Social Exchange Theory

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  • Created by: Mollie
  • Created on: 22-04-13 18:51


  • Thibault and Kelley (1959)
  • All social behaviour is a series of exchanges; individuals attempt to maximise rewards and minimise their costs
  • Rewards of relationships include sex, companionship and care
  • Costs include effort, time and financial investment
  • Rewards - Cost = Outcome (profit or loss)
  • Committment to a relationship is dependent on the outcome
  • We develop a comparison level to judge whether one person offers more or less than another
  • The CL is a product of our previous experiences in relationships and our general views of what we might expect from a certain exchange
  • If the potential profit in a new relationship exceeds our CL then the relationship…


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