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ATTITUDES AND VALUES

INTRODUCTION Attitude is a very complex cognitive process just like the personality of an individual. The difference between these two is that personality is usually thought of as the whole person, where as attitude may make up the personality. It is a very important variable in human behaviour, because it constitutes an important psychological attribute of individuals which shapes their behaviour. The importance of attitudes in understanding psychological phenomenon was given formal introduction early in the history of social psychology. From the time of its entry into the subject of psychology till now, interest in attitudes has been strongly growing. However, over the years attitudes have been studied with differing methods and the emphasis has also been different.

Attitudes are evaluative statements. These are frequently used in describing people, objects and events and explaining the people's behavior. These reflect how one feels about something or some body. When I say, "I like Ram". I am expressing my attitude about Ram. Thus, we can say that attitude is a bent of mind, predisposition of certain actions.

MEANING AND DEFINITION It is very necessary as well as difficult to define attitude because the variety of published definitions and descriptions is endless.

In a very precise way, "an attitude can be defined as a persistent tendency to feel and behave in a particular way toward some object."

An attitude may also be defined as the way a person feels about something a person, a place, a commodity, a situation or an idea. It expresses an individual's positive or negative feelings about some object. It describes an individual's feelings, thoughts and predisposition to act toward some object in the environment.

Some important definitions of attitudes are as given below :

According to G.W. Ailport, "Attitude is a mental and neutral state readiness, organised through experience, exerting a directive or dynamic influence.