Situational Annalysis of Attitude

Social approaches focus on our tendency to copy the beliefs and behaviours of others. Role models shown on television and in the neighbourhoods are examples. People change their residences, shift from old localities/mohallas to modern localities to learn new values and bring change in their attitudes.

An individual is capable of holding two contradictory beliefs or notions as long the person is not made aware about them. Once the person becomes aware, cognitive dissonance occurs. Dissonance is the uncomfortable feeling when we feel that what we believe may not be true. We can not live with such discomfort and we try to modify either our thinking or change our behaviour.

We can take the example of an environmentalist who is the advocate of keeping the environment clean, himself uses smoke emitting car. When he/she is made to realize, about his/her attitude, the conflict or dissonance emerges in his mind.

In the result of this dissonance his/her probable actions will be either 1. Deny the evidence, 2. Change the car, 3. Rationalize the action that he had to drive a large car for safety or for some other reasons.

In all the cases, he tries to reduce dissonance or discomfort, because nobody likes to remain with the discomfort. He/she will bring change in the attitude to get rid of dissonance. Dissonance can be a great tool towards change. This conflict or dissonance can be created by oneself or by an organization or a group.

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By Hassham

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