Negotiating the Unknown: The Role of Uncertainty in Social Exchange
Savage, Scott V.
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This article documents the role of uncertainty in social exchange. Specifically, it reviews how social exchange theorists incorporate uncertainty when explaining psychological processes and social behaviors. After identifying and examining the structural roots of uncertainty, the article addresses how uncertainty affects actor behavior and attitude formation, from curbing power use to promoting the development of more committed, trusting and cohesive exchange partnerships. By assessing the consequences of uncertainty and risk for social exchange, this article contributes to sociological knowledge about the nature and form of relationships in an uncertain world.