Article Deconstruction InstructionsArticle DeconstructionThe purpose of this assignment is to get yo


Article Deconstruction InstructionsArticle DeconstructionThe purpose of this assignment is to get you reading, evaluating, and understanding contemporary research in the field of social psychology. After all, how can you keep up with the field of social psychology after you graduate if you aren’t used to reading articles about new and exciting research!? We are going to DECONSTRUCT (take apart, examine the pieces of) an academic article. If the information below looks at all frightening, please refer to the Social Psych Reader, Chapter 2 “How Sociologists Do Research.”Step 1: Select an article. For this assignment, articles should come from the peer-reviewed, academic journal “Social Psychology Quarterly.” In the past, the students have told me that the hardest part of this assignment was finding the article. If you want to find your own, you may search the library databases for an article published in this journal. Or, you can simply choose one of the articles I have posted below. (If you choose to find your own, please see me to ensure that you have selected an appropriate article.) Most of these articles are from Social Psychology Quarterly, although a few are from other journals that cover social psychology topics. Thoroughly read the article that you selected. Please note: academic articles are usually 10-25 pages long… don’t wait until the last minute.Step 2: After reading your article, “deconstruct” it… tell me what you found. You should address the following questions in your paper:Who was/were the authors?What was the title?What journal did it come from, and what volume and issue was it published in?What is the research hypothesis (what do the researchers want to study)?What research method did the authors use? (How do you know? Justify your answer with information from the Social Psychology Reader.)Was this the best research method, or would another method have worked better? Why do you think this? (You should name an alternative method from the Social Psych Reader in order to best answer this question.)Would the results be different if a different research method were used?How many people participated in the study?What was the goal of this research? In other words, what were the researchers trying to find out?What did the researchers actually find? (Summarize the findings.) Was this consistent with the hypothesis, or different? (Were the researchers surprised?)Did the researchers mention any limitations to this study? If so, what were they?Did the researchers make any suggestions for future research?Write up your results in an academic manner. (Use citations and attach a Works Cited or Reference page.) This paper should be AT LEAST 3 FULL pages long, plus the reference page. (NO LESS THAN 850 WORDS in the body of your paper!). Bellow i attached all possible articles to choose from feel free to pick whichever you prefer.


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Social Psychology Quarterly
2007, Vol. 70, No. 2, 199–217
The Value of Reciprocity*
University of Arizona
Arizona State University
University of Notre Dame
The value of reciprocity in social exchange potentially comprises both instrumental value
(the value of the actual benefits received from exchange) and communicative or symbolic
value (the expressive and uncertainty reduction value conveyed by features of the act of reciprocity itself). While all forms of exchange provide instrumental value, we propose that the
voluntary and uncertain nature of recurring reciprocal exchanges, in which actors individually give benefits to each other without formal agreements, make the act of reciprocity
itself an important vehicle for conveying symbolic value. We experimentally test the value
actors place on partners’ voluntary acts of reciprocity—over and above the instrumental
benefits obtained—by providing subjects with computer-simulated partners who systematically vary in the instrumental value, probability, and predictability of their reciprocity. Our
results show that behavioral preferences are governed primarily by the instrumental value
of exchange, while sentiments of trust, affective regard, and solidarity are strongly influenced by the symbolic value of constant reciprocity. We discuss implications for theories of
social exchange and social capital.
Delivered by Ingenta to :
assure that people help others who have
eciprocity, the giving of University
benefits toof South
them in the past. More recently, Nowak
another in return for benefits received, is helped
a defining feature of social exchange. As and Sigmund (2000) have described reciprocEmerson noted, it is this feature that gives ity as the evolutionary basis for cooperation in
exchange its name: “Benefits obtained society.
through social process are contingent upon
While there is little question of reciprocibenefits provided ‘in exchange’” (1981:32). ty’s value for society, there is far less research
Recognition of the importance of reciprocity on the aspects of reciprocity that give it value.
