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Rather, it may be that the recipient should be given what he needs, in some objective sense, whether he ever comes to appreciate that it is good for him. A final determinant of qualitative fit is the general rationale for having the norm of reciprocity in the first place. For example, if the ultimate point of practicing reciprocity is to produce stable, productive, fair, and reliable social interactions, then there may be some tensions between things that accomplish this general goal and things that satisfy only the other three determinants.
As Plato observed RepublicBook Iis not rational to harm our enemies in the sense of making them worse, as enemies or as people, than they already are. We may reply to Plato by insisting that reciprocity merely requires us to make them worse-off, not worse, period. But if it turns out that the version of the reciprocity norm we are using actually has the consequence of doing both, or at any rate not improving the situation, then we will have undermined the point of having it.
Another definitional issue concerns proportionality. What counts as too little, or too much in return for what we receive from others? In some cases, such as borrowing a sum of money from a friend who has roughly the same resources, a prompt and exact return of the same amount seems right. Less will be too little, and a return with interest will often be too much, between friends.
But in other cases, especially in exchanges between people who are very unequal in resources, a literal reading of tit-for-tat may be a perverse rule — one that undermines the social and personal benefits of the norm of reciprocity itself.
How, for example, may badly disadvantaged people reciprocate for the public or private assistance they receive? Requiring a prompt and exact return of the benefit received may defeat the general purpose of the norm of reciprocity by driving disadvantaged people further into debt. Yet to waive the debt altogether, or to require only some discounted amount seems to defeat the purpose also. Anglo-American legal theory and practice has examples of two options for dealing with this problem.
One is to require a return that is equal to the benefit received, but to limit the use of that requirement in special cases. Bankruptcy rules are in part designed to prevent downward, irrecoverable spirals of debt while still exacting a considerable penalty.
Similarly, there are rules for rescinding unconscionable contracts, preventing unjust enrichment, and dealing with cases in which contractual obligations have become impossible to perform. These rules typically have considerable transaction costs.
Reciprocity (social psychology) - Wikipedia
Another kind of option is to define a reciprocal return with explicit reference to ability to pay. Progressive tax rates are an example of this.
Considered in terms of reciprocity, this option seems based on an equal sacrifice interpretation of proportionality, rather than an equal benefit one. Reciprocity and justice[ edit ] Standard usage of the term justice shows its close general connection to the concept of reciprocity. Justice includes the idea of fairness, and that in turn includes treating similar cases similarly, giving people what they deserve, and apportioning all other benefits and burdens in an equitable way.
Those things, further, involve acting in a principled, impartial way that forbids playing favorites and may require sacrifices.
All of those things are certainly in the neighborhood of the elements of reciprocity e. Reward and punishment[ edit ] Discussions of merit, desert, blame, and punishment inevitably involve questions about the fittingness and proportionality of our responses to others, and retributive theories of punishment put the norm of reciprocity at their center.
The idea is to make the punishment fit the crime. This differs from utilitarian theories of punishment, which may use fittingness and proportionality as constraints, but whose ultimate commitment is to make punishment serve social goals such as general deterrence, public safety, and the rehabilitation of wrongdoers.
Justice and war[ edit ] In just war theorynotions of fittingness and proportionality are central, at least as constraints both on the justification of a given war, and the methods used to prosecute it. When war represents a disproportionate response to a threat or an injury, it raises questions of justice related to reciprocity. When war fighting employs weapons that do not discriminate between combatants and noncombatants, it raises questions of justice related to reciprocity.
A profound sense of injustice related to a lack of reciprocity — for example, between those privileged by socioeconomic status, political power, or wealth, and those who are less privileged, and oppressed — sometimes leads to war in the form of revolutionary or counterrevolutionary violence.
It has been argued that the use of autonomous or remote controlled weaponized drones violate reciprocity. Legitimation of social, political, and legal obligations[ edit ] A very deep and persistent line of philosophical discussion explores the way in which reciprocity can resolve conflicts between justice and self-interest, and can justify the imposition or limitation of social, political, and legal obligations that require individuals to sacrifice their own interests.
