The essential features of attitudes is a preparation or readiness for response, it is the
precondition of behaviour.
Attitudes are studied as they are critical for survival-goodness or badness or certain things
need to be known. A fire is not safe and knowing that can protect ourselves.
Attitudes may influence behaviour, however it also does NOT always predict behaviour
People tend to act in consistent ways according to their attitudes.
Attitudes represent your response to stimulus that creates your behaviour. Stimulus may be any
object, person place etc.
Attitudes can predict behaviour; it acts as a bridge between stimuli to behaviour.
However attitudes do not predict behaviour unless it is done the right way. A person who has a
certain attitude might not display them due to social norms.
Allport definition of an attitude:
a) a mental or neural state or readiness,
b) organized through experience and can change,
c) exerting a direct or dynamic influence on the individual’s response ( does not 100%
d) to all objects and situations to which it is related.(similar situations draw inference from
e) Attitude object: anything we have an attitude about
Eagly and Chaiken definition of an attitude:
A psychological tendency that is expressed by evaluating a particular entity with some
degree of favour or disfavour.
Attitudes are summary evaluations of attitude objects
Attitudes have the ABC component
Are all attitudes learned?
Fishbein and Azjen thought that attitudes were a learned predisposition to respond in a
consistently favourable or unfavourable manner with respect to a given object.
However several studies show that even newborns like sweetness and dislike bitterness.
Hence some attitudes may be innate
Breaking Attitudes into parts:
a) Valence : positive or negative
c) Complexity: simple vs. complex attitudes, summarizing everything into a simple attitude.
I like this instead of I like this because of this. Dating as time goes by, what do you like
about your gf/bf? I don’t know I just know that I like him/her.
The ABCs of attitudes:
a) Affective: how you feel for the object
b) Behavioural: how you behave towards the object
c) Cognition: what do you think about the object Attitudes cannot be seen, they must be inferred. Latent variables are variables that are not
observed, instead they are inferred. We combine variables together to minimize the error as
people might want to look good and lie.
Attitudes are stored the same way as memory.
Specifies explicitly how to measure a variable so that a ranking van is assigned.
Since we cannot see an attitude, we need to infer it. And we need numbers for it.
Never completely adequate. Depression has a lot of factors and it is impossible to use all
We need shortcuts to simplify complex concepts into something that is more readily
studied and also to prevent any confounding variables.
Example: Thermometer is used to measure health, however it is also a measure of how
high the mercury has raised which is a measure of how warm the mercury is which is a
measure of how warm someone’s mouth is. Since health is an abstract concept, we used
a thermometer as a way to quantify health.
However there are limitations, with regards to the previous example health is complex
and our measurements are a simplification. What if someone’s baseline temperature is
38 degrees? Does he still have a fever? What if someone’s baseline temperature is 35