Why does our Behavior Affect our Attitudes

Human behavior is an element of inborn traits and socialization traits; when human beings interact, they shape each other’s behavior, values, norms, and personal perception.

According to psychologists, behavior can be defined simply as an expression of one’s attitude, perception, values, and believe to an act; human behavior is molded by internal feelings, thoughts, and beliefs; what come-outs or the acts that human call behaviors are the end result (Freud & Strachey, 1976). Psychologists have accepted that there is a close link between human behavior and attitude; this paper analyzes why behavior influences attitude.

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Human behaviors and attitude

An act can be said to have become a behavior when it a person has repeatedly acted in a certain direction; according to the literature of human behavior, it is personal but shaped by the external environment that someone is operating. It is appreciated that human beings develop a certain mode of behavior from factors arising from socialization right from childhood and these follow him to adulthood; however attitude follow behavior in some circumstances . Our values, beliefs and morals are largely influenced by the society we live in, culture, and hereditary factors. Some situations where behavior can shape our attitudes they include:

Self presentation or creation of a self image

In this case, a person may be confronted with as situation that he is expected to adopt a certain behaviors that he thought that the behaviors belonged to a certain class of people. He may be role-playing to seek conformity with a certain community or class of people. When in the role-playing, he may have his attitudes towards something that he has seen it differently changed.

For example, the case of person who feels that the poor are poor because they do not think on ways they can use to gain wealth, then the person may be shooting a certain film in the slums where he interacts with the people and assumes the role of being one of them to get information and shot his movie.

At the end of the stay with the slums people, the person learns that life is difficult and the people lack the basics that they need to think and be creative, as he had anticipated they needed to do. Such a person is more likely to change his attitude toward the poor and learn how to respect them.

Cognitive dissonance

It is not always that people advocate for what they have positive attitude; they may be the advocators of something they rarely can believe or even do; however with time they are conditioning their minds towards the thing and they will eventually find themselves having a changed attitude.

Take the example of a person who feels that his employer is not acting well and is a nuisance, when such a person is chosen to teach new entrants on the company’s core values, ethics, and its human resources policies. He will offer the positive side of the story and in the end; he or she will have his attitude changed because of the positive talks engaged.

Dissonance after decision

For deviant people in the society, some consequences are likely to follow them; from the experience they get from the consequences of their deviant behavior, they may be forced to change their attitude.

This mostly happens with offenders; the behavior that gets someone to jail may have resulted from inner perception or belief, when such a behaviors is punished, the person may change the behavior for the good. On the other hand, if someone was doing good anticipating some gains, but instead of gains, he got some setbacks, he is more likely to have a negative attitude toward the good behavior.

For example, in work places, hard work is advocated and employers promise to compensate, reward and recognize those people who have an outstanding results; hard work is a behavior. In the case that after successful satisfaction of the employer an employee is not rewarded or in worse situation someone who had not done as much gets credit, then the hard-worker is more likely to develop a negative attitude towards working hard as well as his employer.

Self-perception

After being engaged in a certain behavior that someone thinks is good, what follow is a self-reflection of the decision as well as the behavior and the results of our actions. In the case that the act injured someone who had not been anticipated or un-justified, someone feels a sense of guilt that can change his attitude towards the act (Harold & Beigel, 1990).

For example, a teacher who supports punishment of students may change his perception after punishing a student then the student faints. The teacher may feel responsible of the act and his attitude towards canning completely changed. When attitude follows behavior, a person must have a reflection of the actions undertaken and if there is cognitive dissonance, the change of attitude is likely to follow.

References

Harold, R., & Beigel, A. (1990). Understanding of human behavior for effective police work. New York: San Diego.

Freud, S., & Strachey, J. (1976). The complete psychological work of Sigmund Freud (standard edition) vol. (1-24).New York: W.W. Norton & Company.

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