Social Penetration Theory-the Relationship Development Review

Topics: Interpersonal relationship, Communication, Stage Pages: 2 (474 words) Published: June 24, 2011
Interpersonal Communication
Relationship Development: Social Penetration Theory

Social Penetration Theory
Social penetration theory was created by Irwin Altman and Dalmas Taylor. The social penetration theory is a theory that deals relationship grows or proceeds to the high level of relationships. It says that if two people go into a relationship from a superficial relationship to one where intimate things are being exchanged, then these two people should end up being very close like best friends or more intimate such as couple. Altman and Taylor also described this theory as a multilayered onion. They believe each opinion, belief, prejudice, and obsession is layered around and within the individual. As people get to know each other, the layers will lose and gone to reveal the core of the person. As the relationship develops, the partners share more aspects of the self, providing breadth as well as depth, through an exchange of information, feelings and activities. Then, relationships are sustained when they are relatively rewarding and discontinued when they are relatively costly. 

Altman and Taylor have suggests four stages of relational development. First, orientation is consists of impersonal communication. This stage show that they will move to the next stage of relationships, if this stage is rewarding to the participants. Second, exploratory affective exchange is about which movement will bring them to a deeper level disclosure takes place. Third, affective exchange is a center on evaluation and critical feelings at a deeper level in relationships. The partners perceive substantial rewards relative to costs in earlier stages. Fifth, stable exchange is highly intimate and allows the partners to predict each other’s actions and responses very well. It is like human life from the start he or she knows someone. They interact. If they feel comfortable each other, they will try to know each other very well. Therefore, their relationship...
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