This aspect of the philosophical discussion of reciprocity attempts to bring together two ways of approaching a very basic question: What is the fundamental justification for the existence of social and political institutions — institutions that impose and enforce duties and obligations upon their members? This immediately justifies rules that are mutually advantageous, but it raises questions about requiring obedience from people whenever it turns out that they will be disadvantaged by following the rules, or can get away with disobeying them.
So the problem becomes one of showing whether, and when, it might actually be mutually advantageous to follow the rules of justice even when it is inconvenient or costly to do so. Social contract theorists often invoke the value of reciprocal relationships to deal with this.
Many human beings need help from one another from time to time in order to pursue their individual interests effectively. So if we can arrange a system of reciprocity in which all the benefits we are required to contribute are typically returned to us in full or morethat may justify playing by the rules—even in cases where it looks as though we can get away with not doing so.
Another obvious answer to the question of why people organize themselves into groups, however, is in order to achieve levels of cooperation needed for improving society generally — for example by improving public health, and society-wide levels of education, wealth, or individual welfare.
This also gives a reason for rules of justice, but again raises problems about requiring individuals to sacrifice their own welfare for the good of others—especially when some individuals might not share the particular goals for social improvements at issue. Here too, the value of reciprocal relationships can be invoked, this time to limit the legitimacy of the sacrifices a society might require.
For one thing, it seems perverse to require sacrifices in pursuit of some social goal if it turns out those sacrifices are unnecessary, or in vain because the goal cannot be achieved.
To some philosophers, a theory of justice based on reciprocity or fairness, or fair play is an attractive middle ground between a thoroughgoing concern with individual well-being and a thoroughgoing concern with social well-being. It may also be that there is something to be gained, philosophically, from considering what obligations of generalized reciprocity present generations of human beings may have to future ones. Mutuality[ edit ] What is the relation between reciprocity and lovefriendship or family relationships?
See the reference below to Okin. The argument is that families can be grossly unjust, and have often been so. If that is right, then justice and reciprocity must define the boundaries within which we pursue even the most intimate relationships. He proposes that the highest or best form of friendship involves a relationship between equals — one in which a genuinely reciprocal relationship is possible. This thread appears throughout the history of Western ethics in discussions of personal and social relationships of many sorts: The question is the extent to which the kind of reciprocity possible in various relationships determines the kind of mutual affection and benevolence possible in those relationships.
This said, reciprocation in personal relationships rarely follows a mathematical formula and the level of reciprocation, i. It is often the case that one party will typically be the lead reciprocator with the other being the responsive reciprocator. The form of reciprocation can also be influenced by the level of emotional need. Sometimes one party will need more support than the other and this can switch at different times depending on the life situation of each party.
Because reciprocation is influenced by personal circumstances and since people do not follow a set pattern like robots, reciprocation from a friend to a friend for example will vary in intensity and an absolutely consistent pattern cannot be expected. If for example a person has a large inner circle of friendships with reciprocation as the key element of friendship, then the level of reciprocation within the inner circle will influence the depth of a friendship therein.
Reciprocation can be responsive or initiative. It is also a fundamental principle in parenting, a successful work place, religion and karma. So for example, in the friendship context, reciprocation means to give or take mutually but not necessarily equally. Overall reciprocal balance is more important than strict equality at every moment. Neither our relationships nor we are static, but dynamic developmental processes from the earliest childhood until our death.
While symmetrical and complementary reciprocity are interactions between the same people who exchange different kinds of transactions, can generalized, waived, constructed [ 1920 ], and stepwise reciprocity [ 21 ] be directed towards other people than to the providers of benefits. While generalized reciprocity is described as an altruistic characteristic of networks where given support is not expected to be returned in the same proportion and from the same people, was constructed reciprocity mainly used where the caregiver had had a long-lasting relationship to the care recipient.
This type of reciprocity form was mainly used in relation to confused and ambiguous persons where the caregiver most often had to interpret the recipient's nonverbal communication about their needs. Waived reciprocity occurred when expectations of immediate reciprocity were relinquished. The caregiver had an open-ended time period in their reciprocity assessment and some caregivers did not expect reciprocity at all [ 1920 ].
