Attitudes - A Special Case
- An attitude is not something we can examine and measure in the same way we examine behaviors or attributes. We can only assume, through words and actions, that a person has a certain attitude.
- Attitudes include things like someone’s intention to do something in the future, their opinions about something, or general feelings towards a situation, whether in the past, present or future.
- By measuring attitudes, and making inferences about them, we can “predict” (or at least anticipate) the future.
- Self-report versus the report of others
- One of the best approaches for measuring attitudes is the self-report. Information may be provided verbally through the use of interviews, surveys, or polls; it can be provided in written form through questionnaires, attitude rating scales, logs, journals, or diaries.
- A less satisfactory approach is the report of others. This information is less satisfactory because you are getting information based on someone else’s assessment of a person’s feelings, beliefs, or behavior.