Compare Explanations for Relationship Breakdown Given by Exchange Theory and Equity Theory

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Compare explanations for relationship breakdown given by exchange theory and equity theory. Which do you consider to be the most convincing and why? What does Duck’s theory add to the explanation? The Exchange Theory which was put forward by Homans in 1971 suggests that when we are in a relationship, we keep an eye on what we are putting in and getting out of a relationship. It argues that whether ir not we are satisfied depends on the ratio of rewards and costs that are given within the relationship. If the person involved feels as though, for them, the rewards outweigh the costs, they will most likely feel satisfied with the relationship as they do not need to give as much, however, if the person involved feels like the costs outweighs …show more content…

This is outlined in Duck’s theory. Also, the Exchange Theory suggests that humans are selfish as the theory seems to say that humans are fixated on getting the rewards from a relationship. In 1988, Duck demonstrated how a relationship should typically end. In order to do this, he developed a four stage model of dissolution. Stage one, the Intra-psychic phase, states that at least one member of the couple will start to feel unhappy and will start to focus on the behaviour of their partners. They will eventually reach the threshold and will voice their concerns. The second stage, the dyadic phase, states that the couple will take part in discussions and some may go to counselling; others may r ach the next threshold. This is the third stage, the social phase, where friends may offer support or take sides. It is this stage, according to Duck, where a break up is inevitable. The final stage is the grave dressing phase. This is when both people involved put across their opinion of what happened during the breakup and each partner will create their own version of who was to blame in the situation. It is normally a face saving situation. This approach address issues that the other approaches, the Exchange Theory especially, ignores. Duck’s approach addresses that couples are likely to take part in discussions about the relationship and where they think it is heading.

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