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Compare and contrast two theories models of relationships

This understanding of behaviour is recognised also in the work of Pavlow and Skinner. Homan later went on to apply his theory to relationships proposing in his Disruptive Justice hypothesis that as human beings we expect a relationship to be proportional and if the reward or reciprocity falls short of the cost we become dissatisfied and are more likely to end a relationship.

However he also proposed that if one party perceives that the reward outweighs the cost provided but the other half of the relationship is content the relationship will be satisfactory. Persons that give much to others try to get much from them, and persons that get much from others are under pressure to give much to them. This process of influence tends to work out at equilibrium to a balance in the exchanges.

  • Thibault and Kelley in 1959 developed a 4 stage model of long term relationships based on Homans social exchange theory research;
  • A person in an inequitable relationship will attempt to restore balance and the degree to which the relationship is unfair the harder they will try to restore the balance;
  • Cultural differences, religious beliefs, geographic origins, social status, educational backgrounds and family history all influence how an individual perceives a successful relationship and set criteria and rules for that relationship and thus how they might expect therapy to help when things go wrong;
  • It is also essential that the therapist applies relevant learning of client centred counselling to ensure that the therapy is client led and balanced, so that neither party feels that the therapist is lacking a position of neutrality, whilst maintaining an empathic and understanding approach to both individuals.

For a person in an exchange, what he gives may be a cost to him, just as what he gets may be a reward, and his behavior changes less as the difference of the two, profit, tends to a maximum. In return we provide the same kind of strokes to our partner reinforcing and boosting their esteem in areas in which they feel most insecure.

This is referred to as the principle of satiation. The costs in a fulfilling relationship can be divided into three categories: Investment costs- mental energy and emotional investmentDirect costs — time, financial and material investments and Opportunity costs- personal sacrifices to benefit the relationship.

Compare and contrast two theories/models of relationships Essay

Because all behaviour is costly in that it requires an expenditure of energy on the part of the individual, only those behaviours that are rewarded or that produce the least cost tend to be repeated. Thus, social exchanges take on an air of consistency in that patterns of rewards often remain stable in social relationships. Thibault and Kelley in 1959 developed a 4 stage model of long term relationships based on Homans social exchange theory research.

Thibault and Kelley applied two basic concepts to their work. Firstly, that all human interaction is motivated by perceived compare and contrast two theories models of relationships for the action and second relates to how that influences the nature of relationships. The four stages Sampling, Bargaining, Commitment and Institutionalisation describe how a relationship forms and settles. The theory is predominantly behaviourist and assumes that humans operate as rational beings making decisions based on costs and benefits and that their decision making is motivated by the desire to get basic individual needs met.

Bargaining is the natural progression undertaken as a new relationship is under consideration. At this stage attraction based around similar attitudes or constructs are explored with a view to establishing the viability of a possible relationship.

Institutionalisation is the final stage when the two parties know what to expect from each other and settle into established norms.

Elaine Hatfield worked closely with Walster and Ellen Berscheid in the seventies to understand the human concept of social justice. She says According to Equity theory, people feel most comfortable when they are getting exactly what they deserve from their relationships—no more and certainly no less.

Handbook of Theories of Social Psychology. She also says of her work with Walster and Bercheid We believed that a concern with fairness was a cultural universal. Furthermore their ongoing research takes into consideration the current shifts within society towards gender equality and how this influences relationships.

Equity Theory is essentially based around balance within a relationship and can be summarised by 4 key principles. People will try to maximise reward and minimise unpleasant experience in a relationship 2.

Rewards can be shared out in different ways and people will decide on what they agree to be a fair system 3. An unfair or inequitable relationship causes personal distress 4. A person in an inequitable relationship will attempt to restore balance and the degree to which the relationship is unfair the harder they will try to restore the balance. Both theories are based around the assumption that relationships develop out of a fair exchange or trading of costs and rewards.

Equity Theory although it takes into account societal changes is less concerned with society and is more concerned with individuals and how they perceive justice.

