Saturday, February 08, 2014

Attitude and human behaviour….

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Lots of have been discussed on the attitude. People give examples of different attitude and tag others either with positive attitude or negative attitude. However have we realized how attitude is formed in the person? As a HR professional, I always first think about the attitude and assess the person based on the same. I may go wrong if I really don’t understand how the person in discussion formulates his attitude. We must have seen many examples where the person is fired for his attitude, however he is much successful in another organization. We may be wrong in assessing the person if we don’t understand what attitude really means and how it is formulated in the personality of the person.

Attitude refers to our tendency to compare ourselves with others. We use this, in order to determine whether our view of social reality is correct or not.  We often change our attitudes, so as to hold our views closer to that of others. This process helps us to form new attitudes. Attitude are formed based on the experiences. Take an example of the person who is always worked with the boss who is democratic and open. The person will try to follow him. During this process, some aspect which  is being influenced on his personality may be viewed differently by another person who is totally tyrannical.  

It is also believed that genetic factors influence the physical aspects i.e.; height, color of skin and eyes etc... Similarly these genetic factors influence our way of ‘thinking’. Thought occurs in brain and it is also a physical part, as any other part of the body which has influence of genes. However, to some extent, genetic factors do influence attitude

Does attitude influence human behaviour? If  yes when and how?

Attitudes are a set of tendencies and predispositions which have major impact on human behaviour.  Studies have shown that there is often a sizable gap between attitudes and behaviour.
The attitude behaviour gap-as something between what people say and what actually they do.
Several studies have shown that there are major factors which serve as ‘moderators’ –they influence to which extent attitudes affect behaviour.

These so- called moderators are most related to:

Aspects of situation

They are purely  Situational. In fact, people can’t express their attitude, since that would be contrary to the norms in a given situation. If the person is under time pressure and he has to take decisions, they tend to fall back on their attitudes as quick-and-easy guides. They become more attentive and use info carefully!

Aspects of attitudes of themselves

The link between attitudes and behaviour is strongly moderated by aspects of attitudes themselves. Attitude origins direct experience and indirect process.
Attitude Strength refers to the extremity or intensity of the attitude how strong is the emotional reaction provoked by attitude object. Here the person will think more about self – interest, social identification & value relevance.

Aspects of individuals

The fundamental question here is, “Is attitude & behaviour link is stronger for some persons than for others ?”

The answer is “Yes” through process called - Self-monitoring.

If people are low self-monitored, they here focus their attention outward and try to match with the people around them. They are predictable in their behavior.

If they are high self-monitored, they use their attitude as a guide to their behavior. They look or focus inward. They are unpredictable.

Clearly speaking, there is something inside people that makes them think, feel and act in a situation. That “Something Inside” is what we mean by personality. “Personality can be defined as the unique and consistent pattern of behaviour , thoughts and feelings in a wide variety of situations over a long period of time”


And it is built by attitude… and off course changeable if person has the right mindset…

12 comments:

Anonymous said...

As a HR professional, I believe that people behave in accordance with their attitude. In some cases , people will actually alter their attitudes to align them better with their behaviour.Which means one's attitude is not set in stone. The same influences that lead to attitude formation can also create attitude change. The HR professional looks at these factors that cause behavioural change (ethically) and will try to manipulate these circumstances so that both the business and personal envorment of the person can benefit.
By Naomi Baatjes

fusionorganic said...

Great to see this topic being looked at.

I have been exploring this theme for some years now, though my blog is in its infancy...

Bill Torbert's work with action inquiry has a lot of useful attitude-self-awareness tools

http://fusionorganic.wordpress.com/2014/01/08/importance-of-attitude/

Naomi Baatjes said...

As a HR professional, I believe that people behave in accordance with their attitude. In some cases , people will actually alter their attitudes to align them better with their behaviour.Which means one's attitude is not set in stone. The same influences that lead to attitude formation can also create attitude change. The HR professional looks at these factors that cause behavioural change (ethically) and will try to manipulate these circumstances so that both the business and personal envorment of the person can benefit.

Helen Lancaster said...

For me "attitude" is all about a predisposition to behave in a particular way - this can be positive or negative. The formation of an attitude, or the inclination to behave in one way or another, is as a result of a complex process of how you think about a situation, what values and beliefs you hold, your perceived reality of the situation and your experiences and your emotional response to the stimulus. All these individual filters that your mind goes through in an instant will result in your chosen behavioural response. You can therefore choose whether this external response is positive or negative and how you are therefore perceived by others as having a "bad or good attitude". As humans we all possess the ability to reason and to control our thought processes, however, it is not always easy and sometimes emotions override rational thought and we end up with "bad attitudes" which can escalate into conflict.

Melvin Jarman said...

Nice to see this topic being discussed. A work in progress: a few experiential/reflexive thoughts, and some links to scholar/practitioners who have been working with this:

Venkat said...

I do agree that we interpret the attitude of others with our own perception. But it is not correct to say that many times when we remove people because of attitude they succeed in other organisations. My experience is otherwise. They may succeed in Financial terms. You need to define \"Success\". I will give one example. I had a Trainee working with me. I found to be dishonest during Training. Initially I warned him and gave him a chance to correct. But he did not change. I had to remove him from the Service. Later on he became a Manager in a Conglomerate. To use your language he \"succeeded\". When I met him then and enquired, he haughtily replied that he has not changed. Do you call this \"success\" as true and my judgement was wrong

Anonymous said...

How to identify the correct moderator to bridge the gap between attitude and behaviour practically for a select individual?

Mahesh Bhat said...

Sir Values For Vision & Wealth develop Winning Attitudes for Altitudes & Neural Networks define Performance Excellence.

Arindam said...

In order to keep control over attitude,one must avoid comparison and expectation from others.

Naomi Baatjes said...

As a HR professional, I believe that people behave in accordance with their attitude. In some cases , people will actually alter their attitudes to align them better with their behaviour.Which means one's attitude is not set in stone. The same influences that lead to attitude formation can also create attitude change. The HR professional looks at these factors that cause behavioural change (ethically) and will try to manipulate these circumstances so that both the business and personal envorment of the person can benefit.

Helen Lancaster said...

or me "attitude" is all about a predisposition to behave in a particular way - this can be positive or negative. The formation of an attitude, or the inclination to behave in one way or another, is as a result of a complex process of how you think about a situation, what values and beliefs you hold, your perceived reality of the situation and your experiences and your emotional response to the stimulus. All these individual filters that your mind goes through in an instant will result in your chosen behavioural response. You can therefore choose whether this external response is positive or negative and how you are therefore perceived by others as having a "bad or good attitude". As humans we all possess the ability to reason and to control our thought processes, however, it is not always easy and sometimes emotions override rational thought and we end up with "bad attitudes" which can escalate into conflict.

Melvin Jarman said...

Nice to see this topic being discussed. A work in progress: a few experiential/reflexive thoughts, and some links to scholar/practitioners who have been working with this:

http://fusionorganic.wordpress.com/2014/01/08/importance-of-attitude/

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