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This paper focuses on the relationships which exist between the looking-glass-self theory of human behavior of Charles Horton Cooley (published in 1902) and the idea of social penetration of I. Altman and D. Taylor (published in 1973). The paper discusses Cooley's classic metaphor of the looking-glass-self: humans use the verbal and nonverbal responses of others to fashion a mosaic picture of who they are and how they respond to the world. The paper then discusses the social penetration theory in which relationships develop through time in a systematic and predictable fashion and which involve different levels of intimacy of exchange or degree of social penetration. The paper concludes that neither theory is complete without the other and a total understanding must view the two as a unified system. (RS)

Descriptors: Behavior Patterns, Behavior Theories, Interpersonal Communication, Interpersonal Relationship, Metaphors, Social Behavior

Autor: Hensley, Wayne E.


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