18. How is attitude related to belief?The defining characteristic of attitudes Is that they express and evaluation of some object (Insko & Schopler, 1972; Petty & Cacioppo, 1981). Evaluations are expressed by terms such as liking-disliking, pro-anti, favoring-not favoring, and positive-negative. They are the feeling tone aroused by any attitude object. Attitudes can be formed about many things – entities, people, or abstract concepts. Anything that arouses evaluative feelings qualifies as an object of attitudes.
Beliefs are cognitions, or thoughts, about the characteristics of objects. They link objects to attributes (Fishbein & Ajzen, 1975). Attitude is typically associated with a number of specific beliefs about an object. We have evaluative feelings about beliefs, which contribute to our attitude.
For example, your friend may believe that certain politician has a sound economic policy, will work to lower taxes, will help to prevent war, and so on. These beliefs will determine his attitude towards the politician – favorable or unfavorable.
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