Attitude – Meaning, Definition, Features, Values and Beliefs

Concept of Attitude

Attitudes are evaluative statements – either favorable or infavorable-concerning objects, people or events. They reflect how one feels about something. People’s attitudes and values have significant impact on their behavior both within the organisational context and other social context. They influence the perception of objects and people, exposure to and comprehension of information, choice of friends, co-workers etc. therefore for managing the people effectively in the organization , management must understand their attitudes and values.

Definitions

According to Allport
Attitude is a mental and neutral state of readiness organized through experience, exerting a directive or dynamic influence upon the individuals’s response to all objects and situations with which it is related.
According to Krech and Crutchfield
Attitude is an enduring organization of motivational, emotional, perceptual and cognitive processes with respect to some aspect of the individual’s world.
According to Katz and Scotland
Attitude is a tendency or predisposition to evaluate an object or symbol of that object in a certain way.
According to Reitz
Attitude is the persistent tendency to feel and behave in a favourable or unfavourable way towards some object, person or idea.
According to Schermerhorn
Attitude is a predisposition to respond in a positive or negative way to someone or something in one’s environment.

Features/Characteristics of Attitude

1. It is a kind of mental set, a predisposition, a framework of reference. Thus it is the ultimate psychological basis of behaviour.
2. It is a composite mental state. Its elements include emotions, feelings, thoughts, beliefs, behavioural tendencies and the like.
3. Attitude affect behavior of an individual by putting him ready to respond favourably or unfavourably to things in his enrionemnt.
4. Attitudes are acquired through learning over the period of tme. The process of lerning attitudes starts right form childhood and continues throughout the life of a person.
5. As it contains many elements and takes time to grow, so once formed, it tends to persist until something effective is done to change it. It is not easy to change attitude, however.
6. Some attitudes become part of personality. They are the most resistant to change.
7. It varies from person to person. Attitudes of different persons towards the same object may be classified in a continuum with the most favourable attitudes at one end and most unfavourable ones at the other end.
8. Attitudes are related to needs. A poor man will be favourably disposed towards money. But one who is enormously rich may not have so much liking for money.
9. Attitudes, however, are different from values; rather they are narrower than values. Values represent ideals and are associated with personality which is a comprehensive quality. But attitudes in general are commonplace. Most attitudes are self-centred, too.
10. Attitudes constitute a unidimensional variable. They are tied to an individual’s feelings about certain objects, events, issues and the like.
11. Though some scales of measurement based on opinions expressed by individuals have been devised, attitudes, after all, are hypothetical constructs, that is, a kind of individualised concepts which originate and remain stuck up in the mind.
12. Attitudes are invisible as they constitute a psychological phenomenon which cannot be observed directly .They can be observed by observing the behavior of an individual.
13. Attitudes are pervasive and every individual has some kind of attitudes towards the objects in his environment. In fact, attitudes are forces in the socialization process and may relate to anything in the environment.

Attitude, Values and Beliefs

Attitude
• Attitudes are specific
• Are acquired from parents, teachers and peer group members.
• Attitudes are less stable than values.
• Attitudes relate only to behavior directed toward specific objects, persons, or situations.

Values
• Values are broader and a more encompassing.
• Involve moral flavor of rightness or desirability.
• Values represent global beliefs that influence behavior across all situations.

Beliefs
• Are acquired from parents, teachers and peer group members.