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PSYC 215 Lecture Notes - Extreme Behavior, Osama Bin Laden, Domestic Violence

Course Code
PSYC 215
Donald Taylor

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PSYCH 215 Lecture Nov 4
Equity Theory
To appreciate its power must understand how formula works. The idea is simple,
once we understand you and I want relationships to be equitable (fair). Suggests we
analyze relationships according to the equity formula. Anytime a relationship is not
equitable, it is psychologically troubling. When within or witnessing inequitable
relationship, we take steps to repair equity. Use any psychological ammunition at
our disposal to FIX this. Whether over or under benefitted we want to change
income and outcomes to make relationship equitable. Sometimes don’t actually have
to change convince self you are making more inputs than other. Room for
psychological interpretation of inputs and outputs.
Try to choose concrete inputs and outputs so there’s no ambiguity. EX. Pay students
to lick envelopes and pay 5 dollars an envelope. Charge someone more for same
amount. In real life, not this clear. Even in business relationships, negotiating with
someone for a pair of shoes 47 to 43, input required and talent to build shoes, even
that gets hard to measure. Haggling for inputs even in business transaction.
More complicated when arguing over things that aren’t tangible, how do you
measure support? The number of times you say “that’s great, dear”? not easy.
No handbook or universal dictionary of inputs and outcomes of value. Even if
something very concrete, $1, you give me gumball I’ll give you a $1, but the
value of the dollar changes daily (We live in steady culture).
In some places, on Friday loaf of bread is $1, salary hasn’t changed but on
Monday morning bread costs $52.
Socially defined values. Involve emerging consensus amongst a group of
people, shared value that goes into that equation. Not a fixed measurable
amount. Because socially defined, value can change depending on social
consensus. Social consensus requires time.
EX. Medical doctors get paid more than car mechanics; most of us think this
is equitable, why?
o Are inputs of the doctor greater than car mechanic, because outputs
are greater
o Society values doctor greater because they save lives. But mechanics
also deal with life and death, bad car = death.
o Doctor requires more schooling.
o Medical doctors are scarcer resource, thus more valuable
o You could live without a car, but not yourself
o Doctors need to multitask
o Array of inputs making it equitable that doctors get paid more
o EX. Knee doctor- all he knows is 4 moving part, can ask which part
hurts, knocks it and fixes it
o Car mechanic can’t ask the car, several parts, must sort all that out-
pay mechanic more
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