Maintenance of relationships - basic notes

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  • Created on: 06-01-10 13:22

MAINTENANCE OF RELATIONSHIPS - BASIC NOTES

FIRST THEORY > SOCIAL EXCHANGE THEORY – [Thibaut and Kelley 1959]

PROFIT AND LOSS

-assumption that all social behaviour is a series of exchanges, individuals attempt to maximise their rewards and reduce their costs.

People in our society exchange resources with the exception [hope] that they’ll earn a profit, then profit will hopefully outweigh the costs.

-Rewards from relationships = companionship, cared for, sex.

-Costs from relationships = effort, time wasted [opportunities with others wasted], financial investment.

COMPARISON LEVEL – THIBAUT AND KELLEY

-Our CL is a product of our experiences in our relationships.

-If we judge that the potential profit is less than our CL, we will be dissatisfied with the result.

-Related concept = comparison level for alternatives, where a person weighs up potential increase in rewards from a different partner, minus any costs associated with ending the current relationship.

COMMENTARY – A03

Profit and loss, some women may stay in abusive relationships because the rewards are high [children, financial security etc.] could still be a profit situation. Comparison level, people already in a relationship rate random people as less attractive [SIMPSON et al 1990]

Limitations, social exchange theory has been criticised for focussing on persons individual perspective and ignoring social aspects of relationships. Nature

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