Social Penetration Theory - Essay Example

Comments (0) Cite this document
This essay “Social Penetration Theory” will demonstrate the link of this theory to everyday life experiences. The objective of this theory was to explain the relationship and predictability of linear dependency on time. It was based on a view that trust has to be developed in the process of relationship. …
Download full paperFile format: .doc, available for editing
GRAB THE BEST PAPER93.7% of users find it useful
Social Penetration Theory
Read TextPreview

Extract of sample "Social Penetration Theory"

Social Penetration Theory Social Penetration Theory Altman and Taylor introduced social penetration theory in 1973 (Altman $ Taylor, 1973). The theory states that as tictiveiveme goes by, the relationship between individuals gradually changes from casual and shallow to the formal and intimate association. The entire theory was based on a view that trust has to be developed in the process of relationship. The objective of this theory was to explain the relationship and predictability of linear dependency on time. This essay will demonstrate the link of this theory to everyday life experiences.
The social penetration theory can be broken down into five distinct stages. First is the orientation stage, which is characterized by playing safe with simple and harmless talk between individuals. The affective exploratory stage is the next stage. Here, personal attitude is expressed on moderate topics although individuals are not completely comfortable with one another. Typically, most of the friendships rarely go past this stage. Thirdly, the relationship moves to the affective stage where private matters are discussed, and arguments may arise. Physical closeness and intimate touching occasion it. After this stage, the relationship graduates to stability. This is the plateau on which private matters are deeply exhibited each of the involved parties can envisage the expressive response of each other (Altman $ Taylor, 1973). Lastly, depenetration may arise if the costs outdo the benefits accruing from the relationship (Altman $ Taylor, 1973).
This theory is well illustrated in music lyrics involving a love story line. The artist first introduces the characters and briefly gives a scenario of how they met. He then describes how they developed an interest in each other and superficial interaction, which is not personal. It is inferentially based on discussion of general issues such as education, economy among others. Later, the artist narrates how intimacy grew between the characters and how they handle arguments and criticism. Lastly, the artist climaxes the lyrics by recounting the aftermath of the relationship; that is if the association survived or depenetrated.
In applying the theory in the film titled “Jack Reacher,” the main character, Reacher, approaches Helen, who is an attorney to a murder suspect. Reacher believes that the suspect is innocent and tries to create rapport with the attorney by making a casual appearance in her office. He then tries to understand why Helen was defending the culprit. After some time of interaction, he offers to help in investigations that would aid in acquitting the suspect. When enough evidence is collected, Reacher serves justice and cuts contacts with Helen due to threats on his life.
From the above film synopsis, it is clear that relationship between Reacher and Helen conformed to the assumptions of social penetration theory with the exemption of physical intimacy. This is because Reacher wants to disguise his identity thereby curtailing the growth of their relationship. Apparently, their relationship ends with Reacher withdrawing since the cost of maintaining their legal association exceeded the benefits.
However, several factors affect the communication between individuals that are ignored in this theory such as gender, age, and racial background. These factors make it difficult to use the social penetration theory in the prediction of emotion and future of relationship beyond affective stage. For instance, two male students can be close friends who know each other well over time. In the event that one of them falls in love with a girl, this may cause communication breakdown between the two male friends if they are not used to sharing emotional experiences in the past. Therefore, the theory may fail to hold in such an instance.
Altman, I. & Taylor, D. A. (1973). Social Penetration: The Development of Interpersonal Relationships. New York. Holt, Rinehart, and Winston. Read More
Cite this document
  • APA
  • MLA
(“Social Penetration Theory Essay Example | Topics and Well Written Essays - 500 words”, n.d.)
Retrieved from
(Social Penetration Theory Essay Example | Topics and Well Written Essays - 500 Words)
“Social Penetration Theory Essay Example | Topics and Well Written Essays - 500 Words”, n.d.
  • Cited: 0 times
Comments (0)
Click to create a comment or rate a document

CHECK THESE SAMPLES OF Social Penetration Theory

Comparing Two Penetration Testing Methodologies. Penetration Testing versus Vulnerability Assessment

...? Comparing Two Penetration Testing Methodologies and Their Associated Tools By of Learning: Date: Comparing Two Penetration Testing Methodologies and Their Associated Tools Introduction Penetration Testing, which is commonly termed to as PenTest, refers to a process that is normally followed during the auditing or assessment of hardcore security. This methodology consists of a set of practices, rules, methods and procedures which are normally followed and later implemented in the process of auditing programs on any information security in an operating system environment. Penetration testing methodology explains the roadmap by defining the practical ideas and practices...
19 Pages(4750 words)Dissertation

