RW.docx - Equity theory The dictionary meaning of the word...

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Equity theory The dictionary meaning of the word equity is the quality of being fair and impartial. This is what we as human beings strive to achieve in our relationships, either knowingly or subconsciously. The notion of restoring balance to the relationship is what drives most of us, as everyone strives for harmony. Equity theory proposes that partners in a relationship who feel that they are putting in more efforts to keep it going will experience emotional distress and anger. The theory also proposes that partners who feel that they are getting more than their share of rewards in a relationship will also experience emotional distress in the form of guilt. In both the cases, the affected partner will try to restore balance by making certain behavioral changes that they perceive to be the right thing to do. Explanation of the theory The theory is based on the belief that people value fair treatment and individuals have their own perceptions of fairness. In an intimate relationship, if a person in putting in time and effort, then that person will expect a certain output for this effort. When that doesn't happen, the person will experience distress. It can lead to anger and controlling behavior in relationships. This can be better explained with an example: "n $%&' (ohn )ta*ey Adams introdu*ed the idea that fairness and equity are+ey *omponents of a motivated individual, Equity theory is -ased in the ideathat individuals are motivated -y fairness' and if they identify inequities inthe input.output ratios of themselves and their referent /roup' they will see+to ad0ust their input to rea*h their per*eived equity, Adams1 su//ested thatthe hi/her an individual1s per*eption of equity' the more motivated they will-e' and vi*e versa 2 if someone per*eives an unfair environment' they will -edemotivated This theory proposes that partners who feel neglected or rewarded will make efforts to regain equilibrium in the relationship. Equity is calculated by evaluating the contribution made by each partner and the benefits received within the said relation. The theory also states that partners do not have to make equal contribution or receive equal benefits, as long as the ratio between the contributions and benefits is similar. For example, if one partner is contributing financially to the relationship and the other is contributing time, the inputs will be considered equal. The benefits
in this situation will also be considered equal, where one partner gets love and the other financial security. This theory is one of the best ways to understand how to make a relationship work. Implications on everyday life This theory also explains how partners in an intimate relationship react after they feel that they are getting rewards beyond their efforts. Those partners who feel that they are being over rewarded will also experience emotional distress in the form of guilt. These partners will also have a perception of fairness and will make certain changes to restore balance to the relationship. Let us take the previous example to understand this:

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