What Are the Types of Attitude in Social Psychology?


Martha Robinson

Attitude is a psychological construct that reflects an individual’s beliefs, feelings, and behavioral intentions towards a specific object, person, or situation. In social psychology, attitudes are considered one of the most fundamental concepts that influence human behavior. Attitudes can be positive or negative and can be shaped by various factors such as culture, upbringing, personal experiences, and social interactions.

There are different types of attitudes in social psychology that have been studied extensively over the years. In this article, we will explore some of the most common types of attitudes.

1. Cognitive Attitudes: Cognitive attitudes refer to an individual’s beliefs or thoughts about something or someone.

For instance, if someone believes that exercise is good for their health, they have a positive cognitive attitude towards exercise. On the other hand, if someone believes that smoking is harmful to health, they have a negative cognitive attitude towards smoking.

2. Affective Attitudes: Affective attitudes refer to an individual’s emotional responses to something or someone.

For example, if someone feels happy when they think about their favorite food or pet animal, they have a positive affective attitude towards it. Conversely, if someone feels angry when they think about a particular political party or leader, they have a negative affective attitude towards them.

3. Behavioral Attitudes: Behavioral attitudes refer to an individual’s actions or behaviors towards something or someone. For example, if someone regularly exercises and eats healthy food because they believe it is good for their health (cognitive attitude) and it makes them happy (affective attitude), then they have a positive behavioral attitude towards health and fitness.

4. Explicit Attitudes: Explicit attitudes are conscious evaluations that an individual makes about something or someone based on their beliefs and emotions. These attitudes are often expressed verbally or in writing and can be easily measured through questionnaires or surveys.

5. Implicit Attitudes: Implicit attitudes are unconscious evaluations that an individual makes about something or someone based on their past experiences and social conditioning.

These attitudes are often expressed through nonverbal cues, such as facial expressions, body language, and tone of voice. Implicit attitudes can be more challenging to measure than explicit attitudes.

6. Stereotypes: Stereotypes are a type of attitude that involves making assumptions or generalizations about a group of people based on their race, gender, religion, or other characteristics. Stereotyping can lead to prejudice and discrimination.

In conclusion, attitudes play a crucial role in shaping human behavior and can have significant impacts on social interactions and relationships. By understanding the different types of attitudes, we can become more aware of our own beliefs and emotions towards different situations or people and work towards developing more positive attitudes that promote harmony and understanding within society.