Social Penetration Theory of Irwin Altman & Dalmas Taylor

...and Taylor’s Social Penetration Theory of exposing more of themselves as levels of intimacy grew over time and interaction, the study of the Taiwanese adolescents indicated some similar patterns but some differences as well. As in the case of the popular onion peel model, the group comprised of males and females primarily teenagers, stated that they did engage more fully with members of the opposite sex as time progressed. Thus, as is the case where people go from revealing basic information to more and more personal information about themselves as they share degrees of companionship, so did the adolescents involved in the test. The results were comparable in real life to the...
5 Pages(1250 words)Term Paper

Social penetration theory

...College Social Penetration Theory The theory looks into how people relate to each other and how their relationships develop and deepen in the process. Penetration exposes weaknesses and strengths of persons during getting to explore each other’s lives. The person’s lives are laid on more personal matters and private issues as socializing gets deeper. The process involves a few stages which deepen with every stage and with time (Atman, & Taylor 113). The orientation stage is the first step where people during social talk still stay in the corner of information safety. Their talk involves cliche like it has been long since...
4 Pages(1000 words)Essay

Social Penetration Theory

...? Social penetration theory (Altman and Taylor) Lecturer: World Count: 826 Applying social penetration theory to personal experiences Introduction Social penetration (Irwin Altman and Dalmas Taylor) is the process of developing deeper intimacy with other people through self-disclosure and other forms of vulnerability. According to the theory, two people would end up being great friends if they proceeded in gradual fashion from superficial to deeper and intimate relationship. Social penetration theory enables individuals to form intimidate...
4 Pages(1000 words)Essay

Penetration Pricing

...? 23rd November Penetration pricing One of the pricing strategies that is described by Tellis article is penetration pricing. Penetration pricing is a marketing strategy used by firm s to attract customers when there is a new product or services in the market. This method of marketing strategy aim is to lower the price of new products or services thus making the customers to be attracted to the firm. Lowering of prices makes competition stiff in the market and this makes rivals to look for other alternatives to compete with the firm that lowers the prices of products and services. This pricing strategy makes the customers to come in large numbers to buy the products due to its lower price...
3 Pages(750 words)Essay

Theory Of Social Penetration: Breakfast Club Movie

... Theory Of Social Penetration: Breakfast Club Movie One of the major theories used in the movie is referred to as theory of social penetration. This is depicted from relationship which develops from communication and moves from what is considered relatively shallow non-intimate levels to deeper and more personal intimacy. As demonstrated in the movie, social penetration theory gives description of human beings as those made up like onion layers. Each layer is representation of person’s character and eagerness towards self-disclosure of information which must be peeled...
6 Pages(1500 words)Essay

Social Causation Theory and Social Selection Theory

...Running Head: Compare and Contrast the social causation theory with the social selection theory of the origins of mental illness Compare and Contrast the social causation theory with the social selection theory of the origins of mental illness Authors Name Institution Name It is known that mental illness is over represented in the lower classes. What is less clear, are whether lower social statuses serves as cause or consequence of mental illness One of the most reliable findings in psychiatric epidemiology has been the contrary relation between socioeconomic status and pervasiveness...
11 Pages(2750 words)Essay

Market Penetration and Branding

... Market Penetration and Branding Sales promotion activities refer to a set of marketing mechanisms that are normally embraced by organizations or service providers in an attempt to boost the sales of their products or services. Sales promotion activities are often classified into either trade promotions or consumer sales promotions (Davis 169). Consumer sales promotions are activities, majorly advertisements that are used to make the consumers aware of specific products thereby drawing their attention into purchasing the products or services. Trade promotions, on the other hand, refer to incentives such as discounts, schemes, commissions and freebies that are meant to ensure that the traders stock up, and that...
1 Pages(250 words)Coursework

Social penetration theory

...section/# Cognitive Dissonance: Theory and Practice as it Relates to Human Interaction and Behavior It is without question that advertising and marketing heavily relies upon psychological instruments in order to integrate with the potential consumer. The fact of the matter is that advertising has become something of an art form in which marketers have sought to leverage various aspects of human psychological mechanisms as a way of convincing the potential buyer that they should buy a particular product or utilize a particular service. One of the most effective means by which this can be leveraged is with regards to what is known as cognitive dissonance. For purposes of this analysis, cognitive dissonance will be...
8 Pages(2000 words)Essay

Penetration Testing

...Penetration Testing al Affiliation Penetration testing hopes to achieve flawless systems thathave an all-round protection from any kind of intrusion. This is a report to show the findings and recommendations for penetration tests conducted to a high-end financial firm that deals with processing of loans for college students. The penetration tests conducted in the firm’s business system follow the (Trusted Computer System Evaluation Criteria, (TCSEC) standards of security testing (Department of Defense, 1985). In the standards documentation, of importance will be the testing of behavioral aspects of the system to identify possible security control breaches. E-commerce systems tend to be high-end targets to security breaches... and...
6 Pages(1500 words)Essay
sponsored ads
We use cookies to create the best experience for you. Keep on browsing if you are OK with that, or find out how to manage cookies.

Let us find you another Essay on topic Social Penetration Theory for FREE!

Contact Us