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Ch. 9: Social Penetration Theory
Terms in this set (20)
Who developed Social Penetration Theory?
Taylor & Altman
What is Social Penetration Theory?
An attempt to understand relational closeness between two people.
'Social Penetration' refers to the bonding process where people move from more superficial forms of communication to deeper, more intellectual and emotional types of communication that include multiple dimmensions
The spoken word
Facial Expressions, gestures, etc
Environmentally Oriented Behaviors
The use of space between people, physical objects.
What is a 'trajectory'?
A specific pathway that relationships follow to relational closeness.
Different types of relationships follow different trajectories & each trajectory involves different degrees of social penetration depending on the persons involved.
Assumptions of SPT
-Relationships start out superficial and get more personal as the relationship progresses but there can be in-betweens in relationships as well.
-Relationship development is systematic and predictable but also constantly changing.
-Because relationships change, they also experience Depentration & dissolution, transgressions, & conflictual communication (backpedaling)
-Self disclosure is a core concept in development of a relationship and can be strategic (planed self-disclosure) or non-strategic (spontaneous and sometimes embarrassing)
What is Social Penetration Theory often associated with/called?
Onions/ "the Onion Theory" because layers of an onion are analogous to the levels a person goes through as they move from non-intimate to intimate relationship:
-Your public image (outermost layer)
-Superficial likes and dislikes
-Attitudes about small issues
-Morals, values regarding important issues
-Deepest, darkest fears, hopes & dreams
The variety of topics discussed
The degree of intimacy and detail covered in topic discussion
Issues Related to Self-Disclosure
-Trust: a level of trust is established though prior self-disclosure
-Too much too soon: too much private info revealed too early can make one member of the relationship uncomfortable and cause them to end the relationship.
-Most people don't want to risk revealing too much info too soon at the risk of becoming vulnerable, so a form of cost vs. rewards was developed.
Interactions that stimulate satisfaction
Interactions that product negative feelings
The balance between the two; relationships that provide more rewards than cost will likely continue, relationships that don't usually end.
Things to remember:
- this weighing of pros/cons is more important has more impact at the beginning of a relationship.
-it is possible to build up a 'reservoir' of positive reward/cost experiences that can help a relationship out in later stages
The four stages of SPT
-Exploratory Affective Stage
*these stages do not necessarily happen 1, 2, 3, 4. You may backtrack/take a step back.
Stage 1 of SPT: 'Orientation'
-Superficial in nature and participants are cautious
-Behavior guided by social norms
Stage 2 of SPT: 'Exploratory Affective Stage'
-Personality characteristics surface
-private aspects become public
-Communication is more spontaneous
not a good time to criticize
Stage 3 of SPT: 'Affective Exchange'
-Interactions are relaxed and casual
-Private jokes and gestures are created
-Positive and negative criticisms are exchanged without threat to the relationship
Stage 4 of SPT: 'Stable Exchange'
-Open expression of thoughts
-Partners can anticipate one another's behaviors
-Dyadic Uniqueness emerges
Critique of SPT
-Heuristic: tons of research; theory can be applied in many contexts and types of relationships.
-Limited scope: self-disclosure is too narrowly defined in this theory.
-Relationship development is seen as too linear and doesn't take into account outside forces.
THIS SET IS OFTEN IN FOLDERS WITH...
Ch. 7: Expectancy Violations Theory
Ch. 8: Uncertainty Reduction Theory
Ch. 6: Cognitive Dissonance
Ch. 11: Social Exchange Theory
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