Does Behaviour Always Follow From Attitude
Attitude is a feeling or evaluation about a person, issue or an object whose result can either be positive or negative. It is an internalized action. On the other hand, the behavior is the overt response measure of the outcome. Many people know that behavior and attitude are related and that behavior stems out of attitude. This idea was backed by early researchers who noted that the attitude is causally related to behavior. Thus, it can be pointed out that an attitude that a person holds usually determines what he will do. For example, companies that offer jobs which are distasteful to employees typically experience high turnover. However, this argument that attitude predicts behavior in a person is usually disputed hence several scholars have established that both the two aspects are unrelated. Conversely, a slight relationship can only be exhibited. Therefore, both the proposers and those against the idea come to a consensus that the relationships exist due to moderating variables.
Prediction of a person’s behavior is usually difficult hence it requires comprehension of his or her thoughts to know their attitude. Therefore, understanding a person’s perspective will require examination of factors that typically influence the individual or group dynamics in a setting. These moderating variables are sometimes used in organizations to change employees’ attitude as well as predict their behaviors. For example, an organization can motivate employees or make the stimulus conducive to influence the employees positively. Thus, people talk of positive job attitude since the employees have pleasant and positive internal feeling about their job. Consequently, this positive attitude will enable the employee to have positive belief, feeling which affect the behavior of such an individual. It is usually referred to as the ABC’s of attitude (affection, behavior and cognitive). The effective part of the attitude includes beliefs and knowledge as well as evaluation of the situation or stimulus. This is also the emotional or feeling component of attitude. This feeling and emotional evaluation bring about the response to a person’s cognition and feeling which is the behavior. Therefore, a motivation which is a moderating factor makes employees in an entity to have a pleasant feeling on the jobs which brings their appreciation of the work and dedication with a low turnover as a behavior.
Secondly, attitude only determines a behavior due to family, peer pressures and the past and present experiences in a situation. For example, an employee who works tremendously feels disappointed and seeks for another employment when he does not get a promotion when his colleague who is lazy gets promoted. The employee first experiences cognition by thinking that he deserved the new position. The gets affect hence he dislikes the manager which results in the behavior which is leaving the current job for another job.
Attitudes that reflect a person’s values, identification and self-interest with group or individual typically result to behavior. When a person perceives that an attitude is important to him, he tends to link such attitude to a given behavior. Therefore, when such attitude is specified, the behavior also tends to be specific, and the two have a stronger link. For example, predicting a behavior of higher turnover can be achieved when employees are individually asked questions on their intention to stay in an enterprise for the coming next few months than asking how well they are satisfied with the payment.
On a separate note, memorization is another factor that links attitude and behavior. Attitudes that exist in memory usually predict a behavior than those that do not exist in the memory system. A person who constantly remembers and talks about or express attitude on a given subject tends to behave according to such an attitude. However, if any variable exists that distort such memory, then the person’s behavior will not reflect the attitude. For example, peer pressure in an organization may make an employee who is an anti-union to attend such union meetings and eventually be part of the union.
Lastly, the experience is another factor that tames an attitude to predict a behavior outcome. Thus, the attitude-behavior relationship is enhanced through personal experience about the environment or a stimulus. For example, it is easier to predict a behavior of an employee who has worked under an authoritarian manager than a student with no such experience.
In conclusion, the determination of the relationship between attitude and behavior has been quite a challenge to scholars due to the different contradictions that occur. However, a common understanding the two aspects are that with the existence of moderating variables or linking factors, it is easier to determine a behavior as a result of an attitude especially when such attitude is stronger. However, this idea is still debatable since a person can sometimes decide to do no harm to an enemy as a choice not to retaliate as opposed what majority might think if the two are fierce rivals.
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