MAINTENANCE OF RELATIONSHIPS - BASIC NOTES
> 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…