Attitude Formation

Attitude Formation

The transition from having no attitude toward an object to having an attitude (positive or negative) toward that object is referred to as attitude formation. Several factors, such as exposure, experiences, and social learning, aid in the formation of attitudes. 
•    When we are exposed to objects, our feelings toward them are stimulated. 
•    Personal experiences can aid in attitude formation and, in general, have a greater influence on attitudes than mere exposure. Because they are readily available and can be accessed by our consciousness, attitudes formed from direct experiences are more powerful.
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•    Peers, family, friends, region, religion, occupation, education, and other social-cultural and economic factors all play a role in attitude formation.


It all comes down to whether you like or dislike something. Value is a set of beliefs (about what is important). It is possible for value to exist in and of itself. Attitudes are shaped by the values and beliefs that underpin them.


•    From the moment we are born, we are exposed to a wide range of stimuli, both directly and indirectly, which influence our attitudes toward the altitudinal object. 
•    Although a small but growing body of evidence suggests that attitudes may be influenced by genetic factors as well, it is widely assumed that attitudes are largely acquired as a result of various life experiences.
•    A variety of theories have been proposed to explain how attitudes are formed and maintained.
1.    Classical or Pavlovian Conditioning
2.    Operant or Instrumental Conditioning
3.    Observational Learning
4.     Genetic Factors
Attitude Formation


Classical Conditioning is a behaviour modification technique in which a subject learns to respond in a desired manner to a previously neutral stimulus that has been presented repeatedly, in combination with an unconditioned stimulus that elicits the desired response. A stimulus is a factor that causes an organism's response.
•    As in Pavlov's classic experiments, conditioning is usually accomplished by pairing the two stimuli. 
•    Pavlov taught dogs to respond to a ringing bell followed by food. Salivation was elicited by the food (unconditioned stimulus), and the bell elicited salivation after repeated bell-food pairings.
•    The unconditioned stimulus in this experiment is dog food, which produces an unconditioned response, saliva. The ringing bell is the conditioned stimulus, and it causes the dogs to produce saliva as a conditioned response.
•    Some of the emotional components of attitudes and prejudice may be established through classical conditioning. Furthermore, even in the absence of first-hand experience, people can develop powerful attitudinal reactions to social objects through classical conditioning.
•    As a result, children who hear repeated word pairings in their parents' conversations (such as Muslims' Aggressive, Muslims-Fundamentalists) during their early years of development may develop negative attitudes without even meeting them.


•    B.F. Skinner proposed the concept of operant conditioning. Operant conditioning is a type of learning that involves behaviour reinforcement and punishment.
•    Positive consequences reinforce positive behaviours and attitudes, making them more likely to be repeated than negative consequences reinforce negative behaviours and attitudes.
•    According to this theory, behaviours that lead to positive outcomes are strengthened, while those that lead to negative outcomes are suppressed.
•    The degree to which others' attitudes are verbally or nonverbally reinforced has an impact on attitude acquisition and maintenance.
•    Operant conditioning can be used to influence the development of attitudes. For example, if your parents and teachers praised you for doing well in school when you were younger, you may have increased your efforts and developed a positive attitude toward learning. If your friend's parents, on the other hand, did not recognise her academic achievements, she would have developed a negative attitude toward studies.


•    B.F. Skinner proposed his operant conditioning theory after conducting numerous animal experiments. For his rat experiment, he used a special box known as the "Skinner Box."
•    He began his experiment by putting a hungry rat inside the Skinner box. The rat was initially inactive inside the box, but as it became more accustomed to its surroundings, it began to explore. Eventually, the rat discovered a lever that, when pressed, released food from the box.
•    It returned to exploring the box after filling its stomach, and after a while, it pressed the lever for the second time as it grew hungry again. This happened for the third, fourth, and fifth times, and after a while, the hungry rat pressed the lever as soon as it was placed in the box. The conditioning was then declared complete.
•    The action of pressing the lever is an operant response/behaviour in this case, and the reward is the food released inside the chamber. Because the response is crucial in obtaining food, the experiment is also known as Instrumental Conditioning Learning.
•    The effects of positive reinforcement are also discussed and explained in this experiment. The hungry rat was served food after pressing the lever, which satisfied its hunger; thus, it is a positive reinforcement.


