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Social penetration theory of pyschology

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As a member, you'll also get unlimited access to over 75, lessons in math, English, science, history, and more. Plus, get practice tests, quizzes, and personalized coaching to help you succeed. Login here for access. Log in or sign up to add this lesson to a Custom Course. Login or Sign up. Jessica has taught junior high history and college seminar courses. She has a master's degree in education. My grandma always said people are like onions: Unbeknownst to all of us at Social penetration theory of pyschology time, her words had some science behind them.

In fact, they were actually the core of what sociologists call the social penetration theorywhich asserts that, as relationships develop, communication moves from somewhat superficial thoughts and topics to intimate and personal ones. In today's lesson, we'll delve into the social penetration theory and how it plays out in interpersonal communication. For starters, the psychology team of Altman and Taylor authored Social penetration theory of pyschology social penetration theory.

As a duo, they're credited with the famous onion metaphorthe idea that personality is multi-layered. That our public selves are the outside layer, and our personal selves are the core. According to Altman and Taylor, penetrating someone's inner self takes lots of work. In short, they agree with my Grandma.

In both friendship and romance, you have to peel someone back to get to really know 'em. According to the social penetration theory, this peeling of sorts goes through many stages, or layers.

Deep, intimate relationships don't just happen. They develop as the participants disclose information about themselves. Keeping this in mind, the first stage, or layer, in the social penetration theory is the orientation stage. Like the name implies, the orientation stage is the introductory stage.

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It's where we first begin to gather impressions of one another. It's the, 'Hello, nice to meet you' phase and the 'My name is. In the orientation phase, we show only our public selves and things are kept light. When someone asks, 'How are you?

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To do otherwise would seem awkward and out of place. Now, if we seem to hit it off Social penetration theory of pyschology someone during the orientation phase, we might decide to peel back the layer into the exploratory affective stage. In this next stage, casual friendships are born. We begin to reveal ourselves and our opinions, while also exploring those of our new acquaintance. No, we're not crying on each other's shoulders, discussing how our parents wounded us; that would be weird.


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