Social Exchange And Equity Theory

1978 Words8 Pages
When most people think about interaction they think of people they see every day, friends, family, coworkers, and generally they want those interactions to be positive. What most people do not realize is their relationships can be related to social exchange and equity theory. In social exchange theory and equity theory, both deal with the costs and benefits aspect of a relationship. The main difference is while the social exchange theory seeks to maintain a relationship as long as the benefits outweigh the costs, equity theory states that both people in the relationship should benefit, both benefits and costs should be balanced. This paper will discuss the similarities and differences between the social exchange theory and the equity theory, as well as give a detailed critique of the exchange theory. Social Exchange Theory According to Corcoran (2013) social exchange theory happens when individuals weigh the potential risks and benefits of a social relationship. When the risks outweigh the benefits the individual will not proceed with the relationship. One example of social exchange theory could be a date. If a guy was to ask a girl out on a date and she says ‘yes’ then the man is likely to feel that he has gained a reward and will likely ask someone on a date again. But if the girl said ‘no’ then the man may feel embarrassed and will likely shy away from asking a girl again. Social exchange theory can also be described as one person trying to get everything out of the relationship that they can without giving little or even nothing back. This is very interesting in the sense that people do this every day in daily interactions without even realizing they are taking place in the social exchange theory. The idea of se... ... middle of paper ... ...eir relationships. This theory has predictive power in that it predicts that when outcomes are perceived to be greater individuals self-disclose more. It is amazing to me that since learning about the social exchange theory I can now see that it can be applied to almost any situation. People act with other people in fully realizing that their acts will be noticed and in some way shared. After doing this research I can fully say that social exchange theory was my favorite to learn about. The main point that I take away from social exchange theory is I think that one of the strengths is that it does very closely describe and give us an idea of one of the foundations of a relationship. I think that the reward part of the relationship and cost is one of the reasons relationships are started or stopped. The social exchange theory does a good job of explaining that.
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