Social exchange theory essay

April 9, 2016

Question this essay is social

Just one way of examining social interaction is thru the social exchange theory. This model translates society as a number of interactions that derive from estimations of rewards and punitive measures. Based on this view, our interactions are based on the rewards or punitive measures that people receive from others and all sorts of human associations are created through a subjective cost-benefit analysis. The idea has its own roots in financial aspects in addition to sociology and psychology.

We are able to thus anticipate whether a specific interaction is going to be repeated by calculating the quality of reward (approval) or punishment (disapproval) caused by the interaction. When the reward to have an interaction surpasses the punishment, then your interaction will probably occur or continue.

The fundamental formula for predicting the behaviour for anyone in almost any scenario is: Behavior (profits) = Rewards of interaction – costs of interaction.

Rewards comes in great shape. Some good examples include: Recognition, money, tangible items like gifts, or subtle everyday gestures like a smile, jerk, or pat around the back.

Punitive measures are also available in great shape, from extremes like public humiliation, beating, or execution, to subtle gestures just like a elevated eyebrow or perhaps a frown.


However, should you request someone on to start dating ? plus they reply with “No way!” then you've received a punishment which will most likely lead you to be put off by repeating this kind of interaction later on.

Fundamental Presumptions of Social Exchange Theory

  • Those who are active in the interaction are rationally trying to maximize their profits.
  • Most gratification among humans originates from others.
  • People get access to details about social, economic, and mental facets of their interactions that enables these to consider alternative, more lucrative situations in accordance with their present situation.
  • Individuals are goal oriented inside a freely competitive system.
  • Social credit is preferred over social indebtedness.
  • The greater deprived the person feels when it comes to an action, the greater the individual will assign value into it.
  • Individuals are rational and calculate the perfect way to compete in rewarding situations. This is also true of punishment avoidance situations.

Programs of Social Exchange Theory

Social Exchange Theory has its own roots in a number of research subjects. Included in this are: Mate selection research, marital stability research, marital satisfaction research, family violence research, raising a child research, role differentiation research, work associations research, and family associations research.

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