Sample Material of Our IAS Mains GS Online Coaching Programme
Subject: General Studies (Paper 4 - Ethics, Integrity, and
Whenever we interact with others it seems that we are
involved in finding out what each other thinks, in telling each other our
opinions and beliefs or in trying to change someone else’s. If we know someone’s
attitude about something, we feel we are in a better position to predict and
explain what they will do, feel or think in a given situation. An attitude is “a
relatively enduring organization of beliefs, feelings, and behavioral tendencies
towards socially significant objects, groups, events or symbols.” An attitude is
an expression of favor or disfavor toward a person, place, thing, or event (the
attitude object). Prominent psychologist Gordon All port once described attitudes
lithe most distinctive and indispensable concept in contemporary social
psychology. Attitude can be formed from a person’s past and present. Attitude
influences the behavior of the individuals. Attitude is a usual way of doing
things. Successes and failures in life depend upon the attitude of the
individuals. If attitudes are positive, then human relations will be positive.
And positive human relations are necessary for a successful life.
Attitude is a disposition to approach an idea, event, person,
or an object. It is a tendency to act in one was or the other toward an
‘attitude object’ or something CT (i.e. idea, event, person, object, food, Steps
of colour. and furniture. virtually everything). It is easy to see therefore
that the study of attitudes is central to the study of people in social
situations. How you see others stereotyping, prejudices, attraction, voting,
which subjects you study, your hobbies and interests, which TV programmes you
watch, religious views, political views, who your friends are, whether you
attribute blame/ responsibility to someone, how you make decisions in a
group-all of these are areas of social psychology and all of them reflect
attitudes that you hold.
Structure of Attitudes
Attitudes structure can be described in terms of three
Affective component: this involves a person’s
feelings/ emotions about the attitude object. For example: “I am scared of
Behavioral (or conative) component: the way the
attitude we have influences how we act or behave. For example: “I will avoid
spiders and scream if I see one”.
Cognitive component: this involves a person’s belief/
knowledge about an attitude object. For example: “I believe spiders are
This model is known as the ABC model of attitudes. The three
components are usually linked. However, there is evidence that the cognitive and
affective components of behavior do not always match with behavior. This is
shown in a study by La Pierre.
According to Pennington the components are structured in such
a ay that the beliefs and values (cognitive and affective I combine to give the
attitude which is a negative or positive evaluation of something about which we
hold certain beliefs. This then gives rise to an intention to behave in a
certain way resulting, in appropriate circumstances, in behaviour. For example,
a certain MP might believe that smoking cannabis is okay, she might value open
and frank discussion about smoking cannabis and this leads (through intention)
to her behaving in a way that makes this known. Notice that two people can share
the same belief or can share the same value but nevertheless have different
attitudes. You and I might both believe that meat is something edible but we
might evaluate the eating of meat differently and so one of us might be
vegetarian whilst the other isn’t. Similarly two people might value an attitude
object in the same way but because they have different beliefs about it, their
attitudes are different. We might both value animals but one of us might think
eating them causes more to be bred and therefore means we are giving more
animals a life than if we didn’t eat meat, so it’s okay to eat them. The other
person, however, might think the breading them for eating is exploitative,
therefore immoral so it’s not okay to eat them. assumption behind the structural
approach is that if we can how values and beliefs combine in relation to very
specific attitude objects, we should be able both to predict and explain
someone’s intentional behaviour. This approach may tell us what an attitude is
but it does not tell us why you have one attitude and I have another. It doesn’t
say why people hold attitudes they do, what function having the attitude serves
for the person.
Types of Attitudes
Attitude is something that lies between emotions and thought
processing. Attitude may be positive or negative. If someone has good feelings
about something e.g. towards his/her work, or people, men it is positive
attitude otherwise it would be negative.
Positive attitude: The predisposition that results in desirable outcomes for
individuals and organizations can be described as positive attitude. Positive
attitudes are rewarded. It mean s the individual is encouraged to do the same
thing in future.
Negative attitude: The tendency of a person that results in an undesirable
outcome for individuals and organizations can be described as negative attitude.
Negative attitudes are punish ed in order to discourage the same action in
Change in Attitudes
Reward and punishment build up attitude. Attitude can be
changed, if we differentiate negative attitude from positive attitude. Positive
attitude can bring positive change in life.
It is difficult to change attitudes but with some effort, it
can be done. A positive attitude is a pre-requisite for change and development.
If anybody has negative attitude towards ‘change’, this attitude will extend to
anything representing change i.e. leaders, technology, meetings, or any process
Formation of Attitude
Individual attitudes develop through the interaction of
complex forces and are learnt. And what is learnt can be unlearned or changed.
We develop our attitudes from copying those people who are important to us
(significant others), particularly parents and siblings. Religious beliefs are
Humans are constantly thinking, feeling or doing something or
the other. These three main components are what humans are occupied with all the
time and that is what forms their attitudes. Being humans, we tend to have
different attitudes that mayor may not change with time. An Attitudes is nothing
but a point of view one holds for other people, situations, event, object
places, phenomena, or beings. It is essentially like an evaluate statement
that is either positive or negative depending on the degree of like or dislike
for the matter in question. An attitude reflects how one thinks, feels and
behaves in a given situation. There are different types of attitudes that are
subject to change during the course of life.