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Social Penetration Theory Notes

by: Briana LeBron

Social Penetration Theory Notes COMM 2100

Briana LeBron


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About this Document

These notes are from Professor Leeman's Communication Theory class. It is about the Social Penetration Theory.
Intro to Comm Theory
Class Notes
Communications, communicationtheory, socialpenetration, Theory
25 ?




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This 2 page Class Notes was uploaded by Briana LeBron on Tuesday September 20, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to COMM 2100 at University of North Carolina at Charlotte taught by Leeman in Fall 2016. Since its upload, it has received 8 views. For similar materials see Intro to Comm Theory in Journalism and Mass Communications at University of North Carolina at Charlotte.

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Date Created: 09/20/16
Social Penetration  By Altman and Taylor (Social Psychologists)  Explains relational closeness  Principles: 1. Closeness develops through a gradual & orderly fashion 2. Proceed from superficial to intimate 3. Function of immediate and forecast outcomes Personality:  A multilayered onion o Breadth: range of items o Depth: how close to our “core” personality the item is  Revealed through self-disclosure o Self disclosure: what we tell others about ourselves that they wouldn’t otherwise know about us 1. Deeper towards the core = degree of personal disclosure 2. Layers are “tougher” to penetrate the closer to the core one goes Axioms: 1. Peripheral items are exchanged more frequently and sooner than private information 2. Self-disclosure is reciprocal, especially in the early stages 3. Penetration starts rapidly then slows down  Societal norms prevent early self-disclosure  Most (romantic) relationships stall before a stable intimate exchange is established  Genuine intimate exchange is rare 4. Depenetration is a gradual, layer-by-layer process 5. For the intimacy, depth and breadth of penetration are equally important Regulating Closeness:  Social exchange theory o By Thibaut & Kelly o Decision basics: costs and rewards  Three variables: 1. Relational Outcome o Predicted rewards minus predicted costs o Minimax principle 2. Gauging Relational Satisfaction o Use a CL: Comparison Level 3. Gauging Relational Stability o CLalt: Comparison Level of Alternatives  The most stable relationship: Outcome > CL > CLalt  The least stable relationship: CLalt > CL > Outcome


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