• Created by: z_mills1
  • Created on: 24-03-15 08:58


Attitude: a view (positive, negative or neutral) held by an individual towards an attitude object 

The existence of an attitude predisposes the person holding the attitude to behave in a certain way towards the attitude object

Attitude object: a person/event/behaviour towards which a person has an attitude

An attitude can become prejudice -> a preformed opinion/judgement of someone based on incomplete views (stereotypical)

Attitudes are multi-dimensional -> made up of knowledge, emotion and behavioural intentions

Attitudes and social norms

  • people are often told to change there attitude if its not approved -> this attitude leads to behaviour that goes against social norms

Social norms: unwritten rules about a person's behaviour/attitudes and help to control social behaviour -> enforced through social disapproval/approval and can lead to social acceptance/rejection

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Attitude components

Triadic model

3 components:

Cognitive component -> what we know/believe about the attitude object (beliefs/thoughts)

Affective component -> how we feel about the attitude object (emotions/feelings)

Behavioural component -> how we behave towards the attitude object (actions/responses)

Strong negative attitude example - 3 components are in consonance (agreement)

  • Cognitive component -> 'I know that last time i didn't enjoy going swimming/was scared'
  • Affective component -> 'I'm afraid of the water'
  • Behavioural component -> 'I refuse to get into the water'
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Attitude formation

Attitudes are formed by experience and learning. This is influenced by a number of factors:

Peer groups

  • friendship groups/wider peer groups stongly influence an individual's attitudes
  • acceptance of the group's attitudes towards an attitude object is a way of gaining membership of a group/gaining a sense of identity


  • rewards will strengthen existing attitudes
  • a performer who is praised for training will have a strengthened attitude towards training -> resulting in greater intention to train/greater likelihood of training

Socialisation/social learning

  • we learn a lot from significant others e.g. parents/coahces and media
  • they are powerful formers of attitude -> can lead to prejudice/stereotyping if negative


  • the more a person experiences an attitude object, the more likely they are to develop a positive attitude towards it
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Why is it necessary to form good attitudes

We try to develop good attitudes because:

  • attitudes are a good predictor of behaviour
  • good attitudes lead to good behaviours/sportsmanship/dedication
  • good attitudes abide by social norms
  • allows indidvidual to become part of a group -> feel accepted

A coach may find it useful to:

  • know what an individual's attitude is towards new team members/officals/unknown situations
  • be able to measure the strengths of an individual's attitude -> enable modification of these attitudes to ensure best performance
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Persuasive communication

'an active non-coaercive attempt to reinforce/modify/change the attitude of others'

The persuader -> the message giver i.e. coach/captain

  • high status - someone who is seen of a high status is more likely to persuade performer
  • popularity - high-profile role models can be effective message givers/persuaders
  • credibility - feelings of trustworthiness towards persuader, are they acting in best interest of the performer

The message

  • accuracy/quality - is it obviously correct to the performer
  • is the message stated with confidence/enthusiasm 
  • clarity of message - is it logical/appealing to the receiver
  • situation/time when message is given

The receiver

  • are they ready for the message
  • how strong is their current attitude/are they motivated to change
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Cognitive dissonance

Cognitive dissonance theory -> individuals like to be consistent in what they do/feel/believe

  • if they do something against their beliefs they feel uncomfortable: they feel dissonance (lack of consistency)
  • individuals are then motivated to reduce the discomfort by changing their existing attitude 
  • attempts to create conflict in thoughts/beliefs
  • attitude may be changed by altering one component of Triadic Model -> creating cognitive dissonance

Cognitive – give new information/education

Affective – create new emotions/enjoyment/fun/feeling of safety 

Behavioural – give success/reinforcement

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