastly, he expressed that were there was an imbalance, it could be adjusted by the other party compensating for it.

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you have put are not firmly established is that suppose to say are?

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