Lots of have been discussed on the attitude. People give examples of different attitude and tag others either with positive attitude or negative attitude. However have we realized how attitude is formed in the person? As a HR professional, I always first think about the attitude and assess the person based on the same. I may go wrong if I really don’t understand how the person is discussion formulates his attitude. We must have seen many examples where the person is fired for his attitude, however he is much successful in another organization. We may be wrong in assessing the person if we don’t understand what attitude really means and how it is formulated in the personality of the person.
Attitude refers to our tendency to compare ourselves with others. We use this, in order to determine whether our view of social reality is correct or not. We often change our attitudes, so as to hold our views closer to that of others. This process helps us to form new attitudes. Attitude are formed based on the experiences. Take an example of the person who is always worked with the boss who is democratic and open. The person will try to follow him. During this process, some aspect which is being influenced on his personality may be viewed differently by another person who is totally tyrannical.
It is also believed that genetic factors influence the physical aspects i.e.; height, color of skin and eyes etc... Similarly these genetic factors influence our way of ‘thinking’. Thought occurs in brain and it is also a physical part, as any other part of the body which has influence of genes. However, to some extent, genetic factors do influence attitude
Does attitude influence human behaviour? If yes when and how?
Attitudes are a set of tendencies and predispositions which have major impact on human behaviour. Studies have shown that there is often a sizable gap between attitudes and behaviour.
The attitude behaviour gap-as something between what people say and what actually they do.
Several studies have shown that there are major factors which serve as ‘moderators’ –they influence to which extent attitudes affect behaviour.
These so- called moderated are most related to:
Aspects of situation
They are purely Situational. In fact, people can’t express their attitude, since that would be contrary to the norms in a given situation. If the person is under time pressure and he has to take decisions, they tend to fall back on their attitudes as quick-and-easy guides. They become more attentive and use info carefully!
Aspects of attitudes of themselves
The link between attitudes and behaviour is strongly moderated by aspects of attitudes themselves. Attitude origins direct experience and indirect process.
Attitude Strength refers to the extremity or intensity of the attitude how strong is the emotional reaction provoked by attitude object. Here the person will think more about self – interest, social identification & value relevance.
Aspects of individuals
The fundamental question here is, “Is attitude & behaviour link is stronger for some persons than for others ?”
The answer is “Yes” through process called - Self-monitoring.
If people are low self-monitored, they here focus their attention outward and try to match with the people around them. They are predictable in their behavior.
If they are high self-monitored, they use their attitude as a guide to their behavior. They look or focus inward. They are unpredictable.
Clearly speaking, there is something inside people that makes them think, feel and act in a situation. That “Something Inside” is what we mean by personality. “Personality can be defined as the unique and consistent pattern of behaviour , thoughts and feelings in a wide variety of situations over a long period of time”
And it is built by attitude… and off course changeable if person has the right mindset…
You can also read this and other articles at Vinod Bidwaik: Attitude and human behaviour….