Five-Way Model of the Social Exchange Theory

If you’re looking to get your relationship in a healthy state, you have to know what’s involved. There’s lots of information out there about relationships and how to make them work. But not everything you read is correct or helpful. One major problem is a mis-communication. This article will explore the most common causes of mis-communication in relationships:

 

Interdisciplinary field: Relationship science is actually an interdisciplinary field devoted to the study of all interpersonal relationship mechanisms. It covers all of human interaction, not just within the realm of couples. As such, it is a valuable resource for researchers interested in understanding relationships at the interpersonal level. It brings to light the various models and theories that have been tested and evaluated over time, allowing researchers to test and retest these theories.

 

Lack of shared social support: In relationship science, one major factor that can lead to failure in a relationship is a lack of shared social support. As such many relationships fail. A relationship at the most basic levels – two people who have a fundamental understanding of each other and are willing to accept one another the way they are – can last for decades or even for a lifetime. Yet, because no one supported them in the beginning, this kind of relationship rarely grows beyond the base level. Because of this, people usually give up on their relationships after the core group of friends has lost sight of each other.

 

Lack of emotional connection: Lack of emotional connection is a major contributor to the failure of relationships. People often feel too caught up in their “identity,” and as a result, are unable to allow themselves to feel deep connections with others. Often, there is not enough room for two individuals who are deeply connected to each other in the body, but not in the mind. Because of this, one begins to withdraw from the other, resulting in an erosion of the bond between the two individuals. Lack of emotional connection directly results in the lack of mutual influence.

 

Lack of interdependence: Interdependence refers to how closely two people relate to each other, both emotionally and socially. Interdependence also plays an important role in the successful development of long term relationships. When two people are close in emotional and social circles, they tend to develop deeper, more meaningful relationships. However, when those bonds are less than solid, then people are less likely to be willing to invest themselves into a relationship. Lack of interdependence directly results in the lack of relationship success.

 

The third theory that relationships are affected by this three-part relationship concept is called the social learning theory. The social learning theory suggests that we learn from our environment and those around us. Therefore, those who are most exposed to certain values and beliefs are the ones who will most likely grow up to become strong, successful leaders. Conversely, those who are least exposed to these kinds of values are less likely to become successful leaders, even if the leader is determined to become one.

 

The fourth theory, known as the affiliation theory, claims that we become attracted to others based on their similarity to us. For example, if we find a person attractive, we naturally become drawn to that person and form a relationship with that person. The similarity theory is closely related to the other three theories and can also play a significant role in interpersonal relationships. Thus, the two elements of interpersonal relationships – compatibility and attraction – may all be based on the same theories.

 

The five-way model posits that people form five basic categories of interpersonal relationships: companionship, family, friendship, sex/dating, and occupational affiliation. Therefore, people enter into different relationships depending on whether they are categorized under one of these five categories. So, for example, while a person who is associated with companionship will likely enter into a sexual relationship, a person who is part of a family will likely pursue a career. Although this is a five-way model, it is useful to remember that one of the possible relationships, sex/dating, has only one category (men and women) and is therefore not considered a true relationship.

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