2. Attitudes

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  • Attitude
    • An attitude is a mode of behaviour that is thought to be a typical response of an individual
    • Attitudes are invariable associated with personality
    • MOODY
      • Attitude is a mental state of readiness organised through experiences that influences the response of an individual towards any object or situation with which it is realted
    • An attitude is an emotional response that can be enduring
    • Attitudes are also unstable and can be changed
    • An attitude is directed towards an attitude object
    • Long-standing attitudes may affect behaviour causing an individual to be inconsistent in judgement. This may revealed through prejudice
    • Attitude prejudice could seriously affect a young persons participation in sport
    • Undesirable prejudice is evident in gender issues
    • Origin of attitudes
      • Attitudes are formed mainly through experiences
      • Positive experiences are likely to promote positive attitudes and vice versa
      • Socialisation is also a key feature in the development of an attitude
      • In teenage years, the peer group has the most powerful influence
      • Attitude may also stem from culture (religion, race, peer groups)
    • Components of attitude
      • 1. Cognitive: reflects beliefs and knowldge
      • 2. Affective: consists of feelings or an emotional response
      • 3. Behavioural: consists of how a person intends to respond towards an attitude object
    • Changing attitudes
      • FESTINGER: cognitive dissonance theory
        • If 2 attitude components can be made to oppose each other, the individual experiences dissonance (discomfort)
        • Bringing about cognitive dissonance increases the chance of changing the overall attitude
      • Persuasive communication theory
        • 1. Persuader: needs to be a significant other with high status
        • 2. Message: needs to be presented in a positive way
        • 3. Recipients: they must want to change
        • 4. Situation: needs to be comfortable for the recipient
    • EVAL
      • Attitudes in general are poor predictors of behaviour
      • DISHMAN
        • An indivual's positive attitudes and beliefs relating to health benefits of exercise do not guarantee they will stick to a fitness programme
      • FISHBEIN
        • When attitudes become more specific, they are more likely to predict behaviour
        • The most accurate predictor of behaviour occurs when a person makes a clear commitment of intent
        • This clear declaration is called behavioural intention and arises when a positive attitude is reinforced by a significant other


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