Social Exchange Theory Essay
Theories Of Relationship
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…
Social Exchange Theory is therefore an economic theory explaining relationships in terms of maximising benefits and minimising costs. The “Social exchange” is the mutual exchange of rewards between partners; like friendship, sex and the costs of being in the relationship may be freedoms given up, time, and effort.
A person may make their assessment of their rewards by using two comparisons:
The comparison level (CL) – where rewards are compared to costs to judge profits. This may be based on past experiences and relationships as well as what we expect to get from a relationship.
The comparison level for alternative relationships (CLalt) Where rewards and costs are compared against perceived alternative relationships and how they compare
The comparison level (CL) is used as a standard to judge the quality of our existing relationships. Our CL is determined by our experiences of previous relationships & our observations of others’ relationships. If the profitability of our current relationships exceeds the CL, the relationship is judged as worthwhile. The comparison level for alternatives (CLA) is how people weigh the profitability of their current relationship with