I had my mind blown during this morning’s lecture.
I always had this firm belief that relationships always revolve around transactions. The cornerstone of every relationship is built on exchange and trade.
“People only get together because there is something involved that makes them want to stay together.” And it is not necessarily “love” all the time.
This morning, I learnt that there is actually a social theory for it, and it’s called the Exchange Theory.
“The basic thesis underlying all economic theories is that social interaction between individuals is based on rational calculations and that people seek to maximize their rewards from these exchanges and minimize their costs (Marshall, 1996).”
“A central premise of exchange theory is that resources are often unequal and that actors will continue to engage in exchanges only as long as the benefits are greater than the costs (Bengtson et al., 1997).”
“One problem with exchange theory is that it ignores the value of nonrational resources, such as love and companionship, which often even out what seems to be an unequal exchange (Passuth and Bengtson, 1988).”
So I guess that is to say, there is always a form of giving and taking in every relationship. Sometimes you just happen to give more than you can get. While some people aren’t very calculative about it, others may upset the equation when they feel that they have to balance out the level which they get with the level which they give.
This whole thing is mind blowing. I didn’t know that there was so much more to it.
“Satisfaction is not enough to determine whether a person stays within a relationship or leaves for an alternative. That is to say, there are people who stay in unhappy relationships as well as those who leave happy relationships. What determines whether an individual stays in a relationship or leaves is the set of alternate relationships available. If there are many alternatives available to an individual, then that individual is less dependent on the relationship.”