FrontPage SocialExchangeTheory


Assumptions and Ideas

  1. Minimax principle: People want to make the the most o the benefits while lessening the costs
  2. Personal relationships are function of comparing costs and benefits of managing and maintaining relationships -- social relationships bring both costs and rewards. In a simple term, it can be presented as:
    (perceived) Rewards
    - (perceived) Costs
    = Outcome (behavioral decisions = what to do)
    Perceived Rewards (companionship, affection, sharing a joint savings account, etc.)
    - Perceived Costs (negotiating holiday visits between in-laws, loss of social independence, having to put grad school on hold because of family obligations, etc.)
    = Outcome
  3. Rewards and Costs may vary among individuals.
  4. Comparison level (CL)
    Expected rewards or reward expectations
Expectations comes from
relationship model (such as parents, friends)
and one's experiences with relationships
and television and other media representations of relationships, etc.
People compare the current outcome value with CL value; and use it for future actions.
  1. Comparison level of alternatives
    People also think of Comparison Level of Alternatives.
    CLalt = What are your alternatives to staying in the relationship? -- i.e, expectation of outcomes to do otherwise.

  2. Predictions Mede by Social Exchane Theory
    Outcomes > CL = Satisfied
    Outcomes < CL = Dissatisfied
    Outcomes > CLalt = Stay
    Outcomes < CLalt = Terminate

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