In stepwise reciprocity does the assistance from the caregiver go from the recipients to some new receiver and not back to the original provider of the support received [ 21 ]. Search Strategy and Selection Criteria The identified studies focused mainly on the relationship between reciprocity and continuity and between reciprocity and mental health in the social relationships of older people.
The empirical studies accessed for this paper were identified both by references in published articles and by a literature search using the following key words individually and in combination: The keywords for our literature search were located in the abstracts of the articles. The following OVID databases were searched: Both cross-sectional and longitudinal studies published in English, on elderly people aged 50 years or more, were included in this paper.
All the studies identified in our literature search were included without any quality assessment procedure performed in the selection of the studies. This was because our literature search revealed a lack of research and published studies in this particular field of interest.
The literature search had no limitations on publishing years. Twenty studies were identified. Twelve of these investigated the relationship between reciprocity and continuity in elders' social relations, and eight studies focused on the relationship between reciprocity and mental health.
Empirical studies on relationships between reciprocity and mental health between professionals and elderly patients have not been included due to the difference in topic.
Reciprocity and Relational Continuity 2. Life-Course Reciprocity Evens Out Present and Prior Reciprocal Imbalances Different kinds of social support emotional and instrumental support, social companionship are exchanged in different ways according to the particular relationship.
For example, social support types differ between spouses, children, and friends [ 22 ]. This may imply that the reciprocity norm is practiced in different ways according to multifactor situations and therefore must be taken into account when seeking to understand the relationship of reciprocity to the continuity of elderly adults' social relationships.
Relational continuity seems to be a basic need in the lives of people and families, based on a universal and cross-cultural human expectation [ 23 ]. Stable social relationships seems to be important due to the impact of social relationships on an individual's somatic and mental health [ 124 ].
Eight studies were found focusing on the relation between reciprocity and continuity in elders' social relationships [ 725 — 31 ]. The studies of Silverstein et al. Five in-depth interviews of respondents older than 50 years of age were conducted over a 5-year period. This study focused particularly on how the culture-specific conceptions of mutual assistance reflected the nature of social exchange and its role in creating continuity in family relationships.
Intergenerational reciprocity was found to be assumed for continuity of intergenerational relationships [ 2526 ]. Adult children's earlier family experiences, particularly of emotional and social activities with their parents during their growing-up period, proved to be investments in reciprocal activities and support from the same children toward their elderly and retired parents when age-related needs for help, support, and company emerged among elders [ 25 ].
Therefore, children's motivation to provide social support to their older parents seems to be rooted in earlier childhood experiences with their parents.
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However, Becker et al. A breakdown of mutual assistance across generations was also found if there was a shift in the extended family away from cultural values supporting traditional family patterns. In two longitudinal studies, Klein Ikkink and van Tilburg investigated whether reciprocity predicted continuity in elderly people's social relationships and prevented termination of elders' ties in [ 27 ] and [ 28 ] elderly Dutch men and women living independently mean age, 68 years.
The respondents were drawn from the population registers of 11 municipalities representing differences in culture, religion, urbanization, and aging in the Netherlands. Eight types of relationships were included in their studies. The studies of Klein Ikkink and van Tilburg demonstrated that relationships among close kin are most likely to be continued, whereas more peripheral relationships are more vulnerable to termination [ 2728 ]. Over a year, unbalanced relationships became more balanced; the initially balanced ties still remained balanced, as well.
However, even if being overbenefited by their close kin was experienced as an uncomfortable situation, it did not represent a threat to the continuity of the relationship, probably due to the norm that reciprocity cannot be fully applied between elderly people and their children [ 27 ].
Being overbenefited of instrumental support from family members—having a reciprocal imbalance in the present—seems to restore and even out earlier imbalances between close family members that may have been caused by past overbenefiting of instrumental support toward family. This practical help provided by close kin relationships made elderly people more independent toward their friends.
According to the relationship type, the spousal relations were found to be most reciprocal compared with other relational types [ 29 ]. While life-course reciprocity seems to be more difficult to practice in relation to friends or others who are known for shorter periods of time, spouses and children adopt a perspective of life-course reciprocity [ 7 ]. Even if the relationships change due to the aging of the persons involved and their independent life experiences, parents and children usually remain in each other's relational convoys [ 29 ].
