Monday, April 19, 2010

Exchange Vs. Communal Relationships

So exchange and communal relationships. Margaret Clark found that there were two different kinds of relationships, exchange and communal. Exchange relationships are characterized by an immediate reciprocation of benefits. That is we "exchange" our benefits evenly, for example, if someone was to do something for you, you would be expected to do something equivalent to that action in return. These relationships are more likely to be between strangers and work friends. Communal relationships are characterized by a partner who responds to another's needs or well-being over a prolonged amount of time without the necessity of repayment. This is more easily said to be a altruistic relationship, in which either partner does not do something with the idea of repayment in mind. These relationships occur between friends, family, and romantic partners (Clark & Mills, 1993).
Soooo today during class, Dr. G talked about the problem with people struggling for one relationship while someone is constantly keeping them in the other.  Dr. G mentioned this friend she had in grad school who tried to pay back 14 cents for some food that Dr. G bought for her and I looked directly at Stef! Ever since the bonding experience that was "Social Psychology Exam 2," there has been an established friendship (probably before that, but it's needed here for effect). Now the question lies in which of the two relationships reflected above we fit into.
See over the days of studying and that last few hours before the exam, energy drinks, candy, soda, food, and other necessities were shared. I was under the impression that this was communal... we would simply part ways after the exam and these items that led to our success would be lost in the proverbial woodwork. However, Stef constantly feels that she needs to repay some of these kind actions and well, I'm sick of it :). How can our friendship grow and prepare for this looming "Social Psychology FINAL," if she insists upon repaying me for every damn energy drink? The answer is... WE CAN'T. 
So Stef if you're reading this... QUIT. haha... Those items were shared resources for passing this class and I was happy to provide some of them. Lets take this shit to the next level... the communal one. :P

Clark, M.S. (1984). Record keeping in two types of relationships. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 47, 549-557.

Clark, M.S., & Mills, J. (1979). Interpersonal attraction in exchange and communal relationships. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 37, 12-24.


  1. Ah yes all the necessities ;) I would like to formally accept you invitation to take our relationship to the next level (communal) onnnnn the condition that I get to contribute some necessities and you don't wind up broke and homeless providing us with necessities to survive and pass :)

  2. hey sluthouse... I'm already homeless... remember? I live outside my room and cuddle with the bugs and stray cats. but sure provide away as long as this is some of that next level shit.

  3. no BTs but yes next level indeed ;) I'll work on getting you a porter poty for your homelessness

  4. of course... No BTs

    that porter poty sounds fantastic... hook me up homie.

    pizza was yummmmmmmy and since you dont have a facebook like everyone else in the free world... i guess we'll communicate through random blog comments... awesome.

  5. pizza was yummy how much do I owe you? jusssst kidding its not exchange anymore ;)