Balance theory

Balance theory

A theory in social cognition in which people are noted to create and be comfortable with cognitive systems which are internally consistent according to a triangular logic. In this logic, if two sides of a relationship triangle are negative, the other must be positive, and if two sides are positive, the third must also be positive. Thus if A hates B and B hates C, then A will tend to like C – the enemies of my enemies are my friends. And if X likes Y and Y likes Z, then X will also tend to like Z – the friends of my friends are also my friends. The relationship also works for person–inanimate object relationships so that if Jeff likes modern art and Mulan likes Jeff, then Mulan will tend to like modern art.

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