Social exchange analysis helps define how people socially interact with each other based on the cost and benefits associated with social interactions.
Therefore, if the benefits are higher than the cost, individuals will likely continue interacting.
Social Exchange Analysis And The Process Of Social Interaction
An example of this is an encounter with a homeless man on the street. Since the homeless man doesn’t have anything to offer, some people will not entertain him.
However, the same people will see a celebrity and react differently.
Thus, based on our own agendas and our perceived costs and benefits per interaction, we select who we are willing to interact with consciously and subconsciously.
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Social Exchange Analysis Comparison And Alternatives Levels
Apart from cost and benefit analysis, social exchange analysis also looks at comparison level and comparison level alternatives. Comparison level allows individuals to compare their present and past interactions.
Their past interactions influence what benefits and costs they are willing to accept from their present and future interactions.
An individual’s comparison level usually becomes much better with more experience.
The comparison level of alternatives goes a little further by providing an alternative to present interaction.
Based on the perceived costs and benefits of the alternative, an individual decides whether to continue his or her current interaction or end it in order to begin a new interaction.
How The Mate Selection Process Conforms To Social Exchange Analysis
The processes of mate selection highly conform to the social exchange analysis, simply because mate selection is based on more than an individual’s love.
Mate selection is based on the perceived benefits and costs we associate with our potential mates.
Mate selection is the process of finding a mate that meets our needs and in some cases wants.
For example, some people select their mate based on spiritual beliefs, financial position, physical appearance, past sexual encounters, and so on.
The cost and benefit analysis of a potential mate is not straightforward, since individual wants and needs vary.
However, the main goal is to find a mate with benefits that outweigh the cost of being with them.
What are your requirements for mate selection?