Balance theory


1. What is the central tenet of consistency theories? What kind of consistency (logical or psychological) is of interest here?


2.  (a) Identify the three perceptions with which balance theory is most centrally concerned. Does balance theory consider whether O likes/dislikes X, or whether P thinks O likes/dislikes X? (b) Describe the eight possible interrelationships of the perceptions of interest. Which of these are balanced states, and which unbalanced? Give a rule of thumb for distinguishing balanced and unbalanced states. (c) How are balanced and unbalanced states said to differ? Which sort of state represents a state of consistency? Which states are more pleasant? More stable? Preferable? Which arouse psychological tension?


3. (a) Explain how balance principles can play a role in the effects of celebrity product endorsements. Why is the believability of the endorsement important? (b) Explain how balance principle can play a role in peer pressure. (c) Explain how balance principles are related to the liking heuristic. (d) Explain how balance principles are related to the exploitation of assimilation and contrast effects by political candidates.


4. (a) Explain how balance theory offers a crude representation of consistency processes. Does balance theory acknowledge degrees of liking? Degrees of issue importance? Degrees of consistency? (b) How supportive is the research evidence concerning balance theory? Identify one area in which balance theory's expectations have not been confirmed. Identify other domains in which balance theory's expectations have been confirmed.