• Definitions and components of attitudes
• Influences on formation of an attitude and
influences on behaviour
• Changing attitudes through cognitive
dissonance and persuasive communication
• An attitude is ‘a complex mix of feelings, beliefs
and values that predisposes somebody to behave
towards something or someone in a consistent
• Attitudes are used to explain a pattern of behaviour or a response
in a given situation.
• An enduring emotional & behavioural response, & although it can
be established firmly, an attitude is unstable & can be changed &
• Attitudes are directed towards ATTITUDE
OBJECTS, which can be PLACES, SITUATIONS
& the BEHAVIOUR of other people.
• Eg. A player dislikes training. The attitude object is the
training & the player may adopt a negative attitude towards
How attitudes are
• Formed by experience and learning. This can be influenced by
a number of factors.
Friendship groups and wider peer groups
strongly influence an individuals attitude. An
acceptance of the groups attitudes towards an
attitude object is a way of gaining membership
of a group and gaining a sense of identity. A
team that has a shared set of attitudes will show
a high degree of cohesion.
Rewards will strengthen existing attitudes. A
performer who is praised for training will have
their attitude towards training strengthened,
which in turn will strengthen the intention to
train and therefore the likelihood of training.
SOCIALISATION AND SOCIAL LEARNING
We learn a lot from significant others – parents,
teachers, coaches, wider role models and the
media – and they are powerful formers of
attitudes, including negative ones that may lead
to prejudice and stereotyping.
The more a person experiences an attitude
object, the more likely a person is to develop a
positive attitude towards it. For example the
more often a child is taken to a sports club or to
matches by their parents, the more likely the
child is to develop a positive attitude towards
that sport and to take it up themselves.
Positive attitudes are formed by…
belief in exercise
enjoyable experiences in sport
being good at a particular sport
being excited by the challenge of sport
using sport as a stress release
the influence of others where participation is the norm
Negative attitudes are formed by…
not believing in the benefits of exercise
a bad past experience
a lack of ability
fear of taking part
suffering stress when taking part
the influence of others when non-participation is
COMPONENTS OF ATTITUDES
• According to the Triadic model, attitudes have three elements
• THE COGNITIVE COMPONENT - what we know and believe
about the attitude object
• THE AFFECTIVE COMPONENT - how we feel about the
• THE BEHAVIOURAL COMPONENT – how we behave towards,
respond to or intend to respond to the attitude object.
EXAM STYLE QUESTION
• Most elite performers have positive attitudes to their
preparation and performance.
a. What is meant by the term ‘attitude’ and how might an
elite performer have developed such a positive attitude?
b. Using an example from sport and with reference to the
triadic model, discuss how a negative attitude could be