It is quite common for the words “attitude” and “aptitude” to be confused as they are very similar, both graphically and phonetically. Just change a letter.
It is because of this that they are either taken for synonyms, or their meaning is reversed without realizing it. However, they refer to very different concepts, although equally important in different fields, such as employment or education.
Then we will see the differences between attitude and aptitude, With their meanings and some examples related to the world of work.
What do attitude and aptitude mean?
Attitude and aptitude are words that are generally confused, as they are very similar phonetically and graphically, just by changing a letter. In addition to this, the two terms often go hand in hand, sometimes it is difficult to see the line between what is understood as an attitude and what is understood as an aptitude.
Generally speaking, when we speak of an attitude, we mean behavioral tendency of a person to deal with various situationsIn other words, it has to do with aspects of the personality, of the temperament. In contrast, when we talk about fitness, we are basically referring to their abilities. Likewise, to better understand the differences between the two terms, we’ll look at them in more detail below.
What’s the attitude?
When we talk about someone’s attitude, we are referring to the predisposition of that person to respond to situations in a consistent manner. That is to say that we refer to an aspect of his personality, to his more or less natural tendency to show himself in front of different contexts, such as work, personal, family, social …
Therefore, the attitude of a subject has to do with his way of acting in the face of the experience of a circumstance, Or being close to an object or person that triggers a certain response in the individual. This tendency can be cognitive and affective in nature, and although it seems very rooted in innate tendencies, there may be an acquired component.
In the work context, a person’s attitude is a very important factor in having a good performance, in addition to contributing to a good working environment.
What is fitness?
The word aptitude refers to the abilities or skills that a person possesses in relation to a certain type of field. It can also be defined as the set of conditions or requirements that an individual must fulfill to accomplish a certain function, whether professional or academic, or a goal that has been proposed.
Therefore, it has a lot to do with knowledge, both theoretical and practical, While it is true that a certain natural component must be highlighted here, whether it is innate or acquired.
For example, when we say that a person has the ability to master languages, besides referring to the fact that he speaks several languages, we also mean that he has an ease in understanding his grammar, quickly memorizing a new vocabulary, imitating phonemes. .
According to the definition seen here, it makes sense to think that in each profession different types of skills are required, Depending on both the job and the branch in which the individual specializes.
For example, in the programming world, it is necessary to have good logical analysis and problem solving skills, in addition to fluency in understanding different programming languages.
Another example would be a comic book illustrator, who should not only have good artistic skills but also creativity and knowledge in different styles of drawing and coloring.
The differences between attitude and aptitude, explained
As we stated previously, the word “attitude” refers to a person’s temperamentIn other words, it refers to the personality traits of an individual. Instead, by “aptitude” we refer to their capabilities in both knowledge, both theoretical and practical, that the individual possesses. The differences between the two terms are very clear when used in work contexts.
For example, being at work, a person is said to exhibit a good attitude when they have a responsible personality, deliver reports on time, have a way of relating to others that does not generate conflict, are kind , knows how to behave while in a meeting … I mean, the worker with a good working attitude is a person who has pleasant personality characteristics for the operation of the company.
On the other hand, we are not rightly referring to the characteristics of the personality of the individual, but to his abilities as a good worker for the specific profession in which he finds himself. That is to say that we refer, as we have already mentioned, to the skills that he possesses, to the capacities in which he presents a natural ease that has developed by means of different theoretical-practical knowledge acquired throughout his life.
Example: the English teacher
Imagine an English teacher. Showing a good attitude, this teacher must have patience, understanding his students when they feel frustrated because they do not do well with pronunciation or when they do not understand grammar. In addition, this same teacher must have a “spark”, that is, to make the lessons fun and interesting by transmitting energy, which is closely related to the dimension of extroversion.
On the other hand, the skills of the teacher should not be neglected: he must know how to teach, especially in a subject as problematic as languages. He must know useful methods for teaching foreign languages, in addition to being a speaker with an almost native level of the language he is teaching.
Thus, it can be understood that although they have different meanings, the two terms refer to fundamental aspects of any profession. Having one thing but not having the other completely makes a good job very difficult, if not directly impossible.
In this same example of the English teacher, a teacher with a bad attitude, boring, discouraged, demotivated and who, on top of that, sees his students as sheep incapable of learning, will be a teacher who, still having the title of English philology, will not invite learning.
On the other hand, being highly motivated in class and being understanding with students is not helpful if that teacher is not fluent in the language he is trying to teach or is not clear with grammar and vocabulary.
Can they be improved?
While the differences between attitude and aptitude are obvious, both have two aspects that they agree with. The first, which we have already mentioned, is that they are fundamental in any work context. You cannot have too much of one and too little of the other. The second thing in common is that attitude and aptitude can be improved.
Improving these skills and attitudes can be key to getting a job, Especially since we live in a world where more and more skills are required but also we must show a way to relate to others, both emotionally and cognitively, more complex. In other words, we are asked to have a lot of knowledge and, at the same time, to have leadership, to show rapid decision-making, to be flexible in terms of new experiences …
Improving skills is something that seems obvious, but it does not seem so clear to work on attitude, which as we pointed out earlier is very much related to personality. However, if we have learned anything from psychology, it’s that if everyone tends to be who they are throughout their lives, we can work on personality traits, encouraging lasting and adaptive changes. In other words, improve personality.
With the work of psychologists, you can work to acquire new and more effective attitudes in the workplace. This is done through demanding personal, intimate and responsible work, as well as through self-knowledge. Just knowing what ineffective habits or behaviors are being adopted, as well as the whole belief system that underlies it, can improve, in particular, attitudes and, in general, as a person.
As for improving skills, it is easier than with attitudes, but it still requires effort. Knowing our skills and weaknesses is the first step in targeting the process of improving our skills. Once detected, an investigation can be conducted on the existing resources to improve ourselves in what we want. You are never good enough for anything, you always have to go further and better.
- Sturgeon, M. (2017). Aptitude, attitude and motivation as predictors of foreign language learning. 10.13140 / RG.2.2.15457.10085.
- Alderman, MK (2003). Motivation to Succeed: Teaching and Learning Opportunities: Lawrence Erlbaum Assoc Inc.
- Weiner, B. (1972). Attribution theory, motivation for success and educational process. Journal of Educational Research, 42 (2), 203-215
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