In theory as hypothetical framework in various disciplines.

In
our daily life, we constantly encounter situations where we are giving favor
and assistance in return for something else received in the past, or in
anticipation of receiving something else in the future, which is easy to understand in that people who give something to others
expect the same (or more) from others, and similarly, those that get something
from others are pressurized to return the same to them. These very popular circumstancess
can be explained in light of social exchange theory (SET). This paper will
first begin with general introduction about the SET, including its brief
history and basic content. Then, I will move on with some basic concepts and
principles of the SET. Later on, main principles of the SET will be discussed,
which is followed by the application of this theory as hypothetical framework
in various disciplines. Finally, this essay will end with my explanation, based
on the SET, of some familar situations in my daily life as well as my comments
and opinions of this theory.

 

SET is defined in Wikipedia as:

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            a social
psychological and sociological
perspective that explains social
change and stability as       a process of
negotiated exchanges between parties. Social exchange theory posits that   human relationships are formed by the use of a subjective cost-benefit
analysis and the        comparison of
alternatives

Cherry (2017) further
explained that according to this theory, people tend
to weigh the prospective benefits and risks of social relationships in order to
maximize benefits and minimize costs. In other words, when we enter a
relationship, we are inclined to evaluate the rewards we are likely to
gain and the costs we are willing to pay. If  the rewards outweigh the risks , we
will continue to develop the relationship and
vice versa (Liu, Vol?i?, & Gallois, 2015).

 

The theory has roots in economics, psychologyand sociology. Going back to the early origin, the
SET has surfaced in the middle of the 21st century. According to Wikipedia, the SET has been derived from the
work of Homans (1958), Thibaut and Kelley (1959),
Blau (1964), and Cook and Emerson (1987).

“Social Behavior as Exchange”
published in 1958 presents sociologist Homans’ view
that exchange between individuals, tangible or
intangible, continues because each finds the others’ behavior
reinforcing to some degree, i.e. more or less
rewarding or costly. Thibaut and Kelley (1959)
are recognized for focusing their studies within the theory on the
psychological concepts, the dyad and small group in “The Social
Psychologyof Groups”. Blau (1964) argued
that it is possible to understand social structure and events that occur within
social structures by looking first at individual processes that occur between
people and then building on them. Blau’s theory combines principles from
operant psychology and econornics to provide a conceptual framework for the
analysis of social relations. The approach of Cook and Emerson (1987) focused
on the exchange relation as the most elementary unit of analysis rather than
the behavior or action, taking hypotheses from operant psychology and applied
these to human social leaming, specifically their application to individuals. They
presented a more general theoretical framework for analyzing social
interactions, atternpting to link individuals involved in social exchange
relations together to form structures or networks.