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Attitude Theories - Essay Example

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C. Kelman. Although both of them are psychologists and can not be expected to have given a very directed theory on attitude, yet an in depth analysis of…
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Attitude Theories
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Attitude Theories

Download file to see previous pages... 22). Katz emphasizes that when attitude is spoken out in the form of words, it becomes an opinion, which may not always be interpreted in the true spirit because the second person can not see the fundamental attitude that caused the opinion. For example, if someone says, “You look healthier than before”. We might not understand if he means to appreciate the other person’s health or just make him conscious by calling him fat.
Kelman, on the other hand, speaks about opinion change which indirectly causes a modification of the original attitude. Kelman explains the phenomenon of opinion change with respect to three qualitative variables which are compliance, internalization and identification which are essentially a means of social influence on the attitude of the individual.
Katz has adopted a functional approach towards the definition of attitude in contrast to Kelman, who has explained how social influence can induce changes in the behavioral constructs of people. Katz has identified two ways in which attitude functions to cause human reaction to the surroundings – a rational attitude that induces optimism in human approach towards the analysis of and reaction to the matters and an irrational attitude that misleads people and causes them to respond irrationally landing them in trouble. “The functions are those of adjustment, egodefense, value expression and knowledge.” (Fones, p. 23). On the other hand, the “compliance” referred to by Kelman is essentially an acceptance of the propositions of others in a hope to achieve a certain expected outcome. “Identification” means the modification of attitude in an attempt to make it compatible with that of the group to gain a sense of identity and affiliation with that group. “Internalization causes people to accept other’s opinion because they feel that the proposed opinions reaffirm their basic thoughts and values.
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