Balance theory provides an explanation of how people enter into and maintain relationships, specifically with respect to consumer behavior. It suggests that the attitudes an individual holds toward other people, organizations, and products must allow the individual to be consistent. Individuals prefer people and organizations with similar beliefs, motivations, and attitudes. When an individual attributes to a person or organization beliefs, motivations, and attitudes that appear to be inconsistent or disjointed, the individual then adjusts his or her perceptions to preserve or restore a sense of cognitive balance. Balance theory suggests that an individual will take steps to ensure that a balance is maintained. Furthermore, it identifies how imbalance may occur and offers the actions that can be taken to restore that balance.

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