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Attitude

Gordon Allport has defined attitude as “mental state of readiness, organized through experience, exerting dynamic influence upon the individual’s response to all objects with which it is related”. Attitudes have intellectual, biological, social and emotional components that determine the behavior of an individual; Attitudes are evaluation that can color our experience of virtually any aspect of the world. Often attitudes are explicit consciously accessible and easy to report. But attitudes can also be implicit and therefore not consciously accessible or controllable. Attitudes interests and values must begin with a realization that their dynamic phenomena that interact with all other elements of organism rather than static units.
Attitudes have been defined as ideas with emotional content, important beliefs, prejudices appreciations and as states of readiness .Attitudes have been influenced by planned and random experiences. A variety of patterns are included in attitude of individual .There are attitude towards health, life, death, people, new situation, music and art, work, play government, religion. Attitudes influence behavior along with two other factors: 
·         Perceptions of social norms
·         Beliefs about one’s personal ability to perform a specific behavior.

Attitudes have four dimensions; intensity, direction, extensity and duration. Each aspect is important to understand their influence upon the behavior.
Intensity of an attitude is evidence by the extent of which individual shows the concern of an individual. The direction of an attitude is the force that speeds attracts or fails to motivate the child in any direction. Extensity is pattern of attitude within an individual that is developed from wide variety of situation .The duration of an attitude is modification of existing negative attitudes and creation of positive attitude.
1. Characteristics of Attitude:-
Attitudes are characterized as they are persistent evaluation. Attitudes are influenced by cultural factors learning and biological factors that include innate preferences. Attitudes are based on cognitive evaluations and affective evaluations to varying degrees. Attitudes help us to make decisions and choices more economically based on information from previous experiences. The following characteristics explain the nature of attitudes.
·         The Attitude object
·         Attitudes are learned predisposition
·         Attitudes have consistency.
·         Attitude occurs within a situation.
2.  Importance of Attitude:-
It is important the way it is highly concerned with a state of mind or feeling with regard to some matter .Attitude is our tendency to evaluate some symbols, object or aspect of our world in a favorable or unfavorable manner.
It can also be seen as state of mind or feeling with regard to some matter .The word attitude is used as a whole collection of one’s opinions prejudices and sentiments. Attitudes are something we learn. This learning usually occurs gradually through many different experiences or as a result of powerful emotional experience. Most attitudes are learned from those experiences that can be unfavorable or unfavorable, pleasant or unpleasant and the resulting attitude ends up as negative or positive .Social environment plays an important part in shaping attitudes. We may reflect attitudes from others such as parents friends leaders or persons of prestige. We may acquire them from cultural influence of a certain geographical area such as farm or small town. Also, attitudes may be affected by age, position and education.
3.  Nature and Change in attitude:-
Nature of attitude is featured as it changes with time and situation. It is highly related to feelings and beliefs of people. It may affect an individual’s behavior positively or negatively. Attitude is always learned through experiences. It has the power to affect perception about any object. It may be unconsciously held. Attitude is developed by a process of social learning .When we interact or simply observe the behavior our attitude is developed. Attitudes can influence our thoughts that are reflected in overt behavior. Attitude may be explicit that is conscious and reportable .Attitude may be implicit that is uncontrollable and perhaps not conscious.

It is widely observed that reward and punishment build up attitude. Attitude can be changed if we try to differentiate negative attitude from positive attitude. Positive attitude can bring positive change in life. It is difficult to change attitudes but with some efforts it can be done. A positive attitude is a     pre-requisite for change and development. If anybody has negative attitude towards change .This attitude will extend to anything representing change i.e. leaders, technology meeting or any process of change. There are various steps towards change in attitude. Attitudes of individual towards life, family, ideas, political thinking, religion or anything can be changed. One needs to identify the object  towards which change of attitude is desired. Introduce the information about which an individual agrees and introduce the new information that contradicts the existing belief or attitudes. We need to identify the ways through which belief or practice conforms to new information. 

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