Balance and dissonance
Roots in gestalt principles of organisation
- Heider's balance theory
- Theory of cognitive dissonance (Festinger)
Functions of consistency
(1) Cognitive, adaptive function (initial formulations)
(2) A self-presentational function (later revisions)
Heider's Balance Theory (1)
- Primarily an approach to person perception and the relationship between attitude objects
- Experience construed as "perceptual fields"
- Balanced and unbalanced states
- Tensions of imbalanced states
- Motivation to achieve balanced states in the simplest way, hence, attitude change
Heider's Balance Theory (2)
- Deals with the relationship between a person (P), another person (O) and an object or event (X)
- The relationship between each pair of these elements can be positive or negative - producing 3 relationships
- You (P) like bird watching (X) (P+X)
- You (P) have a friend (O) (P+O)
- He/She thinks bird-watchers are losers (O-X)
- This relationship is unstable
Heider's Balance Theory - Unbalanced Triads
- They are unstable and harder to learn
- We tend to want to change to stable states and we tend to do this in the simplest way
- But, people like to agree, so "P+O" is favoured
- People tend to isolate elements rather than change relationships
Please allow access to your computer’s microphone to use Voice Recording.
We can’t access your microphone!
Click the icon above to update your browser permissions above and try again
Reload the page to try again!
Press Cmd-0 to reset your zoom
Press Ctrl-0 to reset your zoom
It looks like your browser might be zoomed in or out. Your browser needs to be zoomed to a normal size to record audio.
Your microphone is muted
For help fixing this issue, see this FAQ.