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Social penetration theory

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Last Updated: 02 July 2021

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General | Latest Info

The Social Penetration Theory was first proposed by Altman and Taylor in 1973. There, after it was further developed by Altman. This theory is a general approach to interpersonal attraction that looks at the development of interpersonal relationships from acquaintanceship to close friendship as a gradual and systematic process. It also looks at how friendship moves from peripheral and superficial levels of exchange to intimate friends. The growth of relationships is influenced by three main factors, namely; situational factors, personality and cost. Therefore, when future and current outcomes are favorable, penetration develops to more intimate areas. Social Penetration Theory describes the growth of personal relationships as the root of self disclosure. Theory explains that the increase in intimacy in relationships is as result of individuals sharing more information about themselves with each other. When people meet for the first time, they tend to share information which is general and impersonal, thus limiting the range of topics they discuss. As these people learn about each other and time passes, the depth of their disclosure increases, thus revealing personal information. The breadth of disclosure has increased and individuals are able to discuss a range of topics. The Authors of this theory suggest that the growth of relationship continues if regards that each partner gets are greater that cost they believe they incur. Social Penetration Theory depends mostly on the positive association between disclosure and the degree to which partners are emotionally committed in their relationship. Thus, partners who freely disclose more information to each other have greater relational satisfaction and stability. More so, there is a linear relationship between intimacy and disclosure. For example, partners experience dialectical tensions between being open and close on what they discuss with each other. Social Penetration Theory holds one important assumption that mutual profit from partners ' interaction acts as a vehicle for level of exchange and grows over time in give relationship. Theory is mostly concerned with information exchange, though it also makes use of expression of positive and negative effects in mutual activities as other forms of exchange. Situational influence, personality and rewards are factors which help to promote the social penetration process which is retarding. Also, intensity and extent of self disclosure act as operation measure of Social Penetration. The Self disclosure measure is used in measuring personality traits that affect disclosure, thus providing intimate information about person. Situational factors are mostly concerned with the ability to enter or get out of relationships freely. It is also concerned with the level of such relationship with another person. Relationships are perceived to develop symmetrically. Interpersonal exchanges develop from superficial to non - intimate areas to deeper degrees of self of interacting people. In this case, individuals therefore evaluate the balance of rewards and costs of past and present exchanges. This evaluation is used as the basis for forecasting cost and reward implications for future exchanges which may be make.

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Assumptions

Social Penetration theory is a model of relational communication that is based on the progressive and layer process of revealing oneself to another party as relationships develop. Under this model, communication process begins with disclosure of most public and least intimate information about oneself and evolves through a reciprocal process of continued self disclosure into more intimate and less known information over the course of a relationship. The Theory of Social Penetration is rooted in efforts to make sense of the way in which interpersonal relationships form, progress and sometimes, end. The Theory of Social Penetration was developed by Irwin Altman, PhD, and Dalmas Taylor, PhD, in 1973. Vanlear calls model one of the most popular theories of Relationship Development. Social Penetration theory has been the foundation of Communication studies since it was proposed by Altman and Taylor in 1973. While theory was originally used to explain face - to - face relationships between two individuals, Social Penetration theory can be applied to many other forms of relationships, including those prevalent in today's society that are formed remotely through social media when face - to - face encounters may occur at later stage or not at all. Social Penetration theory is often compared to onion because peeling back of layers of personality as relationship progress is similar in context to peeling layers of onion from the exterior and moving toward the core.

* Please keep in mind that all text is machine-generated, we do not bear any responsibility, and you should always get advice from professionals before taking any actions.

* Please keep in mind that all text is machine-generated, we do not bear any responsibility, and you should always get advice from professionals before taking any actions

Self-disclosure

Several factors can affect the amount of Self - Disclosure between partners: gender, race, religion, personality, social status and ethnic background. For example, some cultures, like Japanese, value personal privacy more than others. Therefore, Japanese people may not self - disclose nearly as much or as enthusiastically as, say, French people Partners who come from different religious backgrounds may hesitate to share thoughts or attitudes that concern matters of faith. Men often refrain from expressing deep emotions out of fear of social stigma. Such barriers can slow the rate of self - disclosure and even prevent relationships from forming. In theory, more dissimilar two people are, more difficult or unlikely Self - Disclosure become.

* Please keep in mind that all text is machine-generated, we do not bear any responsibility, and you should always get advice from professionals before taking any actions.

