Entitlement in Romantic Relationships in the United States

A Social-Exchange Perspective
  • Mark Attridge
  • Ellen Berscheid
Part of the Critical Issues in Social Justice book series (CISJ)


“Entitlement,” according to the American Heritage Dictionary, is the “right to do or have something.” In a close relationship (CR), entitlement may be viewed as the kind of and quality of outcomes an individual believes he or she deserves to receive as a result of maintaining the relationship. Entitlement must be distinguished from the level of outcomes one expects to receive from the relationship, although in practice the two may be highly correlated, with most people no doubt expecting to receive what they deserve, given the widespread belief in a “just world” (Lerner & Lerner, 1981). The concept of entitlement directly engages social-exchange theory. For example, social-exchange theorists believe that knowledge of an individual’s comparison level is vital to understanding social relationships, including romantic relationships. An individual’s comparison level is the goodness-of-outcome level an individual believes he or she deserves in a specific relationship.


Positive Emotion Romantic Relationship Emotional Experience Romantic Partner Relationship Partner 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1994

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mark Attridge
    • 1
  • Ellen Berscheid
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyUniversity of MinnesotaMinneapolisUSA

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