Many factors can affect the success or failure of an action. And it is that although we have the real possibility of achieving it, it is not the same thing to do something as to do it well: our willingness to do it affects the motivation and the accomplishment, the degree or even the perception of the task or the situation.
We are not talking about something that is either A or B, but rather there are many types of attitudes, Because that’s what we’re talking about, what they can have in this regard.
What are the attitudes?
Before going into the evaluation of different types of attitudes, it is necessary to consider what we can consider to be the attitude itself.
In this sense, it is called the attitude towards the effect of the set of beliefs and values that are relatively stable over time in the disposition or tendency to act in a certain way or to undertake. some kind of action. This is a determining aspect when carrying out an action and the type of emotion it generates this activity or this way of interacting with a specific situation or stimulus.
An attitude can be more or less generalized, be able to refer to a large area or even a specific type of stimulus (This is the case, for example, with ethnic or racial prejudices).
Attitude to the world arises from the interplay between biological and hereditary factors (such as aptitudes or personality traits, some of which are favored by the genetics of each subject) and environmental factors such as lifelong learning. of the subject’s life.
They can also actively modify through training or simple exposure to the subject that generates the attitude, for example associate the activity in question with positive or negative reinforcements based on experience.
Functions of attitudes
The presence of a certain attitude has four basic functions, as proposed by Katz in 1960.
In the first place, they have a utilitarian or instrumental function, in that they allow them to undertake and approach the achievement of the objectives of those who have them.
Another of their functions is that of knowledge, because they allow so many process how to perceive even selectively the available information in the environment.
The third of the basic functions of attitudes is the expression of values, making it possible to show the beliefs behind the action itself.
Finally, and linked to the above, the function of self-defense stands out, linked to the preservation of self-esteem and self-concept by allowing self-affirmation and self-justification of one’s own actions. .
Types of attitudes
It is possible to find a wide variety of types of attitudes, Classified according to various criteria and without being mutually exclusive. Among them we can see the following.
1. According to their affective valence
One of the possible ways of classifying emotions is through their affective valence, in the sense that they allow the environment and the situation to be valued. We can find the following three types of attitudes.
1.1. positive attitude
One of the most favorable types of attitude is the positive attitude, through which the situation or exposure to a stimulus is visualized in a way that promotes positive and optimistic interpretation regardless of whether there are difficulties. encountered, already approaching the subject of stimulation or action. the pursuit of the achievement of objectives in a healthy manner, Confident and generally disciplined. It is usually contagious.
1.2. negative attitude
A type of attitude that generates a negative and pessimistic view of reality, generally maximizing the aversive experience and giving little or no value to seeing the positive aspects of the situation. This usually generates action avoidance or a plaintive behavior beyond the rational, Make it difficult to achieve objectives. As the positive is generally contagious.
1.3. neutral attitude
One can consider as a neutral attitude one in which judgment and thought are not tinged with a positive or negative emotivity. This is one of the less common types of attitude and is generally specific to people who claim to be impartial in their judgments.
2. Classification according to their orientation in relation to the activity
Another type of classification, which is not in contradiction with the previous one, refers to the way in which the individual dispositions generate a concrete approach or orientation towards the idea of carrying out a behavior or an activity. In this sense and we can highlight the following.
2.1. Proactive attitude
A type of attitude in which the action and the autonomous and active search for an improvement in the accomplishment or the exercise of the activity or an autonomous search for the solution of the problems which may arise take priority. It’s a kind of state of mind that promotes creativity and the creation of added valueIn addition to pursuing the achievement of current objectives and even looking for new challenges to overcome afterwards. He is very popular in the labor market.
2.2. reactive attitude
This type of attitude is also linked to action and the implementation of behaviors, but with a more passive and dependent mentality on the workbench. A responsive person will be highly dependent on instructions and resources and will have a harder time dealing with unforeseen problems because they will not be self-sufficient. Predisposes to compliance and non-action if there is nothing to compel her.
3. Ranking according to motivation to act
Another type of attitude that can be envisioned arises not so much from how we orient ourselves to the activity as from what motivates us to do it. In this sense, we can find the following types of attitudes.
3.1. interested attitude
This type of attitude implies that what he seeks as a subject in his action is achieving their own individual goals, Without taking into account or valuing very little the needs of others.
The benefit itself is sought, directly or indirectly, and this may be more or less obvious. You can also seek the benefit of others, but you should always report some kind of personal benefit (even if it is at the level of social consideration). It promotes another type of attitude that we will see later, that of manipulation.
3.2. Selfless / altruistic attitude
The subject with this type of attitude performs his acts with the aim of generating profit for others or independently so that he cannot generate profits or even cause losses. This is rare, because most actions generate secondary benefits for its own subject, even if it is at the psychic level.
4. Depending on the relationship with others
In addition to one’s own goals, attitudes can also be classified according to how one interacts with others.
4.1. Collaborative / integrative attitude
A very useful type of attitude, promotes interaction with others so that everyone can achieve their goals and achieve their common and individual goals.
4.2. manipulative attitude
This type of attitude is the one that has the one who uses in a voluntary and conscious way to the others, reifying them to obtain his own objectives, to favor his interests or to orient the situation towards a point desired by them.
4.3. passive attitude
It is a type of attitude derived from a negative view of reality, in which it is presented lack of initiative and activity, Do not seek an approach to action but avoid it. On a personal level, they may come to subordinate their desires to those of others, being dependent and not defending their rights.
4.4. aggressive attitude
A way of acting and dealing with situations in such a way that we defends his own rights independently of those of others, ignoring them or underestimating them if they are contrary to those of his own subject.
4.5. assertive attitude
A type of attitude in which the subject he defends his own views and rights consistently, but respects those of others and be flexible in order to respect the other and leave room for negotiation.
4.6. permissive attitude
This kind of attitude is largely linked to the propensity to be as flexible as possible, allow and promote deviations from the norm.
5. Depending on the type of elements used to evaluate the stimuli
Another type of attitude relates to the way we deal with reality or the type of aspects used to assess each situation.
5.1. Emotional / emotional attitude
The emotional or emotional attitude is that of those people who they tend to be emotional based and valuing their own affections and those of others. They are generally more generous, romantic, and affective both in their interactions and in assessing situations (sometimes in a way that is even counter-rational).
5.2. rational attitude
It is held by people who rely on the use of logic and reason to assess reality, often ignoring irrational or emotional aspects.
- Gerd Bohner. 2002. Attitudes and attitude change: social psychology. Psychology Press.
- Icek Ajzen. 2005. Attitudes, Personality and Behavior. McGraw-Hill International.
- Young, K; JC Flügel. “Psychology of attitudes”. Paidós SA.