Dr. Phil McGraw has a show on CBS in which he gives people advice on their problems. Dr. Phil claims that he can give this advice on the grounds that he is an expert in how people communicate. In this particular episode “Money or Marriage?” of Dr. Phil, Dr. Phil tries to help a dysfunctional family be more functional. He plans to do this by getting the mother to respect her son and her son’s decisions and also to get the son to start working for himself and not depend so much on his mother for money.
Social Exchange Theory
Social Exchange Theory forces people to look at their relationships in terms of costs and rewards. By looking at a relationship in these terms it allows the participants in the relationship to determine if the relationship is worth being in, based on how much the relationship is either giving them or taking away from them. A cost is anything that is not good or negative in a relationship. Costs can both be big and small and not all costs are weighed out the same. For example some people might see having to pick there partner up for work as a cost, but most people would say that if that partner where to cheat on the other that the cost of being cheated on would be much greater then just having to pick them up from work. Rewards are anything that is seen as good or a positive in a relationship. Getting flowers or having someone else do the dishes, being told that you are loved can be seen as a reward. Like costs, not all rewards are weighed evenly. It is possible to have 5 costs and only 1 reward but if that reward adds enough “good” then it can suffice to outweigh the costs. This can also be reversed though and 5 rewards can easily be outweighed by 1 cost.
The bond between a father and a son is one that shapes the son for his journey through life. A father teaches his son based on the things he’s learned throughout his life. In Langston Hughes’s Mulatto and August Wilson’s Fences two fathers with different racial backgrounds try to shape their sons way of thinking. Mulatto a play that takes place on a slave plantation in Georgia highlights the ...
Not all costs will be costs for all people and not all rewards will be rewards for all people. An example of this is if you like chocolate cake but your partner doesn’t, you could see this possibly as a cost or a reward. You could hate it that the other person doesn’t like chocolate cake because every time you go out you have to spend money on two deserts. You could also see it as a reward because you could love the fact that the other person doesn’t like chocolate cake because it shows that she is a different person and that difference helps to bring diversity into the relationship. It really all depends on personal preference and who you are. Costs and rewards change though, what you once saw as a cost you can now see as a reward or vice versa. That giggle that you thought was really cute 2 months ago might now sound like Satan himself snickering from the depths of hell.
In this episode of the Dr. Phil Show, Dr. Phil try’s to get Pierre to see the costs and the rewards for Pierre relationship with his mother. Dr. Phil believes that it is time for Pierre to move on and that the relationship is no longer healthy. Dr. Phil in the end wants Pierre to see that how is mother treats him as a man is more of a cost then the money that Pierre mother gives him is a reward. What Dr. Phil fails to see is that what people consider to be a cost and a reward is different from person to person, so by Dr. Phil telling Pierre that his relationship with his mother is more of a cost then a reward is assuming that Dr. Phil knows exactly how Pierre has prioritized his cost and rewards. It is very possible that Pierre views the money him mom gives him as more of a reward then the way his mother treats his man hood.