How will you define attitude?

How will you define attitude? Elaborate on its components.

Attitude’s structure can be described in terms of three components. Affective component: this involves a person’s feelings/emotions about the attitude object. For example: “I am scared of spiders”. Behavioral (or conative) component: the way the attitude we have influenced how we act or behave.

Attitude is defined as a more or less stable set of predispositions of opinion, interest, or purpose involving the expectancy of a certain kind of experience and readiness with an appropriate response.

Attitudes are also known as “frames of reference“. They provide the background against which facts and events are viewed.

An attitude describes a persons’ enduring favorable or unfavorable cognitive evaluations, feelings, and action tendencies toward some object or idea. People have attitudes regarding almost everything such as religion, politics, cloth, music, food.

A person’s attitudes settle into a coherent pattern and to change one may require difficult adjustment in many others. Thus, a company would be well advised to fit its product into existing attitudes rather than to try changing people’s attitudes.

Components of Attitude

  1. Cognitive component
  2. Affective component
  3. Behavioral component

Cognitive component

Beliefs are the cognitive components of consumer attitude. The cognitive component of attitude is associated with the value statement. It consists of values, beliefs, ideas, and other information that a person may have faith in.

Positive brand associations enhance brand equity and are achieved through a number of positioning strategies. Through brand associations, marketers establish and influence favorable beliefs about a brand and unfavorable beliefs about competitors.

Example: Quality of sincere hard is a faith or value statement that a manager may have.

Also Read: What do you know about the taxonomy of educational objectives?

Affective component

Affective is the emotive component of consumer attitude. The affective component of attitude is associated with individual feelings about another person, which may be positive, neutral, or negative.

Three research models describe the determinants of affective response.

  • The functional theory of attitude explains that consumers buy as a result of one of four psychological functions: adjustment, ego defense, value expression, and application of prior knowledge.
  • Fishbein model relates consumer beliefs and evaluations to affective response: if beliefs are strong and desirable, affective responses are positive.
  • Belief importance model analyses affective responses across competing brands.

Example: I don’t like Sam because he is not honest, or I like Sam because he is sincere. It is an expression of feelings about a person, object, or situation.

Behavioral component

The intention is the behavioral component of consumer attitude. The behavioral component of attitude is associated with the impact of various conditions or situations that lead to a person’s behavior based on cognitive and affective components.

Two research models demonstrate the relationship between intention to purchase and actual purchase and consumption.

  • The theories of reasoned action explain purchasing behavior as a direct result of intention, influenced by attitude toward the purchase and by subjective norms.
  • The theory of trying to consume explains the actual consumption behavior of purchasers. It provides insight into the establishment and maintenance of long-term relationships with consumers.
  • Example: I don’t like Sam because he is not honest is an affective component, I, therefore, would like to disassociate myself with him, which is a behavioral component, and therefore I would avoid Sam.
  • Cognitive and affective components are bases for such behavior. The former two components cannot be seen, only the behavior component can be seen. Former is important because it is a base for the formation of attitude.

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