in social life is by no means restricted to Many scholars assume that the value of reciexchange theorists, however. Hobhouse procity lies primarily in the benefits
(1906:12) called reciprocity “the vital princi- exchanged, and some restrict the definition of
ple of society,” Becker (1956:1) referred to reciprocity to returns of goods or services that
our species as “homo reciprocus,” and Simmel are at least roughly equivalent in value to
(1950:387) noted that social equilibrium and those received (Homans 1974; Malinowski
cohesion could not exist without “the reci- 1922; Simmel 1950). This emphasis on beneprocity of service and return service.” fit value governs assessment of impersonal
Gouldner (1960) proposed that an internalized market exchanges, and it is also prominent in
moral obligation—a “norm of reciprocity”— both classical and contemporary research on
social exchange, where studies of power use
and distributive justice focus primarily on the
* Direct all correspondence to Linda D. Molm,
equality or inequality of the benefits given and
Department of Sociology, University of Arizona, Tucson,
AZ 85721; This research was supported by a grant from the National Science Foundation
The value of reciprocal giving, however,
(#SES-0217287) to the first author. We gratefully
lies only partly in the goods and services that
acknowledge their support and the valuable assistance of
people exchange. We propose two distinct
Lorien Lake and Emily Williams with the research. The
dimensions of the value of reciprocity: (1) its
contributions of the second and third authors are equal.
instrumental or utilitarian value, and (2) its value and contribute to the creation of social
symbolic or communicative value (Ekeh capital in relationships. While all forms of
1974; Hass and Deseran 1981; Lévi-Strauss exchange produce value through the benefits
1969; Macneil 1986; Offer 1997). The instru- that actors provide for one another, we promental value of reciprocity is the value, for the pose that reciprocal exchanges—exchanges in
recipient, of the good, service, or social out- which actors individually give benefits to each
come that is obtained from exchange. The other, with no assurance of the other’s recisymbolic or communicative value is the value procity—have features that make the act of
conveyed by the act of reciprocity itself, over reciprocity itself a carrier of value, and variaand above the instrumental value of the bene- tions in that act important determinants of
fits provided.1 It potentially comprises two trust and bonds of affect and solidarity. We
elements, the uncertainty reduction value of develop this argument below, link it to previacts of reciprocity that communicate the part- ous research showing high levels of trust,
ner’s predictability and trustworthiness, and mutual regard, and feelings of commitment in
the expressive value of acts of reciprocity that reciprocal exchanges, and experimentally test
communicate the partner’s regard and respect the value that actors place on the act of recifor the actor and the relationship. While the procity in reciprocal exchange. We examine
instrumental value of reciprocity enhances the how variations in the probability and preindividual utility of the recipient, the symbol- dictability of a partner’s reciprocity influence
ic value of reciprocity can enhance both the both behavioral and affective indicators of
individual utility of the recipient and the value: behavioral preferences for exchange
partners, and positive sentiments toward the
social solidarity of the relationship.
These dimensions of value generally cor- partner and the relationship.
Ourto results
show that while behavioral
respond to distinctions between material
Deliveredorby Ingenta
partners are governed priUniversity
human capital (instrumental value) and social
value of reciprocicapital (symbolic value) (Bourdieu 1985;
affective regard,
Coleman 1988; Portes 1998). While social
relations are
capital has been defined in various ways—as
value of
networks that provide access to resources, as
social norms that impel actors to engage in
recicollective behavior, and as resources (including trust, goodwill, and social support) that procity. These findings have important impliemerge from relationships and network ties cations for the relation between behavior and
(Cook 2005; Portes 1998)—most scholars affect and suggest that instrumental value and
agree that it is a property of a relationship, symbolic value comprise distinct domains of
with positive benefits not only for the individ- value that potentially affect behavioral choices
uals who acquire it but for the relationships and affective bonds in different ways.
and collectivities from which it arises.
Following Paxton (1999, 2002), we conceptualize social capital as composed not only of
objective associations between individuals,
but associations that are reciprocal, trusting,
and positive.
Our interest in this paper is in those
aspects of reciprocity that carry symbolic
1 Benefits can also have symbolic value, as in token
gifts whose symbolic representations of esteem and
regard are greater than their instrumental value. Our interest here, however, is in the symbolic value of the act of
reciprocity itself, and behavioral dimensions of that act.
We define reciprocity as the act of giving
benefits to another in return for benefits
received. Reciprocity may be either direct or
indirect (Molm and Cook 1995). When reciprocity is direct, the recipient of a benefit
returns a benefit directly to the giver (A gives
to B and B to A). When reciprocity is indirect,
as in generalized forms of exchange, the
recipient does not return a benefit directly to
the giver, but to another actor in the social circle (A gives to B, and B reciprocates indirect-
ly by giving to C, who in turn gives to A).
