Social exchange theory psychology

By M.Farouk Radwan, MSc.

Social exchange theory psychology

The social exchange theory is a very useful theory that can help you understand relationships in a better way and even prevent breakups long before they happen.

By understanding the psychology of your partner the social exchange theory will enable you to determine whether he is satisfied or whether he thinks of leaving the relationships.

In this article i will tell you about the psychology of the social exchange theory.

Social exchange theory and psychology

The social exchange theory states that the satisfaction experienced in a human relationship is based on the difference between the rewards and the costs of the relationship. If a person felt that the cost of the relationship is higher than the rewards he is getting then he will think about ending the relationship.

The calculation of the costs and the rewards differ from one person to another according to their own psychological background however most people will consider the effort they are putting in the relationship to be the cost and the effort the other person is putting to be the reward.

The social exchange theory states that a person is likely to stay in a costly relationship if no other alternatives were available. This means that as soon as a better alternative or a lower cost relationship is found the person might think of leaving the current relationship.

Analysis of the social exchange theory psychology

Based on the social exchange theory we can conclude that you can save your relationship earlier by always keeping an eye on the satisfaction level of your partner. If the dissatisfaction of your partner was growing or was at a high level then you must put more effort in the relationship in order to make the relationship less costly for him.

You don't need to study psychology to understand the satisfaction level of your partner because this is something that can usually be detected from the words he uses during your normal quarrels.

Some psychologists think that the social exchange theory is a selfish one as it measures satisfaction based only on the rewards the person gets. While i agree with them to a certain extent still i find the social exchange theory very close to what happens in reality.

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