Pub. date: 2006 | Online Pub. Date: September 15, 2007 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412952453 | Print ISBN: 9780761930297 | Online ISBN: 9781412952453| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Reciprocity is the state of mutually addressing the same attitudes or feelings as another. It indicates an equal exchange. This implies intersubjectivity and interaction not only between individuals, but also between groups. It may, therefore, be applied to many fields of social activity and has acquired special importance in psychology, education, ethics, politics, and law. Although the quality of the reciprocal attitudes or feelings is neutral (there may be a positive or a negative mutual exchange), the term is most commonly used for sharing something considered to be positive. Reciprocity is one of the first elements that contributes to a child's psychological, physical, and social development by the spontaneous imitation of the parents' attitudes, expressions, and movements. The feeling of reciprocal love between parent and child is one of the most important factors for the creation of an equilibrated individual personality. Besides the emotional flourishing it creates, it establishes a ...