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17 Examples of Attitude Change
John Spacey, November 28, 2021
Attitude change is change to an individual's way of thinking about something. The following are illustrative examples.
NeedsAttitudes change with needs, motivation, intentions and goals. For example, a teenager who needs to pursue independence and life experience such that their attitudes may change with respect to their family.
PersuasionPersuasion is the art of changing the attitudes of others using techniques such as ethos, pathos and logos. For example, a manager who convinces a team that a change is urgent and worthwhile such that they become more energetic and determined.
ReactanceReactance is a reaction against the removal of freedom. People may turn against something that they feel is surrounded in propaganda such that they are being pushed into an attitude. For example, often repeated government slogans can backfire in changing attitudes towards some unintended direction.
NudgesA nudge is persuasion based on gentle suggestions that respect the intelligence of the audience. For example, asking questions as opposed to barking commands or mindless slogans. This is a path around reactance.
Social DesirabilityPeople commonly want to align their attitudes to social groups to which they belong or want to belong. For example, a university student who changes their attitudes to avoid offending prevailing groupthink in their social environments.
Political PolarizationPolitical polarization is a situation where a population forms intensely divided political camps. This discourages individualistic thinking whereby it becomes unthinkable to continue with an attitude that has been labelled as belonging to the other side.
Comparative ProcessingPeople commonly compare their lives and attitudes with others. For example, a teen who considers changing their attitudes when they notice a difference from the attitudes of their peers.
Social ProofPeople may trust things that are popular, conventional or typical of their peers or groups to which they feel they belong. This is known as social proof. For example, an individual who feels they are destined to join the upper class who adopts attitudes they see exhibited by members of this class.
Cognitive DissonanceCognitive dissonance are negative feelings caused by inconsistent thoughts or discrepancies between thought and action. This is one way that attitudes change. For example, if you have the attitude that being late for work is poor behavior you may feel bad when you are late. If you are often late, you may begin to view being late as a show of confidence in order to make yourself feel better about your behavior.
EmotionEmotions are cognitive states that color all thoughts. These can change attitudes. For example, a person who is generally unbiased who suddenly becomes biased when they are angry. It is possible to cultivate the ability to maintain reasonably consistent attitudes and behavior when emotions shift. This is known by terms such as maturity or emotional stability.
Rational ThoughtPeople can form and change attitudes with a process of rational thought. For example, an individual who challenges groupthink because they feel it is logically indefensible.
Values ChangeValues are fundamental principles that an individual adopts to guide their thought processes. When values change this can map to a large number of attitude changes. For example, an individual who begins to value stability and continuity with the past as they age such that they begin to adopt traditional attitudes that they had previously rejected.
IntrospectionPeople have the capacity to examine their own thoughts, emotions, values, attitudes and behavior to make changes. For example, an individual who realizes they aren't the person they intended to be who begins to challenge their own beliefs.
ExperienceThe human experience is the input that drives all thought processes. For example, mere familiarity with another culture can dramatically change your attitudes towards it such as a person who enjoys a few wonderful weeks in Paris who is then forever enamored with French people, language and culture.
Transformative ExperienceLooking back at life, people may be able to identify a handful of experiences that changed their values and attitudes for the better or worse. As such, experience isn't some dull constant force that shapes us but can be quite chaotic and suddenly transformative at any moment and at any age.
ComplianceCompliance is a situation where an individual exhibits the attitude that is expected of them without necessarily believing it. For example, a worker at a hotel with excellent service who demonstrates positive attitudes towards customers because they know this reduces their chance of being fired.
InternalizationInternalization is where an attitude that has been simulated for the practical reasons of fitting into a society, culture, institution, organization, team or group becomes a real attitude that a person actually believes.
AttitudesThis is the complete list of articles we have written about attitudes.
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