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"Irwin Altman: 2MinuteThinker"

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Uploaded on Nov 15, 2011

A 2 Minute Summary of social psychologist Irwin Altman

Transcript:

One thing that rings true in society today is that fact that relationships are crucial to intimacy or deepness within that relationship// The idea of the exchange of information is crucial to the progression of those relationships// No one seems to understand this more than social psychologist Irwin Altman, who proposed the Social Penetration Theory//

He described relationships as being the "linear process of self-disclosure" and also as being "developmental processes"// He brings up the metaphor of the multilayered onion// and those layers will only be peeled back if there is mutual sharing of information//

Those layers starting from the outside include basic information such as biographical information or family status and then other layers are pulled back as more information is exchanged revealing deeper ideas such as religious convictions and hopes or fears//

The exchange of information is also dependent upon the mileage of the relationship and the right balance of stability and change// Early stages of the relationship are generally not fertile grounds for intimate information compared to later stages in the relationship// People crave consistent attributes in relationships such as honesty and trustworthiness/ but they also look for things to be shaken up and done outside the norm in order to keep the relationship rejuvenated//

But there were problems with this view/ and he went on to propose The Dialectical Model after noticing that not all relationships move in the linear fashion/ that there are indeed cycles of disclosure and withdrawal in relationships//

According to Altman, privacy is regarded just as highly as self-disclosure at all points during the relationship and he described this as, "an interpersonal boundary process by which a person or group regulates interaction with others"//

Additionally, Altman spoke a great deal about E.T. Hall/ an anthropologist/ concerning the idea of proxemics/ which is essentially the way in which we consciously and unconsciously structure our personal area// The theory goes on to propose we have four social distances going from most intimate to least intimate that are determined by the environment and who we are speaking to//

But our two minutes have expired. This has been an Irwin Altman two-minute thinker.

Words/video by Sean Rose (c)
Music by Jeff Danna & Mychael Danna (CC)
"Blood of Chulainn"

youtube.com/2MinuteThinker

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