* Please keep in mind that all text is machine-generated, we do not bear any responsibility, and you should always get advice from professionals before taking any actions

Applications

Social Penetration Theory is being used in today's modern world to study electronic interactions on the Internet through Social media sites and chat rooms. On one hand, people who meet online are often unable to predict how person will react to certain types of information, making the cost of self - disclosure difficult to evaluate. On other hand, impersonal nature of communicating on screen may mitigate the cost of sharing intimate information, thus making self - disclosure more likely. Theorists in this field have observed a variety of outcomes with online interactions, highlighting the need for more study to turn Social Penetration Theory into a more predictable model.

* Please keep in mind that all text is machine-generated, we do not bear any responsibility, and you should always get advice from professionals before taking any actions.

* Please keep in mind that all text is machine-generated, we do not bear any responsibility, and you should always get advice from professionals before taking any actions

Critiques of Theory

Altman and Taylor came up with Social Penetration Theory in an attempt to explain people's relationships. Degree of Self Disclosure is a major task in grown of relationship. Their theory is very direct and simple, thus making it possible for one to understand. In addition, in this theory, authors have used many aspects which can relate to the real world. Social Penetration Theory outlines what people go through when forming relationship. This is clearly shown by authors when they say that people will continue or discontinue with relationship depending on costs and rewards involve. In this theory, it is very easy to predict what will happen in the future. This is because if costs involved in information exchange are more than the rewards receive, then individuals or partners will end relationship. On the other hand, if rewards involved in information exchange are more than cost involve, then partners will continue with relationship. In addition, this theory is very easy to understand. This is because it only has four hypothesiss and three variables involve. Altman and Taylor base their Theory of Social Penetration Theory on cost and reward. This indicates that people first evaluate relationship on the basis of rewards and costs involved and then decide whether to continue or not. This is not true because one should not be in relationship just because of the benefits expect. Relationships should therefore be evaluated on many other factors but not only on gains and costs. Authors try to suggest that people will always form relationships if they are guaranteed that there are some benefits to be earned from it. Most people are selfless and will form relationships regardless of whether there are costs to incurred or benefits to be earned from it. Altman and Taylor associate people who are engaged in communication process with onions. The authors state that when people meet for the first time, they hide their information just like onion layers. As people continue to meet, they share their personal information and thus shed off layers, making it easy to understand one another. Layers of Self Disclosure have different levels of depth and breadth and this can be reached through topic share and nature of information in these topics. The Social Penetration Theory shows the status of a person is changed from public to private. Therefore, person at some times may disclose more personal information than other times. A person may still not share any personal information with a private person if person is not pleased at all. This therefore indicates that, according to Social Penetration Theory, it is not a guarantee that relationships will develop positively from time to time. Social Penetration Theory gives the possibility of differentiation between different types and forms of relationships by providing notions of personality breadth and personality depth.

* Please keep in mind that all text is machine-generated, we do not bear any responsibility, and you should always get advice from professionals before taking any actions.

* Please keep in mind that all text is machine-generated, we do not bear any responsibility, and you should always get advice from professionals before taking any actions

Discussion

So you decide against wearing a purple hat to work on your first day, but after a successful first week, you go out with friends from your college days. You shut down bar late in the evening and pay for it on Sunday. At work on Monday, is it a wise strategy to share finer tips on drinking games you played on Saturday night? Again, most people would say, Of course not! It has nothing to do with work, and only makes you look immature. Some people have serious substance abuse issues, and your stories could sound insensitive, producing negative impact. How would you know, as you dont really know your coworkers yet? In same way, it is not a wise strategy to post photos from weekend escapades on your MySpace, Facebook, or similar social networking Web page. Employers are increasingly aware of their employees ' Web pages, and picture of you looking stupid may come to mind when your supervisor is considering you for promotion. You represent yourself, but you also represent your company and its reputation. If you do represent it well, you run the risk of not representing it at all.

* Please keep in mind that all text is machine-generated, we do not bear any responsibility, and you should always get advice from professionals before taking any actions.

* Please keep in mind that all text is machine-generated, we do not bear any responsibility, and you should always get advice from professionals before taking any actions

Sources

* Please keep in mind that all text is machine-generated, we do not bear any responsibility, and you should always get advice from professionals before taking any actions.

* Please keep in mind that all text is machine-generated, we do not bear any responsibility, and you should always get advice from professionals before taking any actions

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