Comparison of three theories of cognitive balance

A. Rodney Wellens, Donald L. Thistlethwaite

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

10 Scopus citations

Abstract

Conducted 3 experiments in each of which 10 male and 10 female undergraduates estimated the value of missing relationships in a series of triadic (p-o-x) structures. In exp. I, independent variables designed to vary perceived p > x and o > x relationships had a interaction effect upon ss' estimates of p > o relationships; the pattern of means was moderately consonant with the upper-boundary limits of W. Wiest's (see pa, vol. 40:1475) model and 2 formulations based upon N. Feather's (see pa, vol. 41:13537) discrepancy principle. In exp. Ii, variables designed to vary perceived p > x and p > o relationships had an interaction effect upon attributions of o > x relationships. In exp. Iii, variables designed to vary perceived p > o and o > x relationships had an interaction effect upon reported p > x relationships. Results of the latter 2 experiments are best described by an equal-weights version of wiest's tetrahedron model. No support was found for T. Newcomb's proposal concerning nonbalanced structures. (17 ref.) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2006 APA, all rights reserved).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)82-92
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of personality and social psychology
Volume20
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 1 1971

Keywords

  • estimation of value of missing relationships in series of triadic structures, cognitive balance, T. Newcomb's interpersonal balance theory vs. W. Wiest's tetrahedron model vs. N. Feather's balance formulation based on discrepancy principle

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Social Psychology

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