Attitudes

Attitudes

Attitudes can be defined as an affective feeling of liking or disliking toward an object (which can be basically anything) that has an influence on behavior. As Don Forsyth describes in his textbook (Our Social World), an attitude is not a feeling, a cognition, or a form of behavior; instead, attitudes combine all three components in an “integrated affect-cognition-behavior system.” What this all means is that attitudes are made of three components that all influence each other. If one component changes, then it influences the entire attitude structure. In addition, each component not only has an influence on the attitude structure as a whole but also on each other component. Although many people think attitudes are pretty simple (you like something or you don’t), you can see that attitudes are actually quite complex and dynamic.

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