Smith Spring Many people come into and go out of our lives; some have a larger impact than others. As humans we interact with each other on a daily basis and relationships are developed, some you may refer to as acquaintances, some friends, and others as intimate friends. This is a very complex process that we go through every day of our lives, repeating it over and over, encountering people that we may end up either knowing or not until the day we die.
Social penetration theory | Psychology Wiki | FANDOM powered by Wikia
Social Penetration Theory proposes that, as relationships develop, interpersonal communication moves from relatively shallow, non-intimate levels to deeper, more personal ones. Social penetration is defined as a process that moves a relationship from non-intimate to intimate. Social penetration theory states that this process occurs primarily through self-disclosure. This theory is also guided by the assumptions that relationship development is systematic and predictable and also includes deterioration, or growing apart. Social Penetration theory also claims that our relationships progress through four stages before reaching stability where communication is open and partners are highly intimate. Altman and Taylor proposed that closeness occurs through a gradual process of self-disclosure, and closeness develops if the participants proceed in a gradual and orderly fashion from superficial to intimate levels of exchange as a function of both immediate and forecast outcomes. It can also be defined as the process of developing deeper intimacy with another person through mutual self-disclosure and other forms of vulnerability.
The social penetration theory SPT proposes that, as relationships develop, interpersonal communication moves from relatively shallow, non-intimate levels to deeper, more intimate ones. Altman and Taylor note that relationships "involve different levels of intimacy of exchange or degree of social penetration". The social penetration theory is known as an objective theory as opposed to an interpretive theory, meaning that it is based on data drawn from experiments and not from conclusions based on individuals' specific experiences.
At a party, one observes various levels of interpersonal communication. At an open table, new acquaintances exchange names and share their musical preferences. A couple on their second date chats about their political views. Long-time friends discuss their feelings about a difficult family situation. Meanwhile, a married couple sits quietly, making only occasional comments about the other guests and chuckling in agreement.