Attitudes are defined as “evaluation of various aspects of the social world” (Baron, Branscombe, & Byrne, 2008). The real question is how are they developed and cultivated? In this paper we are going to look into the social aspect of how attitudes come about, persuasion how it affects attitudes, how aggression affects attitudes, how moods form attitudes and affect them. As the definition above explains attitudes are developed through various aspects from when we are first born till the day we exist no more. Social Aspect
In my opinion the social aspect has a lot to do with how ones attitude is developed from the day they are born till the day they expire. When a baby is first born they already have an attitude although it is more of a natural instinct type of attitude but still an attitude. Babies cry when they are hungry, need changing, hurting, and even tired this type of behavior communicates to the parent something needs to be done and as they grow their attitude develops not so much by an instinct, but by their surrounding, their parents, other people, or even siblings.
Have you ever noticed that you might behave or act like your mom or dad or even a sibling? Have you ever noticed your attitude might change when you hang around a group of friends? All these attributes are related to your social surroundings. According to an article written by O’shea and Kirrane they did a study about the transmission of work-related attitudes that is based on a social analysis. In this study the paper focused “on personal and social background factors as potential channels for the transmission of work related attitude in young adults” (2008).
They examine their education, gender, education, parental, and job status and how those influence their attitudes and development. They used 782 undergraduate students who ere in different third level institutions throughout Ireland and the United States. They found that each person who grew up in a versatile family had more of a positive attitude versus single families towards being able to juggle work and home. They also found that families with fathers who have a higher level of education came out on top as a positive role in their careers and families.
They found that because of their back grounds “young people have developed attitudes towards managing the work/family interface on entering the workforce, which they acquire though a social learning process” (2008) and there were limitations that concluded “the cross-sectional nature of the design and future longitudinal research is needed” (2008). In conclusion they felt attitudes develop certain attitudes that affect handling their work and families life to demonstrate a smooth transition for both.
Social psychology is the development and is the behavior behind how attitudes come about socially. According to an article found in Facts on File (2009) an early experimentation was done in the 1930’s on different researches pertaining to attitudes to “clarify explanatory mechanisms hypothesized to underlie the behavior being studied” the purpose was to explain behaviors and foresee certain conditions that can or can not affect behavior. The results of this experiment led them to believe that attitudes can be modified and additional room made.
They were able to conclude that social behavior can be controlled under controlled conditions. As one can see social behavior does affect ones attitude and can be changed or modified depending on each situation the individual grows up in and is around. Persuasion how it Affects Attitudes How are attitudes affected by persuasion? To examine is to understand the definition. According to, Branscombe, & Byrne persuasion are “efforts to change others’ attitudes through the use of various kinds of messages” (2008). Has your attitude ever been affected by persuasion?
Can attitudes be changed due to persuasion? How many times have you gone to the store and your shopping for an outfit and the sales person comes up to you says, “Can I help you find something” and of course you answer yes. You then continue to pick out some outfits you try them on and you really like one but not sure about the other so you step out and ask the sales person for their opinion and they persuade you oh yes that outfit looks really good on you, it’s slimming, and makes you look sexy and of course you now want the outfit.
This type of decision was made by another person who persuaded you to change your attitude towards that outfit from not really liking it to now really liking it. This is just one example of how our attitudes can be altered by simple persuasions. In the article “Affective and Cognitive Meta-bases of Attitudes: Unique Effects on Information Interest and Persuasion” the author Michelle (2007) explains “one prominent way in which persuasive messages can differ is whether they focus on a recipient’s emotions regarding some issue versus the recipient’s beliefs about the issue”.
The four studies showed that meta-bases singly accessed that affective versus cognition information above and beyond structural bases and other related variables … meta-bases account for unique variance in attitude change as a function of whether the appeal elicits emotions or generates thoughts about attributes … finally … meta-bases are predictive of information interest when people are relatively deliberative in their responses whereas structural bases predict information interest when people are relatively spontaneous in their responses.
Michelle continues to talk about how every day messages such as buying a car, wearing seat belts, voting, or quitting and activity such as smoking has a message that is customized for certain audiences to appeal to their emotions such as love, fear, hate, or what ever emotion it focuses on to gain some emphasizes on how you react or persuade you to react to that message. The author continues to explain that “attitudes refer to one’s overall degree of favorability toward entities that include objects, issues, and people, and are important as they can influence behavior”.
