Attitudes are expressions of our covert feelings about or toward an object, person, issue, event, or behavior. An attitude is a point of view about a situation. It is generally agreed that attitude can be defined as a learned disposition or tendency to respond in a consistently favorable or unfavorable manner with respect to a given object. One similar definition given by Baron and Byrne for attitudes is: relatively lasting clusters of feelings, beliefs, and behavior tendencies directed towards specific persons, ideas, objects or groups (1984: 126) In respect to marketing and business concerns, consumers may adjust learned attitudes over time by being exposed to the object directly (experience) or through receiving information about the object (e.g., advertising). Attitude measurement is useful to uncover perceptions and opinions people may have about specific objects or products.
Attitude as a Hypothetical Construct
The term hypothetical construct is used to describe a variable that is not directly observable, but is measurable by an indirect means such as verbal expression or overt behavior - attitudes are considered to be such variables. Components of attitudes
Attitudes are composed of affective, cognitive and behavioral components. The term 'affective' refers to feelings or emotions toward an object, or how you feel about a subject. 'Cognitive' refers to our knowledge or beliefs about something, or what you know about something. And the 'behavioral' component involves the actual actions made toward an object; what you do. We can find out more about attitudes people hold towards something by analyzing one or more of the components of attitudes. Like wise, one can alter their attitude towards something through a change in one of the components of knowledge, feelings or behavior. For example, the role of advertising will aid the consumers to have a new thought or idea about a product, which in consequence, if successful, could alter the attitude the consumers have toward a product in a positive way; people will buy more of the product and have a good impression about it. Another example would be a company needing to gain some measure of consumer's appreciation of a finished product. Attitudes are not something tangible, and so, they can be very difficult to measure. There are however there are a number of techniques developed that aid researchers in their work and have proved successful. We will discover these methods in this report.
If attitudes are made up of thought, feeling and action; then we can agree that to begin changing an attitude we would either change one's thinking, behavior or how one feels. It is easier to change the way something is perceived through thought than changing emotions. However, it is usually our emotions that get our attention in regard to the situation. The secret in effectively changing someone's emotions about something is by knowing that feelings, thoughts, and behaviors are all related. When we can change one of these components - for example, thinking - the other two (feelings and behavior) will change as well. Since it is easier to get a "grasp" on thoughts and behavior this is where marketers and advertisers usually start. The research enables us to change what consumers think and do in respect to the product or service and so on. Therefore, we can change and create consumers attitudes, but how? If we take a look at Fishbein's (1963) attitude theory, we might be able to understand better how we can change and create attitudes. This particular theory has had one of the greatest influences on consumer attitude research for many, many years. The Expectancy Value Theory and Fishbein
This theory was founded by Martin Fishbein in the 1970s.
According to expectancy-value theory, people are goal-oriented beings and behavior is a function...
Davis Foulger, Steps Toward an Information Based Theory of Attitudes May 4, 1979
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