Attitudes in social behavior

James M. Olson, Gregory R. Maio

Research output: Chapter or section in a book/report/conference proceedingChapter or section


The social psychology literature on attitudes is reviewed. The structure of attitudes is examined in terms of two conceptual issues: whether attitudes are made up of one or three components and whether the evaluative aspect of attitudes is unidimensional or bidimensional. The possible functions of attitudes are considered, and the relations between attitudes and higher-order constructs such as values and ideologies are discussed. Numerous characteristics of attitudes are defined, including accessibility, ambivalence, and strength. The processes involved in attitude formation are summarized, and the effects of attitudes on information processing are discussed. Finally, the issue of attitude-behavior consistency is examined, focusing on the conditions under which attitudes predict behavior strongly.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationHandbook of Psychology
PublisherJohn Wiley & Sons
Publication statusPublished - 2003


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