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Sources of Attitudes

The central idea running through the process of attitude formation is that the thoughts, fallings and tendencies to behave are acquired or learned gradually.

Sources of Attitudes

But how does one learn, them? The attitudes are acquired from the following sources.

(i)    Direct Personal Experience.
The quality of a person’s direct experience with the attitude object determines his attitude towards it. For example, if a worker finds his work repetitive, inadequately paid, supervisor too tough, and co-workers not so co-operative, he would develop a negative attitude towards his job because the quality of his direct experience with the job is negative.

(ii)    Association. A new attitude object may be associated with an old attitude object and the attitude towards the latter may be transferred towards the former. For example, if a newly recruited workers remains most of the time in the company of a worker towards whom the supervisor has a favorable attitude, the supervisor is likely to develop a positive attitude towards the new worker also. Hence, the favorable attitude for the old workers has been transferred towards the new workers.

(iii)    Social Learning. Attitudes are also learnt from other as for example, from parents, teachers, superiors, models etc. An individual may learn by having contact with others or even watching models over the T.V. In fact, social learning makes it possible for a person to develop attitude towards something even when he has no direct experience of the attitude object. For example, an unemployed person entering the job market for the first time, may be favorably disposed towards a government job because others in the society have such an attitude towards government jobs. Thus, the social learning is a convenient way of developing attitudes.

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