Structure of Attitude | Example of Attitude | Implicit and Explicit Attitudes | Sources of Attitude | Development of Attitude | IAS TARGET IAS Target


Value vs. Belief

Belief: If you believe or have an opinion or view on something, then you have that ‘value.’ e.g., Democracy, tolerance
Attitude: You believe in love, humanity => you spread love and peace, and you work for harmony. All this shows your attitude. So values are ‘beneath’ the attitude ground.
Western societies are becoming less tolerant. Recently a Sikh was arrested in the USA because a teacher mistook his long hair and beard as a terrorist. Such things are less likely in India, for we are more tolerant. So, “not doing” such a mess is a reflection of our “tolerance” belief in our attitude.

Structure of Attitude

There are Three components of Attitude that form our Attitude toward the person, animals, etc that is CAB
C Cognizance i.e. knowledge or awareness.
B Behaviour i.e. the way in which one acts or conducts oneself, especially towards others
A Affection i.e. a gentle feeling of fondness or liking.

Example (Snake)

Cognizance it is poisonous
Behaviour run away after seeing Snake
Affection fear in people toward Snake so not liking toward Snake

Differences between Attitude and Values

Attitude Values
What do you like/dislike What is important for you
Attitude are beliefs or views Values are beliefs or views
Super-set of Values Sub-set of Values
Ex: i like honest person Ex: honesty

Attitudes are classified as explicit and implicit.

  • Explicit Attitude (Conscious)
    If any person is aware of his attitudes and how they influence his behavior, then those attitudes are explicit. Explicit attitudes are formed consciously. Ex: we intently insult an employee
  • Implicit Attitude (Sub-Conscious)
    If any person is unaware of his attitudes (beliefs) and how they influence his behavior, then those attitudes are implicit. Implicit attitudes are formed subconsciously. Ex: we fail to recognize our childhood friend when he/she confronts us, but they feel I ignored them.

Formation/Sources of Attitudes:

Attitudes pertaining to the feelings and beliefs of “individuals or groups of individuals. But the question is, how have these feelings, emotions, and beliefs developed? The point which has been emphasized by many people is that attitudes are acquired but not inherited. A person Acquires these attitudes from several sources.

A person acquires these attitudes from several sources.

  • Direct Personal Experience:
    A person’s direct experience with the attitude object determines his attitude towards it. The personal experience of an individual, whether it is favourable or unfavourable, will affect his attitude deeply. These attitudes which are based on personal experience are difficult to change.
    For example, an individual joins a new job, which is recommended to him by his friend. But when he joins the job, he find his work repetitive, supervisors too tough and co-workers not so co-operative, he would develop a negative attitude towards his job, because the quality of his direct experience with the job is negative.
  • Association:
    Sometimes an individual comes across a new attitude object which may be associated with an old attitude object. In such a case, the attitude towards the old attitude object may be transferred towards the new attitude object. For example, if a new worker remains most of the time in the company of a worker, who is in the good books of the supervisor, and towards whom the supervisor has a positive attitude, the supervisor is likely to develop a favourable attitude towards the new worker also. Hence the positive attitude for the old worker has been transferred towards the new worker because of the association between the old and the new worker.
  • Family and Peer Groups:
    Attitudes similar to values are acquired from family, parents, teachers, and peer group members. In our formative years, we begin modeling our attitudes after those we admire, respect, or maybe even fear. We notice the way our family and friends behave, and we shape our attitudes and behavior to orient and align with their attitudes. The change into this attitude even without being told to do so and even without having direct experience. Likewise, attitudes are acquired from peer groups in colleges and organizations. For instance, if the right thing is to visit “Hot Millions” or the “Domino’s,” you are likely to hold that attitude. If your family members or parents support one political party without being told to do so, you automatically start favoring that party.
  • Neighbourhood:
    The neighborhood in which we live has certain cultural facilities, religious groupings, and ethnic differences. Further, it has people who are neighbors. These people may be Northerners, Southerners, etc. People belonging to different cultures and lifestyles will have different attitudes and behaviors. Some of these we accept, and some of these we deny and possibly rebel against. The conformity or rebellion, in some respects, is the evidence of the attitudes we hold.
  • Economic Status and Occupations:
    The economic stature and occupational position of the individual person also have an implication on his attitude formation. Our social and economic background influences our present and future attitudes. Research findings have shown that nonemployment disturbs former social, religious, and economic values. Children of white-collar employees most probably will have a conservative attitude. Respect for the constitution and laws of the country is related to increased years of higher education.
  • Mass Communications:
    Attitudes are normally less stable as compared to values. Advertising messages for example, an attempt to change the attitude of the people toward a special product or service. For instance, if the people at Hyundai Santro can get you to hold a favorable feeling toward their cars, that attitude may lead to a desirable behavior (for them)-your purchase of a Santro car.