Published Online: 30 JAN 2010
Copyright © 2010 John Wiley & Sons, Inc. All rights reserved.
Corsini Encyclopedia of Psychology
How to Cite
Visser, P. S. 2010. Attitudes. Corsini Encyclopedia of Psychology. 1–2.
- Published Online: 30 JAN 2010
Psychologists use the term attitude to refer to a general evaluation that an individual holds regarding a particular entity, such as an object, an issue, or a person. An individual may hold an extremely favorable attitude toward a particular political candidate, for example, and a mildly unfavorable attitude toward another candidate. Thus, attitudes vary in valence as well as extremity, and they reflect an individual's overall summary evaluation of an attitude object. Attitudes toward the countless objects that we encounter in our day-to-day lives are stored in memory, and they remain at least somewhat stable over time. In this way, attitudes are different from fleeting, momentary evaluative responses to an object. In addition, attitudes are specific to particular objects, unlike diffuse evaluative reactions like moods or dispositions.