Take the quitting smoking messages you see on TV they can either give off a positive attitude or a negative attitude towards smoking no matter what, and according to Michelle “attitudes can be based on affect or cognition” simply by images. The author also explains such people who rely on their emotions can affect their attitude towards another person who relies on their beliefs in turn this equals persuasion.
As one can see persuasion plays a big role in how people’s attitudes are displayed and developed and can easily be changed just by a simple message, image, or belief. Aggression and Attitudes Aggression is defined as a “behavior directed toward the goal of harming another living being who is motivated to avoid such treatment” (Branscombe, & Byrne, 2008). Aggression can be divided into many characteristics or types of personalities that are caused through culture, social, personal, and situational influences.
The world is full of violence rather its terrorism, bullies, psychopaths, poverty, racism, TV shows, sex, chemical imbalances, and so much more the list just goes on and on according to Wollstein 2001. Wollstein continues to discuss how “human aggression has been blamed on many things, including broken homes” and more. Wollstein explains that we have needs and desires and they are endless. Our needs are based on materialistic, to community, to health, to sex and we want these things when we want them, but most of us will not be able to enjoy all of these at all.
The author continues to discuss that thankfully for the most part people are realistic and not become violent if they can’t have things, but there are those out there that are not so sane and become aggressive and lose self-control which sadly ranges from killing to stealing. The Author says there are five key things that factor into their aggressions 1) desperation, 2) greed, 3) envy, 4) neurosis, and 5) collectivism. These keys fall into the simple explanation “is principally a result of the frustration of basic needs.
In other words, aggression is not an essential part of human nature, but rather a reaction to circumstances in which essential requirements of our nature are unfulfilled” (Wollstein, 2001). Wollstein article says the solution to such problems is to create an environment where our human basic needs are easily obtained by “removing institutional barriers” that will a life that one can easily gain riches, be productive, live inexpensively, and obtain thing with ease.
To meet these standards would require “getting rid of taxes and regulations and letting a free market flourish ... liminating class systems … teaching sex is natural and healthy” (Wollstein, 2001) and by doing so will create a simple solution to meeting human being basic needs. The Arthur feels that “human beings are not inherently violent, rapacious animals bent on brutality and self-destruction. Aggression is rather a result of repressive cultural and political environments that conspire to frustrate and degrade our humanity” (Wollstein, 2001) he also continues to say that even though this may not entirely get rid of aggression all together but it would lower it.
One can conclude attitudes can be developed by their basic needs that can be turned into aggression. There are two personality types that can be formed 1) Type A personality which is an aggressive personality that is competitive, hostile, and on the constant go (time constrained) and 2) Type B personality which is more of a laid back relaxed type of personality they have all the time in the world. One can conclude that type A personalities would have the potential to fit the more violent types rather than type B personalities as they are not going to be quick to anger.
If one applied Wollstein solution for type A personality then one can hypothetically say that type A could become a type B because their needs would be met. Attitudes can be affected if there is a lack of basic human needs. Moods form Attitudes Can attitudes be affected by your mood? In my opinion I highly feel they do. Have you ever woken up one morning and you’re just annoyed; in a bad mood and once you are around others your attitude is present in your response towards a co-worker or your child, or you respond to someone and take what they said wrong and snap at them?
Of course you have I know I have. Tzan (2009) talks about moods towards your children that when you have a positive mood how your children are in great moods and display good behaviors and when you’re in a negative mood your children display bad behavior and are not in the greatest moods either. Tzan continues to discuss how “children are especially sensitive to the moods and attitudes of the people around them, especially the adults” (2009). The same can be said about children’s attitudes can affect adults attitudes as well.
Our moods are a huge part of how we act and treat one another and affect our attitudes. In another article Wallace (2009) talks about how “words and thoughts are very powerful things, especially when it comes to shaping your mood and attitude about life”. Wallace also talks about how some think one can not control their feelings and reactions, but one can still decide to either go with that feeling or not and depending on your choice that is what is going to shape your attitude. Wallace says, Affirmation is one of the most powerful tools to induce in your self a particular attitude or mood.
If you repeat something or think something often enough, you will begin to believe it, even if it is not the truth. (2009) Wallace believes if you can get in touch with controlling which path you take you will be able to control what attitude you decide to display towards others. If you decide to be upbeat and tell yourself how smart you are all the time things in your life will become upbeat and smooth, but if you display the opposite then your life will never seem to improve nor will your attitude towards the world around you.