•    B.F. Skinner also carried out a study to explain negative reinforcement. In a similar experiment, Skinner placed a rat in a chamber, but instead of keeping it hungry, he exposed the chamber to an unpleasant electric current.
•    After experiencing the discomfort, the rat began desperately moving around the box, knocking the lever by accident. The flow of unpleasant current was immediately halted when the lever was pressed. After a few repetitions, the rat had learned to go straight to the lever in order to avoid the discomfort.
•    The electric current acted as a negative reinforce, and the rat's inability to escape the electric current ensured that the action was repeated over and over. 
•    The pressing of the lever is an operant response in this case, and the complete cessation of electric current flow is the reward.
•    Both experiments clearly demonstrate how operant conditioning works. Recognize the operant behaviour and the consequence that resulted in that particular environment is an important part of any operant conditioning learning.
•    Operant conditioning differs from classical conditioning in that it focuses on the use of reinforcement and punishment to modify behaviour. 
•    Classic conditioning is maintained by conditioning of reflexive behaviours, which are elicited by antecedent conditions. 
•    Operant behaviour operates on the environment and is maintained by its antecedents and consequences, whereas classical conditioning is maintained by conditioning of reflexive behaviours, which are elicited by antecedent conditions.


•    Observational learning is the process by which a person learns new ways of behaving or thinking simply by observing the rewards and punishments that others receive. 
•    If you notice early in your childhood that your parents uphold a high level of integrity when enforcing financial contracts and are frequently praised for their integrity, there is a good chance that you will develop a strong positive attitude toward integrity as well.


•    Individual attitudes are influenced by genetic factors as well. They do, however, have a greater impact on some attitudes than others. 
•    For example, attitudes involving gut-level preferences (such as a preference for a particular type of food) may be more strongly influenced by genetic factors than attitudes that are more cognitive in nature (such as environmental conservation attitudes).


We define attitudes as an individual's or a group's beliefs, feelings, and action tendencies toward objects, ideas, and people. Attitudes can be influenced by the following factors.
Attitude Formation


•    In every society, there is a majority of people who prefer to live in peace. They make an effort to avoid unnecessary conflict with others. 
•    They are naturally inclined to develop positive attitudes toward the majority of people and issues. Our attitudes can help us build and maintain positive relationships with members of groups that we value. 
•    Social roles and norms can have a big impact on people's attitudes.
•    The way people are expected to behave in a specific role or context is referred to as their social role. The rules of society for what behaviours are considered appropriate are referred to as social norms.


•    Individual conformism, or the direction of people's attitudes, is considered important in general. Direct instruction can sometimes have an impact on attitude formation. 
•    Someone, for example, may provide information about the utility of a particular fruit. We can form a positive or negative opinion about that fruit based on this information.

3.    FAMILY

•    The most powerful source for the formation of attitudes is the family.
•    The elder brother or sister, as well as the parents, provide information on a variety of topics. Individual attitudes, whether positive or negative, are shaped by family influence, which is extremely powerful and difficult to change.


•    An attitude can include prejudice, in which we prejudge an issue without giving all the evidence a fair hearing. Prejudices are preconceived notions or judgments that lead to attitudes toward other people, objects, or situations. 
•    We may regard a person accused of a crime as guilty regardless of the evidence if we are prejudiced against him. We can also be prejudiced in one direction or the other.


•    Personal experiences have left a strong impression in order to be the basis of attitudes. As a result, when personal experience involves emotional factors, the attitude will be easier to form.
•    Appreciation will be a more in-depth experience and a longer trace in situations involving emotions.

6.    MEDIA

•    Mass media, such as television and radio, have a significant impact on shaping people's opinions and beliefs as a means of communication. 
•    There is new information about something that lays the groundwork for the development of new cognitive attitudes about it.


•    Because they lay the foundation of understanding and moral concepts within the individual, educational and religious institutions have a strong influence in shaping attitudes as a system. 
•    The centre of educational and religious institutions provides insight into the good and bad, as well as the dividing line between what can and cannot be done.


•    Clinical psychologists have long recognised that physical, mental, and emotional well-being are important factors in determining adjustment, and it has frequently been discovered that malnutrition, disease, or accidents have disrupted normal development to the point where serious behavioural problems have resulted.


•    Attitude formation is also influenced by our economic and occupational positions. They influence our attitudes toward labour unions and management, as well as our perceptions of whether certain laws are 'good' or 'bad.' 
•    Our current and future attitudes are influenced by our socioeconomic background. Other characteristics, such as importance, certainty, accessibility, and associated knowledge, are reflected in attitudes, in addition to positive or negative evaluations.
•    In the study of social psychology, attitudes are important because they influence how much attention and judgement an individual gives to a particular subject. In general, we assume that people act in accordance with their beliefs. Social psychologists, on the other hand, have discovered that attitudes and actual behaviour are not always perfectly aligned.

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