Dr. Phil McGraw has a show on CBS in which he gives people advice on their problems. Dr. Phil claims that he can give this advice on the grounds that he is an expert in how people communicate. In this particular episode “Money or Marriage?” of Dr. Phil, Dr. Phil tries to help a dysfunctional family be more functional. He plans to do this by getting the mother to respect her son and her son’s decisions and also to get the son to start working for himself and not depend so much on his mother for money.
Social Exchange Theory
Social Exchange Theory forces people to look at their relationships in terms of costs and rewards. By looking at a relationship in these terms it allows the participants in the relationship to determine if the relationship is worth being in, based on how much the relationship is either giving them or taking away from them. A cost is anything that is not good or negative in a relationship. Costs can both be big and small and not all costs are weighed out the same. For example some people might see having to pick there partner up for work as a cost, but most people would say that if that partner where to cheat on the other that the cost of being cheated on would be much greater then just having to pick them up from work. Rewards are anything that is seen as good or a positive in a relationship. Getting flowers or having someone else do the dishes, being told that you are loved can be seen as a reward. Like costs, not all rewards are weighed evenly. It is possible to have 5 costs and only 1 reward but if that reward adds enough “good” then it can suffice to outweigh the costs. This can also be reversed though and 5 rewards can easily be outweighed by 1 cost.
Not all costs will be costs for all people and not all rewards will be rewards for all people. An example of this is if you like chocolate cake but your partner doesn’t, you could see this possibly as a cost or a reward. You could hate it that the other person...
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