Social Exchange Theory

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Theories Of Relationship Theories Of Relationship [Document Title] [Document Title] Elizabeth Wiwoloku Elizabeth Wiwoloku Introduction There are two main theories applied to relationships, Social Exchange Theory and Equity Theory underpin commonly used behavioural therapies such as Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, Enhanced Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and Integrative Cognitive Behavioural Therapy. More recent studies in neuroscience and behavior and the importance of language have led to the development of Relational Frame Theory and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy as an alternative approach. In this essay I will outline the relationship models comparing and contrasting them Social exchange theory Social exchange theory analyses…show more content…
Simpson et al. found that participants in existing relationships rated people of the opposite sex as less attractive than participants not in relationships. This suggests that people judge prospects of new alternative relationships as less profitable if they are already in a committed relationship. The CLA may provide an explanation as to why many women choose to stay in abusive relationships. If investments in the relationship are high (e.g. children, financial security) & alternative prospects are bleak (e.g. poverty, homelessness), then a woman may see staying in the abusive relationship to be more profitable than leaving it. Blau (1977) argued that interactions are “expensive”, as they take time, energy and commitment and may involve unpleasant emotions and experiences. Therefore what we get out of a relationship must exceed what goes in. Rusbult found that costs and rewards from a relationship were weighed up in comparison to possible alternative relationships when deciding whether they should be maintained which supports that social exchange models idea that people assess rewards by making comparisons. Walster et al believed that social interactions involve an exchange of rewards, like affection, information, status. The degree of attraction or liking reflects how people evaluate the rewards they receive in relative to those given. Costs of being in a relationship may be effort, money spent, time spent, or low self-esteem, whilst the rewards may be pleasure,
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