Balance theory, unit relations, and attribution: The underlying integrity of Heiderian theory.

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Paul Silvia, Professor (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
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Abstract: Fritz Heider's (1958c) book The Psychology of Interpersonal Relations and the handful of articles preceding it (e.g., Heider, 1944, Heider, 1946; Heider & Simmel, 1944) provide the cornerstone—and a major part of the foundation—of research and theory in social perception. Two very influential theories in social psychology, the causal attribution and psychological balance theories, grew out of the ideas and analysis of this seminal work. Heider himself viewed these developments as one may view a mildly wayward child, with a mixture of pleasure and a sense of regret (Heider, 1983). Heider had considered his ideas to be all of a piece, a relatively unified and coherent theory of social perception. Subsequent researchers had taken smaller bites and developed midrange theories, slightly out of the context of Heider's other ideas. Part of this result may be laid at the feet of Heider himself. None of the articles, and not even the 1958 book, fully developed the ideas, their connections, or his larger vision. Before the publication of his influential book, Heider's best-known papers were two—one on causal attribution (Heider, 1944) and one on balance (Heider, 1954/1958b)—both of which were available in the widely read Tagiuri and Petrullo (1958) volume on person perception.

Additional Information

Review of General Psychology, 11, 12-30
Language: English
Date: 2007
Causal attribution, Psychological balance theories, Fritz Heider, The Psychology of Interpersonal Relations, Social perception

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