While our focus is on direct reciprocity (reciprocity in the context of direct, two-party
exchanges), the dimensions we distinguish
apply to both; both direct and indirect reciprocity can vary in both instrumental value
and symbolic value.
they reduce the risk and uncertainty inherent
in exchange, by providing evidence of the
partner’s reliability and trustworthiness. They
carry expressive value to the extent that they
communicate what Offer (1997) calls regard:
acknowledging and conveying appreciation
for benefits received, showing that the partner
cares for the actor and their relationship, and
Instrumental Value
demonstrating willingness to invest in its continuation.
The instrumental or utilitarian value of
Uncertainty reduction value is related to
reciprocity refers to the value, for the recipiinstrumental value, in that it reduces the
ent, of the benefits received from the reciprouncertainty of receiving the benefits that carry
cator—the goods, services, or social outcomes
that the recipient receives in return for bene- instrumental value. By conveying trustworthifits given. The buyer and seller of a car, neigh- ness, however, it can also contribute to the
bors taking care of each other’s houses while development of mutual trust, which some
out of town, and colleagues who offer career scholars regard as one of the key components
advice and help with work are all engaging in of social capital in 2a relationship (Paxton
acts of reciprocity that provide utility to the 1999; Putnam 1993). Expressive value, in
recipient: the car, the money, the services pro- contrast, represents a new domain of value:
vided, the advice and work assistance. Actors the positive benefits that arise from feeling
engage in exchange to obtain these benefits; valued, respected, and treated well. Both
thus, their value is instrumental in the sense uncertainty reduction and expressive value
build mutual
trust in the relationship, but
to :
that they help the recipient meet theDelivered
need thatby Ingenta
also contributes to strong
was the original objective of the exchange. As
Fri, 05 Feb 2010
exchange partners.
Lawler and Yoon’s (1993, 1996) work has
becomes a good, a
shown, however, exchange relations that are
that conoriginally instrumental may be transformed
into relations with symbolic value. Acts of
reciprocity can contribute to that process.
right (Lawler 2001).
Our distinction between the instrumental
Symbolic Value
and symbolic value of reciprocity builds on a
The symbolic or communicative value of long tradition of work in social psychology
reciprocity refers to the value conveyed by the that makes similar distinctions for goal
act of reciprocity itself, over and above the objects. In the expectation states tradition,
instrumental value of the benefits provided. Berger and colleagues (1972) first proposed
Acts of reciprocity provide symbolic value by that both goal objects and actors can carry staconveying information about the partner and tus value, in addition to instrumental or conthe relationship. This information allows summatory value, and argued that theories of
actors to make inferences about the partner’s distributive justice must take status value into
intentions and potential benefits of interaction account. More recently, Thye (2000) proposed
with the partner. Information also conveys a status value theory of power, based on a dissentiments that create affective bonds between tinction between the monetary value and stathe actor and the partner (Kollock and tus value of exchange resources. Ridgeway’s
O’Brien 1992).
(1991, 2000) status construction theory
We conceptualize the symbolic value of describes one set of processes through which
reciprocity as comprising two elements, which
we call uncertainty reduction value and
2 Cook, Hardin, and Levi (2005), in contrast, do not
expressive value. Acts of reciprocity carry consider trust to be an essential component of social
uncertainty reduction value to the extent that capital.
some are more likely than others to convey
symbolic or communicative value through
acts of reciprocity. The most basic distinction
is between bilateral exchanges like fixed-price
trades and negotiated transactions (often associated with impersonal market exchanges),
and reciprocal exchanges of unilateral “giftgiving,” with either direct or indirect (generalized) reciprocity (Kranton 1996; Molm 1994;
Offer 1997; Uzzi 1996).
In both fixed-price trades and negotiated
transactions, the terms of exchange—the
specification of the benefits that each actor
will give in return for benefits received—are
agreed upon before the exchange takes place.
Consequently, reciprocity is neither uncertain
nor a voluntary act by the recipient of a benefit, but a taken-for-granted feature of a bilateral trade or formal agreement. Even when
agreements are nonbinding and reciprocity is
delayed, an actor’s decision to honor the agreement still consists only of carrying out terms
that have already been specified. It is for these
reasons that reciprocity in market exchanges
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is typically
University of South
Florida evaluated only in terms of the
Conditions of Exchange
Fri, 05 Feb 2010 20:15:30 of the instrumental value of the
Three conditions must be met before benefits given and received.
