Characteristics of Attitude

19th September 2022 0 By indiafreenotes

An attitude is a positive, negative, or mixed evaluation of an object that is expressed at some level of intensity. Our attitude can vary in strength along both positive effect, and with negative effect, with ambivalence or with apathy and indifference. It usually implies feelings that are either positive or negative. Social psychologists use the term attitude differently. Gordon Allport formulated the following definition: “An altitude is a mental and neural stale of readiness, organized through experience, exerting a directive or dynamic influence upon the individual’s response to ill objects and situations with which it is related.”

“Attitude as an enduring organization of motivational, emotional, perceptual and cognitive processes with respect to some aspect of the individual’s world.”

Krech and Crutchfield

“Attitude is a mental and neutral state of readiness organized through experience, exerting a directive or dynamic influence upon individual’s response to all objects and situations with which it is related.”

G.W. Allport


Attitude are predispositions

Attitude are predispositions of purpose, interest or opinion of the person to assess some objects in a favourable or an unfavourable manner.

Attitude are different from values

Attitude are different from values: Values are the ideals, whereas attitudes are narrow, they are our feelings.

Attitude are evaluative statement

Attitude are evaluative statements: either favourable or unfavourable concerning the objects, people or events.

Attitude influence human behavior

A positive attitude towards a thing will influence human behavior towards the thing favorably and vice-versa.

Attitude have intensity

It refers to the strength of the effective component. For example, we may dislike an individual but the extent of our disliking would determine the intensity of our attitude towards the person.

Attitude are learnt

Attitude is not inborn phenomenon. Attitudes are learnt through social interaction and experience.

Functions of Attitude

Four important functions of attitude which are crucial in organizational behavior viewpoint are:

  • Adjustment Function
  • Ego-Defensive Function
  • Value-Expressive Function
  • Knowledge Function

Adjustment Function

Attitudes often help individuals to adjust to their work environment.

Consumers hold certain brand attitudes partly because of the brand utility. If a product has helped us in the past even in a small way, our attitude towards it tends to be favorable. One way of changing attitude in favor of a product is by showing people that it can solve utilitarian goals. They may not have considered some advertisement which stresses the utilitarian benefits of a product.

Ego-Defensive Function

Consumers want to protect their self concept from inner feelings of doubt. Cosmetic and personal hygiene products, by acknowledging this need, increase their relevance to the consumer and have the possibility of a favorable attitude by offering reassurance to the consumers self concept.

Value-Expressive Function

Attitudes are one expression of general values, lifestyles, and outlook. If a consumer segment generally holds a positive attitude towards being in a fashion segment, consumer may treat high fashion clothing and accessories as symbols of that lifestyle.

Knowledge Function

Attitudes provide frames of reference or standard that allow individuals to understand and perceive the world around him. Individuals have a strong need to know and understand the people and things with whom they come in contact, especially if they think they might influence their behavior.

Example, If a student has a strong negative attitude towards the college, whatever the college does, the student will be perceived as something ‘bad’ and as actually against them.