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you will begin by reading the modern love column by the New York Times.
Second, you will read the handout on relational development this is a reference sheet that will provide you with an overview of the theories in chapters 8&9 that will be useful in your analysis.
Finally, you will respond to the questions marked as NYT Q’s doc.
Relationship Development Theories (RDT)
Part 1: To identify seminal theories useful in understanding relationship development *Theories of Relationship Development:
*The governing theory or metatheory punctuating our examination of this chapter is the social exchange theory. Social exchange examines the cost-benefit of the relationship. If the benefits outweigh the costs, then the relationship yields productivity. Relationship Worth = Rewards – Costs. (Chapter 9) Part 1 Cont’d Theories Examined in Chapter 8
A. Uncertainty Reduction Theory: When we meet, we seek strategies or means to reduce ambiguity, anxiety in others. There are 3 primary strategies. 1. Passive – Unobtrusively observing others. 2. Active – Activities that involve indirectly with the other i.e. (information gathering through media and people). 3. Interactive – Activities that involve direct contact with the person (face-to-face). B. Social Penetration Theory: This theory explores the five-stage of the process of creating and maintaining deeper intimacy with another person; moreover, the theory puts emphasis on the pace of the relationship enrooted to *self-disclosure. Stages of self-disclosure: 1a. Orientation—Individuals engage in small talk, surface-level communication. 2b. Exploratory affective exchange stage – Individuals reveal their attitudes, beliefs, and values about general issues. 3c. Affective exchange stage – Individuals start talking about private matters. 4d. Stable exchange stage – Individuals start developing a deep level of trust with one another. 5e. Depenetration – Individuals start to withdraw from the relationship and stop disclosing. C. Knapp’s Stages of Development: KSD identifies 5 stages through which individuals come together in a relationship and five stages through which individuals come apart. 1a. Initiating – First contact, i.e. 2b. Experimenting – Surface level comm. 3c. Intensifying – Deeper level Conv. 4d. Integrating – High level of investing 5e. Bonding – Marriage 6f. Differentiating – Couples begin to think of each other as separate individuals 7g. Circumscribing – Avoid topics that lead to arguments; boundaries are created 8h. Stagnation – Together but living separately; they stay together for other reasons 9i. Avoiding – Deliberately avoiding; mentally and physically detached New York Times (10-12 min) When Is Being Together Worth $5.50 an Hour? Please Solve 1.The author likens love to a financial investment, how so? 2. What is the social exchange theory, and how does this theory help us better understand the young lady’s dilemma in Modern Love? 3. Do you find this theory or model useful for understanding relationships? 4. How has this theory been applied in your life with regards to all types of relationships? 5. Is there a feeling of objectification by reducing relationships to an equation or economic metaphors and analogies? 6. Discuss a time when you decided to give up on a relationship in which there was little to no equity? Do you regret it; if so why; if not why? **So what is the take away from this article as it relates to social exchange theory?


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