In reciprocal and generalized (indirect)
behavioral acts of reciprocity can convey symbolic or communicative value. First, exchanges, terms are not specified and the
exchanges between the two partners must be potential for nonreciprocity always exists.
recurring over time—one of the traditional Actors initiate an exchange by performing a
scope conditions of theories of social beneficial act for another (for example, proexchange (Molm and Cook 1995). Second, viding assistance or advice) without knowing
any given act of reciprocity by the exchange whether, when, or to what extent the other (or,
partner must be uncertain in the sense that in the case of generalized exchange, another
there is a structural or situational potential for actor in the social circle) will reciprocate in
nonreciprocity. By this we mean that no terms the future. Actors may expect reciprocity, and
of reciprocity have been discussed or agreed norms of reciprocity may create an obligation
upon, no deadlines for reciprocity have been to reciprocate another’s beneficial act, but the
specified, and no formal agreements or insti- occurrence, nature, and timing of reciprocity
tutional structures guarantee the other’s reci- are all left to the discretion of the recipient.
These forms of exchange also differ on
procity. Third, reciprocity must be a voluntary
choice of a recipient of benefit to return bene- the likelihood that actors will continue to
fit. In other words, the questions of whether, exchange with one another. Once a fixed-price
when, and to what extent an actor reciprocates trade or negotiated transaction is completed,
the benefit received must be left to the discre- the actors might engage in future transactions
tion of the actor (Larson 1992; Kranton 1996; with each other, but they need not: each transOffer 1997).
action is complete in itself, leaving no obligaWhile all forms of exchange involve reci- tions for either party and creating no need for
procity, they differ in the extent to which they further interaction. In reciprocal exchanges, in
meet these three conditions. Consequently, contrast, discrete transactions are difficult to
nominal traits of actors can acquire status
value; Webster and Hysom (1998) have elaborated these processes to include new paths for
the acquisition of status value. In the exchange
tradition, Lawler and Yoon’s (1993, 1996) theory of relational cohesion describes a process
of “objectification” that transforms a primarily instrumental exchange relation into a relation with expressive value.
All of these theories address, in some way,
how objects (people, resources, relations)
acquire symbolic value through associational
bonds and interaction processes. Our interest,
in contrast, is in the symbolic value conveyed
by characteristics of behavioral acts. We argue
that under particular conditions—associated
with some forms of exchange but not others—
the act of reciprocity itself can carry symbolic
value that contributes to the formation of
affective bonds and the development of social
capital in relationships.
The uncertainty reduction value of reciprocity should increase primarily with its predictability. An exchange partner whose acts of
reciprocity are regular and predictable should
be valued over one whose reciprocity is irregular or random, even if the instrumental value
of the benefits received from both is the same.
Regular reciprocity reduces uncertainty and
provides the kind of behavioral evidence of
the partner’s trustworthiness and reliability
that builds mutual trust in the relationship
(Kelley and Thibaut 1978; Kollock 1994;
Larson 1992; Molm, Takahashi, and Peterson
2000; Yamagishi and Yamagishi 1994).
The expressive value of reciprocity, in
contrast, should increase primarily with its
probability or rate. A partner who reciprocates
another’s acts of benefit with high probability
conveys strong regard, with the strongest
Acts of Reciprocity
expressive value conveyed by constant reciIn reciprocal exchanges that recur over procity—a partner who always reciprocates
time, behavioral acts of reciprocity can vary in the benefits he or she receives. Constant recitheir probability and their predictability. The procity combines high probability with high
probability or rate of reciprocity refers
to theby Ingenta
to : but predictability alone, in the
frequency with which a partner University
reciprocatesof South
of high probability, should increase
Fri, 05 Feb
an actor’s beneficial acts; the predictability
of 2010
uncertainty value but not expressive value.
reciprocity refers to the regularity or consis- Consider, for example, an eccentric aunt who
tency of the partner’s reciprocity.
always sends Christmas presents, but not
The probability of a partner’s reciprocity birthday presents, to a niece who remembers
can range from 0 to 1; that is, a partner can her aunt on both occasions. Such predictable
never reciprocate, sometimes (or intermittent- behavior reduces uncertainty, but it is unlikely
ly) reciprocate, or always (constantly) recipro- to convey the same expressive value as concate. Constant reciprocity is also predictable stant reciprocity.3
reciprocity; if another returns your favors
In reciprocal exchange, the obligations
every time, you will come to expect that your created by the unilateral giving that precedes
acts of giving will be reciprocated. reciprocity may also contribute to its expresIntermittent reciprocity, in contrast, can be sive value. Outstanding obligations are themeither predictable or unpredictable. It is predictable if it occurs on a regular schedule; for
3 It is important to distinguish between the structural or
example, A reciprocates B’s giving every other situational uncertainty that is one of the necessa …
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