Essay on Social Exchange Theory

1526 Words Mar 2nd, 2002 7 Pages
Social Exchange Theory 2

Application of:
The Social Exchange Theory
In everyday interactions people are always looking to have a positive experience among those with whom they interact. According to the Social Exchange theory, with each interaction an individual has with another, that individual attempts to maximize the positive outcomes and minimize the negative. The purpose of this paper is to apply the Social Exchange theory to an authentic real life situation to best illustrate the theory and the key concepts that it holds. In applying the social exchange theory from demonstration, to application, to then explanation, a better understanding in terms of the value of the theory will be shown, as well as the function that it
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The standards that people use to evaluate the costs and rewards of a relationship change over time and from person to person. What my girlfriend and I needed from each other had begun to change, putting a tension on our bond. Therefore the costs began to far outweigh the rewards. The factor of being in different cities and not being together for emotional and physical support was enough to re-evaluate what we both needed from the relationship. Remembering the statement mentioned earlier that no two people are the same therefore their ideas of what they want and need can change over time. Case in point, my girlfriend and I. Along with these aspects is the feature of the comparison level, or CL, that can be identified as well. When both of our concepts of what we needed out of the relationship

Social Exchange Theory 6

changed, then the comparison level alternative (Clalt) was utilized. This meant that even the lowest level of relational rewards that we had together was nowhere near the level of rewards from the alternative relationship of being alone. All of these aspects listed above can be seen in the episode that was used. However one such event that took place that is not related to the Social Exchange theory was that of the Social Penetration theory. The Exploratory Affective exchange, which is a concept of

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