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Attitude

It is how positive or negative favorable or


unfavorable or pro or con a person feels towards
an object
OR
It is a learned predispositions to respond to an
object or class of objects in a consistently
favorable or unfavorable way.
Attitudes lead people to behave in a fairly consistent
way toward similar objects.

Characteristics of AttitudesThe basic characteristics of attitudes are(i) have an object


(ii) have direction, intensity or degree
(iii) have structure
(iv) are learned
(i) Attitudes have an object i.e. there must be a
focal point. It can be a abstract concept such as
ethical behavior, or a tangible item, or a person
or a group of persons, or an action etc.
(i)

Attitudes have direction, degree & intensity An


attitude expresses how a person feels towards an
object.

It expresses (1)direction the person is either


favorable or unfavorable towards or for or against
the object (2) degree how much the person either
likes or dislikes the object & (3) intensity the level
of sureness or confidence of expression about an
object or how strongly a person feels about his
convictions.
(iii) Attitudes have structure Attitudes display
organization, which means that they have internal
consistency & possesses inter-attitudinal centrality.
They also tend to be stable, have varying degree of
salience (importance) & are generalizable.

Attitudes cluster into a structure, thus they tend to


show stability over time. If the attitude is towards
a specific object, it can be extended to the class
of objects.
(iv) Attitudes are learned Just like swimming
cycling, tastes, attitudes are also learned. They
develop from our personal experiences with
reality & information from family, friends, sales
person & media. It is also derived from direct &
indirect experience of life.

Functions of Attitudes
Attitude serve four major functions for the individuals: (1)
the adjustment function, (2) the ego defensive function
(3) the value expressive function (4) the knowledge
function .
These functions are the motivational base which shape &
reinforce positive attitudes toward goal objects perceived as
need satisfying &/or negative attitudes toward other objects
perceived as punishing or threatening.
Punishing
Threatening
Negative

Positive

Attitude
Unrewarding
objects

Need Satisfying
object

Attitude development & function based on perceived need satisfaction or harm avoidance

(i)

Adjustment Function It directs people towards


pleasurable or rewarding objects & away from
unpleasant, undesirable ones. Thus, the attitude of
consumers depend to a large degree on their
perception of what is need satisfying & what is
punishing.

(ii)

Ego Defensive Function Attitudes formed to


protect the ego or self image from threat help fulfill
the ego defensive function. Ego defensive attitudes
help us to protect our self image & often we are
unaware of them.

(iii) Value Expressive Function they enable the


expression of the persons centrally held values.
Therefore consumers adopt certain attitudes in an
effort to translate their values into something more
tangible & easily expressed.
(iv) Knowledge Function Humans have a need for a
structured & orderly world & therefore they seek
consistency, stability, definition & understanding.
Out of this need develops attitude towards
acquiring knowledge about specific objects. If the
object is of interest we try to acquire knowledge &
vice versa.

TRI-COMPONENT ATTITUDE MODEL According to


this model, attitudes consists of 3 major components
an affective component, a cognative & a conative
component.
Conation
Cognition
Affect

Cognitive Component consists of persons cognitions


i.e. the knowledge & perceptions that are acquired by a
combination of direct experience with the attitude object
& related information from various sources.
This
knowledge & resulting perceptions commonly take the
form of belief.

Affective component A consumers emotions or


feelings about a particular product/brand constitute the
affective component of an attitude.
Conation Component it is concerned with the
livelihood / tendency that an individual will undertake a
specific action or behave in a particular way with regard
to the attitude object.
ATTITUDE FORMATION- How people form their initial
general attitude towards things can be divided into 3
areas(i) how attitudes are learned
(ii) sources of influence on attitude formation
(iii) the impact of personality on attitude formation

i)

ii)

How attitudes are learned means having no


attitude towards a given object to having some
attitude towards it. This change is a result of
learning. In terms of classical conditioning an
established brand name is an unconditioned
stimulus that through past positive reinforcement
resulted in a favourable brand attitude. A new pdt
yet to be linked to a established brand would be the
conditioned stimulus.
Sources of influences on attitude formationThe formation of consumer attitudes of strongly
influenced by personal experience, the influence of
family & friends direct marketing mass media & the
internet.

iii)

Personality Factors individuals with high need


for cognition (who crave info & enjoy thinking) are
likely to form positive attitudes in response to ads.
or direct mail that are rich in product related
information, whereas consumers who are relatively
low in need for cognition are more likely to form
positive attitudes in response to ads that feature an
attractive model or well known celebrity.
That is, attitude changes are learned, they are
influenced by personal experience & other sources
of information & personality affects both the
receptivity & the speed with which attitudes are
likely to be altered.

STRATEGIES FOR CHANGING ATTITUDES


Low involvement strategies 1) Link the product or service to an involving
issue e.g. good breakfast for school going
children.
2) Link the product to a presently involving
personal situation, eg Sun-Tan
3) Develop high involvement advertisement eg.
use humor, dramatic went etc.
4) Change the importance of product benefit eg.
importance of fiber for health.
5) Reveal / introduce important product
characteristic.

High Involvement strategies


1) Change
existing
belief
about
the
consequences of behavior Consumers hold
incomplete or incorrect beliefs about the
consequence of purchasing & using particular
brand, therefore brand benefits should be
promoted.
2)

Change
consumer
evaluation
consequences of a particular action.

of

the

3)

Introduce new belief / evaluation combinations.

Change belief abt


consequences of
behaviour

Change evaluation
of consequences

Change in
attitude toward
behaviour

Change in
behavioural
intentions

behavioural
Charge

Change belief abt


perception of others
Change in
subjective norms
abt behaviour
Change motivations
to comply

Some strategy options for attitude change in high involvement conditions