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interdependence theory


Subject Psychology

DOI: 10.1111/b.9780631202899.1996.x


Human experience is inherently social. Much of life unfolds in the context of dyadic or group interactions, many human traits have their origins in interpersonal experience, and the source of many powerful norms can be identified in the interdependent situations for which those norms provide good adaptations. To fully comprehend human behavior it is necessary that we understand the nature and meaning of interpersonal interdependence. This entry delineates the primary features of interpersonal phenomena using interdependence theory, a comprehensive model of interpersonal processes. (For an in-depth discussion, readers should consult original interdependence theory references ( Kelley, 1979 ; Kelley & Thibaut, 1969 , 1978; Thibaut & Kelley, 1959 ), as well as several recent extensions of the theory ( Kelley, 1983 , 1984a, b; Kelley & Thibaut, 1985 ).) Thibaut and Kelley (1959) developed interdependence theory toward the goal of extending and clarifying Lewinian field theory propositions, particularly the life-space representation of human motivation. The theory presents a taxonomy of patterns of interdependence — a conceptual framework in which all possible forms of interdependence can be analyzed in terms of four critical properties: degree of dependence, mutuality of dependence, correspondence of outcomes, and basis for dependence. The theory also proffers methods ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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