Mains Marks Booster     3rd August 2023        
  • Attitude is a tendency or predisposition to evaluate an object or symbol of that object in a certain way - Katz and Scotland
  • Attitude is a little thing that makes a big difference - Winston Churchill

Characteristics of Attitude

Characteristics of Attitude

  • Learnt: It is learned and is not innate.
  • Abstract construction: It is a tendency to evaluate things in a certain way.
  • Form of expression: It is an expression of favour or disfavour towards a person, place, thing or event.
  • Observation: Attitude helps us define how we see situations and define how we behave toward the situation or object. 
  • Summary of Experience: An attitude is a summary of a person’s experience; thus, an attitude is grounded in direct experience and predicts future behaviour more accurately.
  • Reflect Personality: It includes certain aspects of the personality as interests, appreciation, and social conduct. It indicates the total of a man’s inclinations and feelings. 
  • Point of View: An attitude is a point of view, substantiated or otherwise, true or false, which one holds towards an idea, object, or person.  
  • Consent: It refers to one’s readiness for doing Work. 
  • Depends on personal aspects: It may be positive or negative and may be affected by age, position, and education. Influence of attitude on behaviour 
  • Mutable/ Fluctuating- It can vary from time to time.


  • A person's response to a specific action, person or circumstance is referred to as his/her behaviour. It refers to how one conducts or controls themselves around others.
  • Behaviour is a reflection of character and conduct.

Attitude and Behaviour

Attitude and Behaviour

  • The relationship between attitude and behaviour is thin. Attitude is an internal component of our cognition whereas behaviour is the manifestation (exhibition) of such attitude. Ex. -
  • Attitude: Negative outlook regarding safety measures in Trains (Cognition- Trains do not adhere to safety standards)
  • Behaviour: She does not travel by train (Manifestation: Avoid travelling by train)
  • Attitude refers to how someone feels about something. For example, a person has a negative outlook toward social media. 
  • Behaviour is how someone acts in response to their feelings. For example, That person has not installed social media applications like Twitter, Instagram, Whatsapp etc.

Difference between Attitude and Behavior

Attitude as a guiding factor for an individual’s Behaviour

Attitude as a guiding factor for an individual’s Behaviour

Steps to be taken to increase the correlation between Attitude & Behavior

  • Emotional intelligence: It facilitates to act aptly depending upon the situation. Ex. An attitude of helping nature shows compassion behaviour for needy people.
  • Introspection: People aware of their feeling shows better attitude behaviour correlation
  • Attitude literacy: Identify good and bad attitudes through learning. 
  • Connecting with conscience: To understand the reasons behind holding a particular attitude
  • Integrity and truthfulness: This shows ways to motivate oneself and develop a positive attitude as well as behaviour.

Degree of Influence of Attitude on Behavior: 

Degree of Influence of Attitude on Behavior

  • True vs Expressed attitude: An expressed attitude may not be a person’s true attitude because of the influence of other factors. 
  • For Example-  India may have a negative attitude towards the Taliban but help them by sending essential items. 
  • One Instance vs Aggregate: An individual act may be different from aggregate behavior.
  • For Example- Our teachers who always active to teach us (Aggregate behavior) but sometime may become rude. (One instance)  
  • Attitude strength: Stronger attitudes influence behavior more intensely. Attitudes formed through personal experience are stronger. Ex. Dog bite resists from feeding anything in future
  • Economic Status and Occupations: Economic power and Occupations shape the attitude of a person. Ex. Wealthy people use their money carelessly.
  • Educational and Religious Institutions: Secular character is imbibed while studying in schools. Ex. The patriotic curriculum of Delhi schools, imbibing an attitude of Nationalism.

Functions of Attitude

  • Decision Making: Our choices are determined by how we assess the circumstances. Decision-making is facilitated by attitude.
  • Ex. Attitude of citizen-centric governance of the Indian government led to the evacuation of students from Ukraine 
  • Knowledge function: It helps individuals to organize and simplify information about the world. Ex. As smoking is injurious to health and hence we avoid smoking.
  • Ego defensive function: It protects us from accepting real or bitter truths about our-self. 
  • Ex. A civil servant urges the villagers to enroll their children in school as responsible fathers (ego-defensive), instead of engaging them in menial jobs.
  • Adjustment Function: It helps people to adjust to the environment. Ex. A person patient starts doing exercise after being diagnosed with diabetic
  • Utilitarian/Instrumental function: It leads to behaviour that optimizes one’s interest. Ex. If a person has a positive attitude for the gym then he is likely to engage in that.
  • Self Awareness: It facilitates knowing the situation and act accordingly. Ex. An attitude of safety always motivates one to wear a helmet while driving.
Functions of Attitude

Components of Attitude

Components of Attitude

Attitude Formation

Attitude Formation

There are the following factors which affect the formation of Attitude -

  • Experience: Attitude can form because of direct experience or observation. Ex. Newly recruited jawans are disciplined by observing fellow colleagues
  • Prejudice: An attitude could include prejudice, which occurs when we make assumptions about a situation before carefully considering all the available information.
  • Ex. Media trial post suicide of Susant Rajput before the verdict of the court
  • Media: It plays a major role in shaping people’s opinions and beliefs. Ex. Opinion Polls before the election helps in shaping people's opinion. 
  • Direct expierence:  Ex. A person who has faced racism in his life develops a negative attitude towards it eg Mahatma Gandhi was evicted from the train by a white man making him stand against apartheid policies.
  • Social Factors: Social institutions like family, region, caste, religion etc. affect the formation of Attitude. 
  • Ex. Not accepting intercaste marriages, leads to honour killing.
  • Politicisation of caste i.e. Giving votes to members of the same caste.
  • Learning institution: Itlays the foundation of understanding and moral values and hence affects attitude formation.
  • Role Modelling: People, particularly children, try to emulate the people they admire, and this includes accepting the attitudes held by these people as one’s own. 
  • Ex. Children started emulating the action of ‘Shaktiman’ after watching the serial.

