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Interdependence Theory

Definition

Interdependence theory describes the structural properties that characterize interactions and the implications of such structure for human psychology. Whereas most psychological theories focus on the individual, suggesting that people behave as they do because of their unique experiences or cognitions or personalities, interdependence theory regards the relationships between people as important as the people themselves. Thus, the theory represents a much-needed model of the nature and implications of interdependence; it is a truly social psychological theory.

Background and History

Harold Kelley and John Thibaut developed interdependence theory over the course of 4 decades, beginning in the 1950s. Its initial formulation was contemporaneous with early social exchange and game theories, with which it shares some postulates. The theory analyzes interdependence structure, identifying crucial properties of interactions and relationships, ...

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