Social Exchange Model
- Homan, 1961
- Most basic of economic theories - views relationships as exchanges of rewards/costs
- Relationships seen as series of business transactions/exchanges where we maximise rewards/profits and minimise interpersonal loss
- Blau argues interactions are expensive as they take time, energy & commitment and involve unpleasant emotions/experiences.
- What we get out of a relationship must exceed what we put in(hedonistic) for it to continue
- All human relationships are 'business transaction' driven by self-interest and are motivated by 'minimax strategy'
- Relationships form and develop when:
- Rewards outweigh costs (profit)
- Actual rewards exceed expected rewards(Profit) - comparison level. Concerned with past relationships and present, if current compares favourably - more likely to stay
- Reward:Cost ratio - what could be obtained in an alternative relationship doesn't exceed the ratio in the current - comparison level for alternatives. If individual is doing better in the current relationship, satisfaction will be felt and will stay.
- Thibaut and Kelley extended Homan's theory by setting out how relationships could be maintained.