The Affect Theory of Social Exchange
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Lawler, Edward J.
[Excerpt] The affect theory of social exchange places emotion and feelings at the center of social exchange theorizing (Lawler 2001). It posits that exchange generates emotions and that emotions are internal responses that reward and punish actors. Emotions that occur regularly in exchange processes include feeling good about successful exchange, feeling shame about the terms accepted, feeling gratitude toward a conciliatory exchange partner, and feeling anger at a difficult or hostile exchange partner. The theory argues that such emotions and feelings have important consequences for the relations, networks, and groups within which they occur.
affect theory; social exchange; emotion and feelings; reward; punishment
Required Publisher Statement: © Stanford University Press. Final version published as: Lawler, E. J. (2006). The affect theory of social exchange [Electronic version]. In P. J. Burke (Ed.), Contemporary social psychological theories (pp. 244-267). Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press. Reprinted with permission. All rights reserved.