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Development Of Friendship Between Roommates Essay

1063 words - 5 pages

Development of Friendship Between Roommates

The study of relationship and friendship development has become a very popular subject for social psychologists in the past twenty years or more. Social exchange processes, equity, similarity and self-disclosure (which was constructed by social penetration theorists Irwin Altman and Dalmas Taylor), are presupposed to be the main route to relationship and friendship development.

According to the article "Development of Friendship Between Roommates", there are some crucial factors for researching a study such as this one, conducted at the University of California, Los Angeles(otherwise known as UCLA). These factors include making sure that ...view middle of the document...

One standard represents the level of outcomes partcipants feel they should be receiving in the relationship based on their past experiences. A second standard, represents the level of outcomes which may provide a more suitable alternative relationship in comparison to the present one. If a person's outcomes exceed those of past experiences, they will find the present relationship pleasurable. On the other hand if the outcomes exceed those of the alternative relationships, one will find the relationship to be stable.

Research that links attraction with disclosure is mixed. Some studies have shown that an increase in self-disclosure from one to another can result in an increase in liking for that person. Other studies have found that too much self-disclosure too early in a relationship has negative outcomes on attraction.

Berg conducted a study that examined the joint effects of social exchange processes in coordinance with the processes of social penetration. This study was constructed to discover satisfaction with a relationship/friendship of previously unacquainted roommates in a residence hall at UCLA. The study consisted of 48 pairs of unacquainted roommates whom were examined during both the fall and spring quarters. Through the study, the differences of all of the groups may be due to the fact that time is a crucial factor required for one's roommate to learn about the other. This process would probably occur through self-disclosure. It was found that in the fall the relationships were on the exchange level in which the roommates maintained a balance in the equal amounts of benefits they gave each other. But by the spring their relationships converted into communal relationships, where instead of equal exchange, there was a concern with providing things the other found most beneficial. During this study it was found that "time is the most important factor in leading to increases in both self-disclosure and in the likelihood that participants in a relationship will provide each other with desired resources. However the decision of whether to continue in the relationship reflects whether the total amount of rewards participants provide each other will increase or decrease over time" (352).

In conclusion of the study, some people's decisions of whether to continue the relationships from fall to spring...

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