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Attitudes have long been considered a central concept of social psychology Allport 1935 defined an attitude as a mental and neural state of readiness organized through experience exerting a directive and dynamic influence upon the individuals response to all objects and situations with which it is related A decade later Krech and Crutchfield 1948 wrote An attitude can be defined as an enduring organization of motivational emotional perceptual and cognitive processes with respect to some aspect of the individuals world These definitions emphasized the enduring nature of attitudes and their close relationship to individuals behavior Some sociologists eg Fuson 1942 and psychologists eg Campbell 1950 even defined attitudes simply in terms of the probability that a person will show a specified behavior in a specified situation People evaluate almost everything they encounter because attitudes are very usefulAttitudes help people to master the environment This is done through the knowledge function and utilitarian function of attitudes Attitudes also help us to gain and maintain connectedness with others This is through the value-expressive function and impression management function of attitudesAttitudes are formed on the basis of a physical characteristic or a physical fact According to Fazio and Olson Hogg Cooper 2007 attitudes are formed through three processes These components are 1 An Emotional Component How the object person issue or event makes you feel 2 A Cognitive Component Your thoughts and beliefs about the subject 3 Behavioral Component How the attitude influences your behavior These components are also referred to as the ABC model of attitudes Attitude can be formed in a variety of ways an attitude can form from an experience that we have had in the past and this is called a Social Schema Social Schemas are mental representations that can be about you other people and specific and common social situations We use Social Schemas during impression formation before we have even met someone they are our expectations of a group or
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