There are always people who use stats as a crutch, no matter what system; the ones who can’t get past the wargame mentality and number-crunching, for whom RPing it out will be a second consideration, even if they themselves are witty and brilliant. They just fall back to the rules. Other players will prefer to just RP the way they themselves are, regardless of intelligence or social stats. Like anything else, it’s about finding the balance between them, RPing to one’s ability, and maybe the GM taking stat mods into account to help or hinder that player’s attempt.
Like anything else in an RPG, a social stat is a modifier of your character’s ability, but the really important part is what the player does with it using the bare bones provided on that scrap of paper.
I like the idea that rank in Social would rise and fall dependant on actions. I think the canon supports the idea that Brand had lots of admirers and friends until he was shown to be mad. Llewella trusted him. Corwin liked him more than half the time.
An attribute that rises or falls with experience would make a nice barometer against immortal time scale that did not rely on experience handouts.