George Homans And Social Exchange Theory

768 Words4 Pages
Social exchange theory holds the view that human relationships are based on estimates of rewards and punishment. George Homans is the father of social exchange theory was interested in what determines changes of behaviour of in human relationships. Social exchange theory suggests that we essentially take the benefits and minus the costs in order to determine how much a relationship is worth. Positive relationships are those in which the benefits outweigh the costs, while negative relationships occur when the costs are greater than the benefits. With this being said, to a large extent can social exchange theory be used to examine human relationships as it explore how people feel about their relationship will depend on their perception: of their…show more content…
This theory highlights that people are the happiest in relationship when the give and take ratio is equal. As such, if one partner's giving is more in comparison to the other, they feel guilty about the imbalance and is likely to compensate happiness elsewhere.
Nevertheless, one of the strengths of this theory is that it can be used to examine why people stay in abusive relationships. This theory did a good job in giving us a foundation of what a relationship should look like. As such, in abusive relationships the person being abused might be benefiting and receiving a lot from the abuser whilst it cost them their pride, joy and dignity. With this being said, the outcome might be greater than the comparison level. In contrast, the weaknesses of this theory is that it view people as being selfish and assumes that people are only looking out for themselves and not enter or stay in a relationship because they love each other. As such, it ignores that relationship are based on fairness and not profit.
In conclusion, social exchange theory is intended to explain when or why people maintain or stay in relationships is because of three assumptions: by assessing the rewards and benefits, cost and the outcome (rewards-cost=
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