The Enemy of My Friend Is Easy to Remember: Balance as a Compression Heuristic

Advances in Group Processes

ISBN: 978-1-78635-042-8, eISBN: 978-1-78635-041-1

ISSN: 0882-6145

Publication date: 13 July 2016


Research limitations/implications

We show that the tension/strain postulated to generate mental and behavioral responses to increase balance likely stems from cognitive limitations. More broadly, this connects balance theory to models of human cognition and evolution and suggests that human general processing ability may have evolved in response to social, rather than physical, challenges.




The authors wish to thank Emily Hoagland, Neil Lewis Jr., Joy Jiang, Soojin Park, Tom Seo, Khadija Ahmed, Matthew Sloan, Alex Eidson, Ashleigh Williams, and Sujay Alvencar for their assistance. The research was partially supported by a grant from the USA National Science Foundation (Award# 1059282). A preliminary version of this research was presented in the Laboratory for the Study of Social Interaction Seminar Series at the University of Georgia on October 2, 2015.


Brashears, M.E. and Brashears, L.A. (2016), "The Enemy of My Friend Is Easy to Remember: Balance as a Compression Heuristic", Advances in Group Processes (Advances in Group Processes, Vol. 33), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, pp. 1-31.

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