Components of Attitude

Consumers' attitudes are shaped in part by their beliefs. A value claim is the mental part of an attitude. Included are norms, tenets, concepts, and data. Management places a premium on honest toil. A person's emotional stance is their emotive response. Part of one's affective attitude is positive, negative, and neutral emotions toward other people. One may either trust Sam completely or know that he is being dishonest. What one feels about other people, their actions, and the world at large can be expressed through this medium. Attitude drives conduct, and that behavior is intention. The context in which an attitude is formed determines the extent to which an individual's mental and emotional processes are affected. Sam's dishonesty affects one personally; therefore, one tries to avoid him as much as possible.

What is attitude?

Attitude is a specific learned or acquired characteristics of everyone human being that helps person to think, feel, or keep some negative, positive, or neutral opinion about anything.

What are the Components of Attitude?

Major components are

  • Affective component-an individual's affective reaction to the object of their attitude. "I do not like spiders" is an example of irrational fear.

  • Behavioral component-effects on conduct (conative): how our outlook affects our actions and routines. Sayings like "I shall run away from spiders and scream if I see one" are common.

  • Cognitive component-A person's knowledge and convictions regarding the object of their attitude constitute the cognitive component. For instance, "I think spiders are harmful."

ABC Model of Attitudes

Consistency in thinking and doing is a presumption underlying the study of the relationship between attitude and conduct. This means that we generally anticipate that a person's actions will reflect their values. It is important to stick to this rule of consistency. That people are rational and try to act rationally under all circumstances is what the principle of consistency is based on, as is the idea that one's actions should be in keeping with their stated values. People do not always follow this idea, even though it is true, like when they smoke cigarettes, even though they know they cause lung cancer and heart disease. Data suggests that mental and emotional preparation for action does not necessarily correspond with actual behavior. Evidence for this can be found in LaPierre's research.

Attitude Strength

The intensity with which an attitude is held is often reflected in a person's behavior. Their most deeply held beliefs should more heavily influence a person's actions. The qualities of a strong attitude are

  • We mean "importance" or "personal relevance" regarding how relevant the attitude is to the individual regarding their self-interest, social identity, and sense of value.

  • A person's perspective will have more weight if it serves a strong personal interest (i.e., if it is held by a group to which the individual belongs or aspires and is tied to the individual's core beliefs).

  • The way one feels will have a significant impact on their behavior. On the other hand, if a person cannot see how a certain attitude applies to their own life, they probably will not give it much thought.

  • The knowledge component of attitude power describes the extent to which an individual is well-versed in the topic about which they hold strong opinions. If something catches attention, one naturally wants to learn more about it and establish firm ideas.

  • Then attitudes created through indirect encounters, those formed through direct experience, influence one's beliefs and actions (for example, through hearsay, reading, or watching television).

Attitude Formation


One's outlook is shaped directly by one's life experiences, and one might develop from either first-hand experience or second-hand observation.

Contributing Factors in a Social Context

Social roles and conventions can strongly influence attitudes. How one acts in a certain social role is influenced by the expectations placed on them by society. To define acceptable social behavior, we look to societal norms. There is no one technique to teach an attitude. Think about how commercials use classical conditioning to change your opinion of a product. The commercial for the sports drink features attractive young individuals having a good time on a beach somewhere exotic. These visually pleasing ads help you form a favorable opinion of this drink.


The formation of one's attitudes is likewise a target of operant conditioning. Take the example of a young man who has recently taken up smoking. People protest, scold, and ask him to leave the area whenever he smokes a cigarette. As a result of hearing nothing but bad things about smoking from his friends and family, he forms a negative opinion of the practice and tries to kick the habit for good.


Lastly, one might pick up a new perspective by studying the people in one's social circle. One's beliefs are more likely to align with those of a person one truly admires if that person holds those ideas themselves. Young children, for instance, spend much time watching their parents' perspectives and, in most cases, adopt those views themselves.

The Function of Attitudes


Meaning (knowledge) in life can be found in one's outlook. The knowledge function shows how much we want to live in a predictable and stable world. Because of this, we can anticipate future events and feel more in charge of our lives. Our perspectives on the world can shape and form our experiences.

Self/ego expressive

Others learn about us through the attitudes we express, and we may feel good about ourselves after making an identity assertion. Nonverbal forms of self-expression include the ever-present bumper sticker, the baseball cap, and the proudly displayed message on a T-shirt.


People will like and accept someone if they believe and say they believe in generally accepted values and beliefs.

Ego Defensive

For instance, another example of the nonverbal nature of expression is when employees or students compliment their superiors or teachers or when they choose to remain silent when they feel their viewpoint is unpopular. Self-preserving beliefs and rationalizations for deeds that leave us feeling bad about ourselves are examples of the ego-defensive function. If a youngster has felt humiliated in a physical education class, one defense mechanism is to develop a strong aversion to all forms of physical activity.


One's attitude toward a person, thing, or event is reflected in the evaluations one makes about that thing, person, or event. While the definitions of "attitude" may vary, the experts agree that it describes a person's disposition to act in response to the status of objects in his immediate vicinity.