With the exception of spouses, both relationships with children and friends were perceived as somewhat less reciprocal.
Overall, the equity theory perspective the need for balanced reciprocal relationships was more important for adults in relation to their children than their spouses, where greater imbalance was tolerated.Reciprocal determinism - Behavior - MCAT - Khan Academy
Lewittes [ 30 ] examined the relation between reciprocity and the duration of elders' friendships in her cross-sectional study of friendship patterns and interaction skills among white and black elderly women, older than 65 years of age, living in the suburban and urban neighborhoods of Long Island and the greater New York City area.
This study provides interesting information about presuppositions for the development of reciprocity in friendship relationships for elderly women. Similarities in ethnic membership, social class, and age all contributed to the likelihood of a reciprocal pattern. Reciprocal relationships seemed to include both similar and complementary exchanges. Elderly women seemed to find it more acceptable to give than to receive from friends causing a reluctance to seek help or to maintain relationships when they were on the receiving end i.
A value and norm of independence prevails, implying that it is the family that the elderly woman should turn to when help is needed.
This is partly supported by the results of a longitudinal study using participant observation and interviews, conducted by James et al.
The study comprised four waves from toshowing that exchanges with more remote kin and neighbors seem to be more specific and short term i. The importance of having a lifespan perspective to understand the relationship between reciprocity and continuity of relations in an older-adults network, were shown in these studies. The life-course reciprocity was mainly practiced in relation to spouses and children, where former underbenefitings of support were evened out in older age.
Friends however, seemed not to be included in a life-course reciprocity process. It seems easier to give than to receive from friends according to a value of independence in friendship relationships compared to family ties. Older adults tie duration to friends seemed thereby to be more vulnerable due to present nonreciprocal exchange caused by the lack of lifecourse reciprocity.
The Reciprocity Norm Is Practiced in Many Different Ways While three studies give important information about reciprocity as a prerequisite for the continuity of social relationships between caregivers and elderly patients [ 203233 ], one study has investigated the relation between reciprocity and time duration with different subgroups before and after entering residential care homes [ 34 ]. Apathy and withdrawal were the most disruptive patient behavioral problems, and hindered the caregivers' ability to share their thoughts and feelings with patients, negatively affecting the reciprocity of the relationship between the caregiver and the care recipient regardless of the sex of the caregiver.
A cross-sectional study by Hooker et al. Although the results from this study mainly support the conclusions of de Vugt et al. Among the Alzheimer's care group, female caregivers wives reported worse mental health outcomes than the male caregivers husbandsdue to loss of reciprocity as a result of cognitive deterioration in care recipients.
On this basis, the researchers concluded that loss of reciprocity in marital relationships may affect women more negatively than men: This phenomenon may be more common among women, but is certainly not specific to them.
Reciprocity (social and political philosophy)
None of the men described any reciprocity in their current relationship with the care recipient. The present lack of reciprocity in the relationships between caregivers and care recipients was found to be compensated in different ways that prevented discontinuity in these relationships.
Three variations of indirect reciprocity that compensated for lack of present reciprocity were identified: Constructed reciprocity attendance to nonverbal behavior was used by the caregivers who felt they were committed to an ongoing relationship with their wives, based on positive, long-term relationships with them prior to the onset of cognitive impairment. The lengths of their marriages varied from 27 to 60 years, and they viewed the difficulties they faced through the lens of these relationships.
Reciprocity (social psychology)
However, waived and generalized reciprocity were based on a view of reciprocity as a moral norm, which may be either suspended waived or fulfilled by contributions to a third party generalized. The men who gave care by obligation described their feelings in this situation as burdened, stressed, angry, lonely, and frustrated. Reciprocity proved to have an effect on the elderly people's tie duration with their primary ties after entry into a residential care home.
Although reciprocity directly affected the frequency of visits with their relatives and both visits and speaking contact via telephone with their closest family and friends, present reciprocity showed no general effect on tie duration with friends.