Attitudes and Attitude Change

Provide and describe 3 personal examples of attitudes you have, one each of the following:
(a) cognitively based;
(b) affectively based; and
(c) behaviourally based.


An attitude is an expression of a person’s like or dislike towards an object, person, idea or situation. (Exforsys Inc, 2007). Attitudes are mainly categorized into three: behavioral, cognitive and affective. These categories are based on social experiences and are often referred to as ‘Attitude Bases’.

Attitude Bases

Every attitude can be classified into either one of these three groups.

Behaviorally based attitudes

This refers to one’s reaction or opinion of an object or situation, formed from observation of how they behave when they interact with the said object or situation (Spaulding, 2008). For instance, hate. I was indifferent about city traffic when I moved here a few years ago but over time, I have found myself getting angry and impatient when stuck in it, and have come to really hate it. After I got to interact with the city traffic is when I formed an attitude towards it.

Cognitively based attitudes

This type of attitude is formed as a result of facts and logic obtained from weighing the good and the bad (Spaulding, 2008). An example could be treasure. I value my cell-phone because it is efficient, easy to use and has many applications that I use everyday. Its functionality out-does its cons like short battery life and lack of aesthetic qualities. That feeling of value attached to my phone is therefore cognitive since it is based more on logic than emotion.

Affectively based attitudes

This is attitude formed from emotions or inner feelings of a person toward an object or a person (Spaulding, 2008). A common one would be love. I love my friend Jake because of the good memories that come to mind when I reminisce on the years we have been good friends. This is an affectively based attitude since it’s based on a feeling of happiness


Exforsys Inc. (2007). The Psychology of Attitude. Retrieved February 06, 2012 from


Spaulding Kevin. (2008). Attitudes and Attitude Change. Retrieved February 06, 2012 from



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