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Unformatted text preview: Chapter 6 Chapter 6 Interdependency Social Exchange Early Social Exchange Theory – Sociological perspective – Drawing on the psychological learning theories and principles of elementary economics John Thibaut and Harold Kelley – Social Exchange Theory – a theory based on the exchange of rewards and costs to quantify the values of outcomes from different situations for an individual. Social Exchange Successful relationships entail the mutual exchange of desirable rewards with others. Rewards and Costs – Rewards are results of an interaction that are gratifying, welcome, and fulfilling. – Costs are consequences that are frustrating, distressing, and undesirable. Adding up all the rewards and costs that result: Outcome = Rewards Costs Social Exchange
Rewards and Costs Interdependence theory suggests that we evaluate the outcomes we receive with two criteria: What we expect from our relationships, and How well we think we can do with other partners. Social Exchange Each of us has a personal comparison level (or CL) that describes what we expect and feel we deserve in our dealings with others. – When our outcomes exceed our comparison levels, we’re happy and content. – But when our outcomes are lower than our comparison levels, we’re disgruntled and distressed. Outcomes – CL = Satisfaction/Dissatisfaction Social Exchange Whether or not we’re happy, we also evaluate our partnerships with a comparison level for alternatives (or Clalt) that describes the outcomes we (think we) can get elsewhere. – Our Clalt s are the lowest level of outcomes we will accept from our current partners. A Clalt is a complex, multifaceted judgment involving both the costs of leaving and the rewards offered by others. – Investments are the things we lose when a relationship ends. Social Exchange
Four Types of Relationships
1. 2. 3. 4. When outcomes exceed both CL and Clalt , it’s a HAPPY and STABLE relationship. When outcomes exceed Clalt but fall below CL, it’s a UNHAPPY but STABLE relationship. When outcomes exceed CL but fall below Clalt , it’s a UNHAPPY but STABLE relationship. When outcomes fall below both CL and Clalt , it’s an UNHAPPY and UNSTABLE relationship. Types of relationships interdependency theory Types of relationships interdependency theory
outcome CLalt CL
A happy, stable relationship outcome CL CLalt
A happy, stable relationship CL outcome CLalt
An unhappy, but stable relationship CLalt outcome CL
A happy, but unstable relationship CLalt CL outcome
An unhappy, unstable relationship CL CLalt outcome
An unhappy, unstable relationship Social Exchange
CL and Clalt as Time Goes By Our CLs are based on our past experiences, and they fluctuate along with the outcomes we receive. Cultural changes may also have made our Clalt s higher than ever before Rewards and Costs over time Rewards and Costs over time Reward s Costs Beginnin g Developing Established Successful Relationships Beginnin g Developing Established Unsuccessful Relationships The Economies of Relationships The Economies of Relationships Counting up the rewards and costs of a relationship provides information about its current state and likely future. – Costs are particularly influential because bad is stronger than good. – Rewards need to outnumber costs by at least 5to1! The Economies of Relationships The Economies of Relationships We want to do two things: – Gain positive outcomes this is an appetitive motivation – Avoid negative outcomes this is an aversive motivation The Economies of Relationships The Economies of Relationships Overall, marital satisfaction usually declines as time passes – Lack of Effort – Interdependency Is a Magnifying Glass – Access to Weaponry – Unrealistic Expectations Are We Really This Greedy? Providing rewarding outcomes to your partner, even if it involves effort and sacrifice, can be selfserving if it causes a desirable relationship to continue. Are We Really This Greedy?
Exchange versus Communal Relationships In exchange relationships, people expect quick repayment of any favors or benefits that are provided. In communal relationships, people do favors for each other without expecting explicit repayment. Are We Really This Greedy?
Equitable Relationships When equity exists, a relationship is fair: Each partner gains benefits from the relationship that are proportional to his or her contributions to it: Your outcomes Your partner’s outcomes = Your contributions Your partner’s contributions Equitable Relationships
Your outcomes Your contributions Your partner’s outcomes Your partner’s contributions = Partner A a) b) c) 80 50 20 100 50 25 Partner B = = = 80 50 20 100 100 50 Are We Really This Greedy?
When a partnership is inequitable: – one partner is receiving too much, and is said to be overbenefited, and – the other partner is receiving too little, and is said to be underbenefited. Inequitable Relationships
80 50 80 50 d) e) ≠ ≠ 60 50 80 30 A is overbenefitted A is underbenefitted What are some ways to restore equity? If both partners are prospering, does it even matter? The Nature of Commitment
Commitment is the intention to continue a relationship. Committed partners expect their relationship to continue, They take a longterm view, and They are psychologically attached to each other. The Nature of Commitment
According to the investment model of commitment: Satisfaction increases commitment Alternatives of high quality decrease commitment Investments in a relationship increase commitment to it Investment Model (Rusbult Drigotas, & Verette, 1994) Investment Model Satisfaction Level + + Commitment Level + Decision to remain Quality of Alternatives Investment Size The Nature of Commitment
Thus, the investment model suggests that people remain with their partners when: they’re happy; there’s no place else to go; or it would cost too much to leave. The Nature of Commitment
Some theorists assert that there are three types of commitment: Personal commitment Constraint commitment Moral commitment The Consequences of Commitment
A sense of commitment leads partners to take action to protect and maintain their relationship: Accommodative behavior Willingness to sacrifice Perceived superiority ...
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This note was uploaded on 05/10/2009 for the course PSYC 359 taught by Professor Barone during the Spring '09 term at USC.
- Spring '09