Analysis Of Altman And Dalmas Taylor 's Social Penetration Theory

1275 WordsNov 16, 20146 Pages
Everyday throughout our lives we interact with many different people. Naturally we develop relationships with these individuals and whether they become acquaintances or intimate friends this people all have some kind of impact on our lives. This cycle of developing, cultivating, and sustaining or ending these relationships continues everyday for our entire lives, and as a result many different theories have been developed to describe just how a complete stranger can become a lifelong friend. One in particular, Iwrin Altman and Dalmas Taylor’s social penetration theory, states that “the idea that relationships become more intimate over time when partners disclose more and more information about themselves.” This break down of the complex process that we go through every day of our lives definitely rings true in a large part of interpersonal communication. However, it is not without flaws. In this paper I will attempt to further explain Altman and Taylor 's theory, share some research supporting it, while also providing a critique of their work. As stated above Social Penetration Theory was originally formulated by Irwin Altman and Dalmas Taylor in 1973. The duo was attempting to explain how a shallow relationship evolves into a deeper more intimate friendship. The two believed that, in general, this process was relatively gradual and systematic, and that the development of relationships was greatly influenced by three main factors: personality, cost, and situational
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