Moral Attitude

  • It is based on moral convictions of what is right and what is wrong. Family, society, religion and education play an essential role in framing those moral convictions.
  • All attitudes are not associated with Moral attitudes. Ex. Attitude towards Cricket matches has nothing to do with morality.
Implications of Moral Attitude

Characteristics of Moral Attitude

  • Reverence: This attitude takes the highest rank in terms of deriving moral attitude, it stands for respecting things, actions or situations. Ex: Standing up in attention at times of National songs played in the theatre.
  • Faithfulness: It is required when the sanctity of the human being needs to be weighed and measured. Ex. Husband shows faithfulness when getting married and even after that till they exist.
  • Veracity: It conveys sincerity, loyalty, and a sense of accountability. A lack of honesty makes a person's personality crippled. 
  • Ex. Pakistan has lost veracity after failing to curb cross-border terrorism despite multiple assurances.
  • Goodness: It emanates from an intentional act of love. It is the fundamental mindset that facilitates practising generosity and charity.

Political Attitude 

  • It refers to the emotional set with which an individual approach a political issue and which determines his line of conduct towards the issues.
  • It can be learned. Ex. Radical, liberal, progressive, conservative or reactionary etc.

Factors Affecting Political Attitude:

  • Religion: Many people cast their votes based on religious biases. Religion shapes our moral attitude which in turn shapes Political attitude. 
  • Ex. People supported a Party which declared to prohibit same-sex marriage as it was against religious belief
  • Economic Status: Middle class adhere to the capitalist system ideology, whereas the poor adhere to the socialistic ideology.
  • Ex. Socialist people cast their votes for parties that promise freebies and subsidised services.
  • Education: The political ideologies are significantly shaped by the curriculum and philosophy of the school.
  • Ex. Military schools imbibe nationalist ideology among students from the beginning
  • Social Media: Social media has emerged as a key propaganda tool which affects people's political ideas.
  • Ex. Twitter and Instagram following guides political attitudes of youth
  • Family: It helps to inculcate political ideology in their children
  • Ex. Discussion on the political topic in family shapes the political attitude of kids
  • Age: New generation like privacy, an independent lifestyle and liberal thoughts whereas old-generation people show rigidity in their thoughts. 
  • Ex. New-gen youngsters support that candidate who promises individuality and freedom

Importance of Political Attitude

  • Influence Political process: It determines how individuals engage in politics, who they support and which political parties they vote for. 
      • Ex. People having Liberal political attitudes favour parties based on liberal thoughts.
  • Represents Moral Attitude:Religion shapes our moral attitude which in turn shapes Political attitude.
      • Ex. People develop moral attitude against living in relationships and support party which upholds their ideas.
  • Determines values of Society: Societal values like service to the needy, and empowering the marginalized are evolved through political attitude. 
                        Ex. During COVID people came forward to support people by emulating their leaders
    • Enforce Ethics in Politics: Positive political attitudes like tolerance, nationalism, and social service reinforce ethics in politics.

    Democratic Attitude

    • The attitude of authority that promotes people's participation in decision-making is called Democratic Attitude. 
    • Compassion, tolerance, and inclusiveness are prioritized more than rules and restrictions.
    • Merits of Democratic Attitude
    • Strengthen democracy: Decision is based on the majority and hence strengthens the democratic system at the grass root level. Ex. Framing of legislation by including civil society 
    • Accountable system: Authority is accountable to the public for their work. Ex. Cooperative society accountable to its members 
    • Transparency: It promotes characteristics of transparency in working. Ex. All stakeholders know about the action
    • Demerits of Democratic Attitude
    • Delays in execution: Taking everyone on board takes considerable time. Ex. Electoral process
    • Barrier in development approach: Every segment of society is tough to please. Such a mindset might occasionally impede the process of development. 
    • Ex. Land pooling for infrastructural projects, clearance for Mining activities in Scheduled areas, because of mandatory consultation under the Forest Act 2006. 

    Bureaucratic Attitude

    • It refers to the attitude which precisely complies with norms, rules, and regulations. It weighs less importance to public opinion and the elected representatives.
    • Merits ofBureaucratic Attitude
    • Adherence to SoP: There is strict compliance with the standard operating procedure. Ex. The Mock drill before the beginning of voting in an election
    • Quick decision: It involves less number of stakeholders, and hence a quick decision is possible. Ex. Army deployment during Disaster
    • Easy to fix responsibility: Due to the hierarchical nature of the decision-making process, fixing responsibility is easy. Ex. Departmental punishment for any guilty
    • Demerits ofBureaucratic Attitude
    • Red Tapism: Decisions are not taken on a priority basis. Ex. Pending cases in courts
    • Rigid outlook: They are opposed to changes in the system, leading to stagnation. 
    • Indifference towards common citizen: This attitude shows apathy towards common people as rule is supreme and not citizens

    Difference between Democratic and Bureaucratic Attitude