Theory Key Names
Annotated list of scholars and terms, from the Instructors Manual and margin notes in the text
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Chapter 8—Social Penetration Theory
- Irwin Altman and Dalmas Taylor
- Social psychologists who created social penetration theory. Altman is a researcher at University of Utah; Taylor, now deceased, was affiliated with Lincoln University, Pennsylvania.
- Social Penetration
- The process of developing deeper intimacy with another person through mutual self-disclosure and other forms of vulnerability.
- Personality Structure
- Onion-like layers of beliefs and feelings about self, others, and the world; deeper levels are more vulnerable, protected, and central to self-image.
- The voluntary sharing of personal history, preferences, attitudes, feelings, values, secrets, etc., with another person; transparency.
- Depth of penetration
- The degree of disclosure in a specific area of an individual’s life.
- Law of reciprocity
- A paced and ordered process in which openness in one person leads to openness in the other.
- Breadth of penetration
- The range of areas in an individual’s life over which disclosure takes place.
- Social exchange
- Relationship behavior and status regulated by both parties’ evaluations of perceived rewards and costs of interaction with each other.
- John Thibaut and Harold Kelley
- Psychologists who developed social exchange theory or the attempt to quantify the value of different outcomes for an individual. Thibaut, now deceased, was affiliated with the University of North Carolina; Kelley is a researcher at UCLA.
- The perceived rewards minus the costs of interpersonal interaction.
- Minimax priniciple of human behavior
- People seek to maximize their benefits and minimize their costs.
- Comparison level (CL)
- The threshold above which an interpersonal outcome seems attractive; a standard for relationship satisfaction.
- Comparison level of alternatives (CLalt)
- The best outcomes available in other relationships; a standard for relationship stability.
- Ethical egoism
- The belief that individuals should live their lives so as to maximize their own pleasure and minimize their own pain.
- Dialectical model
- The assumption that people want both privacy and intimacy in their social relationships; they experience a tension between disclosure and withdrawal.
- The tendency to claim a physical location or object as our own.
- Sandra Petronio
- Communication theorist from the Indiana University-Purdue University, Indianapolis who developed communication privacy management theory about the intricate ways people handle conflicting desires for privacy and openness.
- Paul Wright
- Professor emeritus from University of North Dakota who believes that friendships often reach a point of such closeness that self-centered concerns are no longer salient.
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