Meaning, Structure & Dimension of Attitude

Belief (If emotions are added to belief, it becomes)


Values (When the values ​​come into the behavior then it becomes)



Meaning of Attitude

  • Attitude is a learned tendency to act, think and feel in particular ways towards a class of people, objects, place or event.  
  • In simple words, it is an expression of favour or disfavour towards a person, place, thing or event.
  • Attitude is akin to spectacles through which a person sees the world.
  • Thus, attitude is a subjective interpretation of the f objective world by an individual.

Structure/Content/Competent of Attitude (CAB or ABC)

  • C- Cognition
  • A -Affectionate  
  • B -Behaviour

Cognitive Component

  • The cognitive component of an attitude refers to beliefs, ideas, thoughts and attributes we associate with an object.
  • Stereotypes are thoughts or beliefs that are adopted about specific types of individuals or a particular group. They may or may not accurately reflect reality. They form largely due to over-generalization or incomplete information.
  • E.g., Africans are involved in drug peddling, human trafficking, and low hygiene;

Affective Component

  • The affective component of an attitude refers to feelings or emotions linked to an object.
  • Prejudice is pre-judgement or forming an opinion before becoming aware of relevant facts of the case. It is largely based on the kind of emotions a person has for the object. e.g., assuming that a person of their caste will be helpful.

Behavioural Component

  • The behavioural component refers to past experiences or behaviour regarding an attitude object.


  • It is the behaviour of making a distinction in favour or against a person based on the groups, class or category to which that person belongs to. Such distinction doesn’t consider individual merit. It can also be shown against a thing or an idea.
  • Though it can be positive, discrimination, in most cases, is considered a negative phenomenon as it denies social participation or human rights to people based on prejudice and stereotypes.
  • Even positive discrimination in long term can be harmful to the overall well-being of society. As it may kill the spirit of competition and equality.  

Relationship Between Cognition, Affectionate & Behaviour Components

  • Components of the CAB model have a synergistic relation. When an individual possesses positive belief about an attitude object, they typically have positive affective and behaviour associated with the object. Thus, CAB components are different, but they are not completely independent of each other.

Dimensions of Attitude 

(i) Strength of Attitude

  • Some attitudes are strong, while some attitudes are weak. The strength with which an attitude is held is often a good predictor of behaviour. The stronger the attitude, the more likely it should affect behaviour.

(ii) Accessibility of Attitude

  •  The accessibility of an attitude refers to the ease with which it comes to mind. In general, highly accessible attitudes tend to be stronger.

(iii) Attitude ambivalence

  • The ambivalence of an attitude refers to the ratio of positive and negative evaluations that make up that attitude. The ambivalence of an attitude increases as the positive and negative evaluations get more and more equal.
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