Three studies investigated the role of cognitive balance in the formation of interpersonal attitudes. Experiment 1 found evidence for balanced triads when participants first formed an attitude about one person, and then learned about this person’s sentiments about another individual. Interestingly, balanced triads were obtained for both explicitly and implicitly assessed attitudes. Experiment 2 indicated that the pattern of interpersonal relations does not result in balanced triads, when participants first learn about the relationship between two neutral individuals, and then receive evaluative information about one of the two individuals. In this case, observed sentiments and evaluative information affected attitudes in an additive rather than interactive manner. Experiment 3 replicated these findings by manipulating valence, observed sentiments, and order of information acquisition in a single study. Taken together, these results suggest that cognitive balance influences the encoding of social information, rather than the retroactive construal of evaluative judgments.