The Correlation Between Attitudes and Behavior
Attitudes square measure ‘psychological tendenc[ies] that [are] expressed by evaluating a selected entity with some extent of favor or disfavor’. Those who hold to a psychological definition of perspective acknowledge that social system is very important in making and maintaining social order. But they claim that if behavior is to vary, attitude change must come first.
When Do Attitudes Influence Behavior?
Attitude researchers well-versed this criticism by devoting bigger attention to the study of once attitudes predict behavior. In the past 30 years, research findings have led to a more optimistic conclusion: Attitudes do predict behavior, under certain conditions. What are some of these conditions?
- First, attitudes do an improved job of predicting behavior once each ideas square measure measured in an exceedingly similar means.
- Second, attitude-behavior consistency varies relying upon the subject being studied.
- Third, the consistency between perspectives and behavior depends upon the “strength” of the attitude.
- Fourth, the consistency between attitudes and behavior is affected by differences across people.
How Do Attitudes Influence Behavior?
Social psychologists have developed variety of models to elucidate however attitudes predict behavior. Two important models are the theory of planned behavior and the MODE model.
The Theory of Planned Behavior:
According to this model, the most immediate predictor (or determinant) of a person’s behavior is his or her intention. Put simply, if you intend to recycle glass bottles, you are likely to engage in this behavior.
Of course, people’s behavior is also influenced by whether they feel they can perform the behavior. For example, if an individual wanted to eat a healthier diet, a positive attitude and positive subjective norms are unlikely to produce the desired behavior change if the person is unable to restrain him- or herself from eating French fries and chocolates.
The MODE Model:
Not all behavior is planned and deliberative. Quite often we act spontaneously, without consciously thinking of what we intend to do. When our behavior is spontaneous, the speculation of planned behavior might not replicate however we tend to attempt to act.
To conclude, for a long time it has been assumed that attitude was the best predictor of behavior. Krech, Crutchfield and Ballachey argue, ‘Man’s social actions – whether these actions involve religious behavior, ways of earning a living, political activity, or buying and selling goods – are directed by his attitude’. A person’s attitude towards a specific object has consequences for how he or she will act vis-à-vis that object.
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