The Social Exchange Theory : Catfish, By Ariel Schulman And Henry Joost

1111 WordsNov 28, 20165 Pages
Relationships are never an effortless component of life. When two people come together and form a dyad, there are often rewards and costs on both ends. Humans often analyze the value of these different positives and negatives, with the hope of computing the worth behind the relationship. This line of thinking or human behavior, is dubbed the Social Exchange Theory. In the documentary Catfish, directed by Ariel Schulman and Henry Joost, Nev Schulman and “Meghan”, who Angela pretends to be, continue to grow their relationship until the cost of the dyad becomes too much for Nev to simply enjoy. This causes Nev to reconsider what this relationship means to him, before making a decision on whether it’s worth keeping or not in several different contexts. While the Social Exchange Theory sounds like a basic concept humans likely formed during the early parts of civilization, it wasn’t introduced until 1958. Sociologist George Homans would be the first figure to initially introduce the theory throughout the 1960s, as he analyzed how people tend to “make, maintain, and end” (Chinn 60) the different relationships we consistently take part in. The Social Exchange Theory proposes “that we live our lives and negotiate our relationships based on the ‘cost’ and ‘reward’ we give and receive through our interactions… The basic equation is: Worth = Rewards - Costs” (Chinn 60). A shared belief amongst many Social Exchange theorists, is that “we value relationships when their ‘worth’ feels

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