Final Paper - Social Penetration Theory.
The Social Penetration Theory is a theory that deals primarily with the way in which a relationship grows or proceeds. Social Penetration Theory says that if two people go into a relationship gradually from a superficial relationship to one where intimate things are being exchanged, then these two people should end up being very close if not best of friends. To be able to fully understand how this works, however, we first have to understand that people by and large are very complex. Knowing that each person is different and that a variety of things can create a different outcome, we can understand that trying to decipher a direct outcome is almost impossible.
Many people have contributed to Social Penetration Theory over the years. In order to be able to understand the theory better, I have included a review of each book and packet that I read pertaining to this theory. Each review explains how the source contributed to Social Penetration Theory, and gets a bit more specific with exactly what the author was thinking when they wrote it. .
Social Penetration Theory was originally created by Irwin Altman and Dalmas Taylor. Social Penetration is a theory that tries to explain how closeness in relationships develops over time. Irwin Altman is a highly esteemed Professor of Psychology at the University of Utah, and Taylor who is now dead, was a Professor of Psychology at Lincoln University in Pennsylvania. .
In their theory, Altman and Taylor compare the way a human being reveals themselves to the way in which an onion is constructed. The point in this comparison is to show that there are different layers to each person just like there are different layers to an onion. Each layer is deeper and has more underneath it. An individuals "outer layer" is the side of that person that is open for anyone to see. It's who that person is in public and is for the most part accessible to anyone who wishes to see it.