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RelativeResourceManager16 - Social Exchange Theory HDFS...

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1 Social Exchange Theory HDFS 3301 Dr. Trejos Social Exchange The basic concept is that human social relationships can be understood as revolving around the exchange of resources valued by the participants . Basic Assumptions • Exchange theory is built on the principles of behaviorism and economics, but it goes beyond just explaining individual behavior. Its focus is on the dynamics of relationships and how they are formed, maintained, and resolved. People are motivated by self-interest – We seek those things and relationships that are beneficial to ourselves. – We seek rewards and avoid punishments or costs.
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2 Humans are rational beings – We have the analytical ability to calculate the ratio of rewards to costs. – We consider the alternatives before acting and choosing the outcome that carries the least cost. Social relationships are also characterized by interdependence. – In order to gain a profit in an exchange, we must provide the other person with rewards as well. – Social exchanges are regulated by the exceptions and norms of reciprocity and fairness. Primary Terms and Concepts Rewards – All of the things in a person’s physical, social, and psychological world that are experienced as pleasurable are considered rewards Profit – The outcome in terms of rewards and costs. – People strive to gain the most rewards and
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