Compare and Contrast two theories of Bystander Behaviour

The main difference between the two theories is that where Exchange Theory would propose that people would leave a relationship as it is if they felt they were in the advantaged position where rewards compare and contrast two theories models of relationships concerned, Equity Theory suggests that the person would be driven to restore the equity within an unbalanced relationship by either reducing their input or increasing their outputs.

Exchange Theory is more concerned with under-benefit as a disadvantage but Equity Theory places a greater emphasis on both under-benefit and over-benefit. Under-benefits are likely to provoke a sense of anger and resentment and over-benefits are likely to provoke a sense of guilt. Either scenario can become unbearable to the party experiencing either anger or guilt resulting in them attempting to re-establish balance. If this does not appear to work, it is likely that the relationship will breakdown as an equilibrium has not been reached.

Both theories can be useful tools for a therapist in couples counselling in order to discern where a couple is at within their relationship and to help them move towards a state of balance or equity when it has been lost. This can be particularly relevant in terms of negative thinking, pain avoidant behaviours, rule following and rigid thinking.

In terms of applying behaviour therapy to couples counselling the therapist will want to look at what interpretations a client is making about a situation and the beliefs they hold based on previous experience and how this then shapes their response or behaviour toward their partner.

They will look at where the belief was formed through a process of where? In Rational Emotive Behaviour Therapy a branch of CBT, using the ABC model, the theory distinguishes between rational and irrational beliefs and seeks to correct irrational beliefs which lead to self defeating behaviours.

RFT sees language and cognition as relational framing, an operant ability that develops through exposure to many kinds of verbal interactions. The subtle difference lies in the 2 key elements of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, acceptance of psychological events and commitment to values.

It offers the couple the opportunity to identify self defeating patterns of behaviour, compare and contrast two theories models of relationships clients to embrace the painful aspects of such negative thinking with self compassion and to accept that suffering and pain are intrinsic part of life and moreover relationship experience.

The therapist will help the clients to identify values in all domains of life, perhaps through the use of a Values Compass which identifies 10 separate domains, Work, Leisure, Caregiving, Family, Intimate Relations, Community Involvement, Spirituality, Education and Personal Development, Health and Social network. Clients will be encouraged to identify the reinforcing qualities which support each domain and to then rate how highly they are attending to each domain.

This exercise can help couples see where there might be imbalances. In understanding why some areas of their lives have been neglected and recognising the self defeating behaviours which lead to this imbalance they develop self compassion and then extend this to compassion and acceptance for each other. In this kind of therapy couples will learn to recognise and apply flexibility of thought and action, self compassion, compassion, acceptance, mindfulness, self —as —context and values and committed action increasing the potential for balance within themselves and thus enabling a more supporting relationship with each other.

Whatever approach a therapist takes there will be a recognition that the therapy will be more effective if it is holistic and integrative. It is also essential for the therapist to consider the wider social implications and ethical issues surrounding relationships before proceeding with any kind of therapeutic intervention.

Cultural differences, religious beliefs, geographic origins, social status, educational backgrounds and family history all influence how an individual perceives a successful relationship and set criteria and rules for that relationship and thus how they might expect therapy to help when things go wrong.

One key consideration in couples counselling which is more relevant in westernised society today is that many relationships are founded on love — or an idea of love, whereas historically marriage contracts were based on other factors such as status, financial security etc.

  • If this does not appear to work, it is likely that the relationship will breakdown as an equilibrium has not been reached;
  • Clients will be encouraged to identify the reinforcing qualities which support each domain and to then rate how highly they are attending to each domain.

It is also essential that the therapist applies relevant learning of client centred counselling to ensure that the therapy is client led and balanced, so that neither party feels that the therapist is lacking a position of neutrality, whilst maintaining an empathic and understanding approach to both individuals. They will maintain an approach of acceptance and non judgement even though their clients may not and will not be drawn by one over the other or allow one to dominate the sessions.

All parties must feel safe, demonstrate a willingness to engage in the process and have a clear idea of, ideally, a shared goal for the therapy. An ethical therapist will not see couples clients separately or set up couples counselling where they have previously counselled one party. How to cite this page Choose cite format: