An attitude is “a relatively enduring organization of beliefs, feelings, and behavioral tendencies towards socially significant objects, groups, events or symbols. A psychological tendency that is expressed by evaluating a particular entity with some degree of favor or disfavor”
Attitude and Its Components: ABC Model of Attitudes
Attitudes structure can be described in terms of three components.
Affect (or Affective): this involves a person’s feelings / emotions about it’s object. For example: “I am scared of spiders”.
Behavioral (or Conative): the way we have it influences how we act or behave. For example: “I will avoid spiders and scream if I see one”.
Cognitive: this involves a person’s belief / knowledge about it’s object. For example: “I believe spiders are dangerous”.
This model is known as the ABC model of Attitudes.
One of the underlying assumptions about the link between attitudes and behavior is that of consistency. This means that we often or usually expect the behavior of a person to be consistent with the attitudes that they hold. This is called the principle of consistency.
The principle of consistency reflects the idea that people are rational and attempt to behave rationally at all times and that a person’s behavior should be consistent with their attitudes. Whilst this principle may be a sound one, it is clear that people do not always follow it, sometimes behaving in seemingly quite illogical ways; for example, smoking cigarettes and knowing that smoking causes lung cancer and heart disease.
There is evidence that the cognitive and affective components of behavior do not always match with behavior.
Types of Attitude
Basically attitudes have two types one positive attitude and another negative attitude. Attitudes are nothing but mental preparations to express beliefs through actions, in an attempt to obtain certain results. Beliefs are formed by experiences.
Usually successful people have positive outcome towards life and all; while the unsuccessful people have negative outcome towards life and all. It can be even said vice-versa that positive outcome breds success whilst negative outcome breds non-success in our endeavors. The outcome here is referred to as attitude.
Finally it can be said that the beliefs, behavioral tendencies and feelings would have outcome on our spiritual fitness as well.
Attitude – by Charles Swindoll (An American Author)
The longer I live, the more I realize it’s impact on life. Attitude, to me, is more important than the past, than education, than money, than circumstances, than failures, than successes, than what other people think or say or do.
The remarkable thing is we have a choice every day regarding the attitude we will embrace for that day. We cannot change our past…we cannot change the fact that people will act in a certain way. We cannot change the inevitable. The only thing we can do is play on the one string we have, and that is our attitude… I am convinced that life is 10 percent what happens to me and 90 percent how I react to it.
And so it is with you…we are in charge of our attitudes.