At a party, one observes various levels of interpersonal communication. At an open table, new acquaintances exchange names and share their musical preferences. A couple on their second date chats about their political views. Long-time friends discuss their feelings about a difficult family situation.
Social Penetration Theory: Definition & Examples
Social Penetration Theory by Carolyn Williams on Prezi
Social Penetration Theory Essay
The social penetration theory SPT proposes that, as relationships develop, interpersonal communication moves from relatively shallow, non-intimate levels to deeper, more intimate ones. Altman and Taylor note that relationships "involve different levels of intimacy of exchange or degree of social penetration". The social penetration theory is known as an objective theory as opposed to an interpretive theory, meaning that it is based on data drawn from experiments and not from conclusions based on individuals' specific experiences.