Balance Theory, Unit Relations, and Attribution: The Underlying Integrity of Heiderian Theory

Name of the class: Social Cognition


Course Contents

Lecture Note

  1. PSY-866 Lecture 1

Read Lecture 1.

PSY-866 Lecture 10


e-Library Resource

  1. Balance Theory, Unit Relations, and Attribution: The Underlying Integrity of Heiderian Theory


Crandall, C. S., Silvia, P. J., N’Gbala, A. N., Tsang, J., & Dawson, K. (2007). Balance theory, unit relations, and attribution: The underlying integrity of Heiderian theory. Review of General Psychology, 11(1), 12-30. doi:10.1037/1089-2680.11.1.12.


  1. Inferences about Actions Performed in Constraining Contexts: Correspondence Bias or Correspondent Inference?


Forsyth, D. R. (2004). Inferences about actions performed in constraining contexts: Correspondence bias or correspondent inference? Current Psychology: A Journal for Diverse Perspectives on Diverse Psychological Issues, 23(1), 41-51. doi:10.1007/s12144-004-1007-0.


  1. Reflections on the History of Attribution Theory and Research: People, Personalities, Publications, Problems


Weiner, B. (2008). Reflections on the history of attribution theory and research: People, personalities, publications, problems. Social Psychology, 39(3), 151-156. doi:10.1027/1864-9335.39.3.151.


  1. Very First Impressions


Bar, M., Neta, M., & Linz, H. (2006). Very first impressions. Emotion, 6(2), 269-278. doi:10.1037/1528-3542.6.2.269.


Module 1.1

The accuracy of first impressions is of particular interest to those studying attribution theories. Give an example of a situation in which a first impression led you to make a correct attribution and one in which the attribution you made from a first impression was wrong. Which theory of attribution is most supported by your experiences? Why?


Individuals make different attributions based on their interpretation of both verbal behavior and nonverbal behavior since the kinds of information received from each communication channel differ. Are individuals equally able to control each channel? Is each kind of information equally informative and equally trustworthy? Why or why not?


Does the theory of cognitive dissonance viably extend to include justification of effort as a product of cognitive dissonance? Why or why not? How could any cognitive dissonance created by justification of effort be reduced?






Consider various types of negative characteristics such as being scheming and power-hungry, being cold, being aggressive, or being unintelligent. How can an individual most effectively break the cycle of self-fulfilling prophecy (including negative self-attribution and negative self-esteem) when tagged with one or more of these types of negative expectations? Support your position.



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