GRE (Graduate Record Examinations) Psychology Social Psychology-Group and Intergroup Processes Study Material (Page 3 of 11)

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Theories of Intergroup Relations: Balance Theory


Balance Theory

Balance theory was proposed by Fritz Heider. It is a theory of attitude change explaining that if people see a set of cognitive elements as being a system, then they will have a preference to maintain a balanced state among these elements.

According to this theory, everyone has cognitive consistency motive which act as a drive towards psychological balance. The consistency motive invol

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Theories of Intergroup Relations: Equity Theory


Equity Theory

Equity theory focuses on determining whether the distribution of resources is fair to both relational partners. Equity is measured by comparing ratio of contributions (or costs) and benefits (or rewards) for each person.

Equity theory proposes that we consider not only our own costs and rewards, but the costs and rewards of other person. We prefer that our ratio of costs to rewards be equal to the other person’s ratio. If one person feels that he or she is getting less, or more, out of the relationship than the other, there will be an instability due to the perceived inequity.



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