Exchange Theory: The Power of Giving Away

Do you remember when you were a kid and the doctor had a glass jar of sweets on their desk? You were always dead keen to pay a visit, weren’t you? That jar was always full no matter how far you were back in the queue.

That doctor knew a thing or two. It’s the promise of the future that counts, not what happened before.

Brief Introduction to Exchange Theory

Sociologists brought Exchange Theory under the spotlight in the 1920’s and 1930’s.  Briefly, this theory seeks to understand why some social interactions blossom, while others do not.

Relationships sustain when both parties unconsciously do a cost-benefit analysis and decide the benefits exceed the effort they put in. Exchange Theorists hold the theory applies to all types of relationships.

That’s why a customer may not return to a shop if they found the checkout clerk rude. That’s food for thought indeed, but there’s another angle behind this.

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