Attitude has three components, which are as follows:
- Affective component
- Cognitive component
- Intentional component
The affective component of an attitude reflects ‘feelings and emotions’ that an individual has towards a situation. The cognitive component of an attitude is derived from ‘knowledge’ that an individual has about a situation. Finally, the intentional component of an attitude reflects how an individual ‘expects to behave’ towards or in the situation. For example, the different components of an attitude held towards a firm, which supplies inferior products and that too irregularly could be described as follows:
- “I don’t like that company”—Affective component.
- “They are the worst supply firm I have ever dealt with”—Cognitive component.
- “I will never do business with them again”‘—Intentional component.
People try to maintain consistency among the three components of their attitudes. However, conflicting circumstances often arise. The conflict that individuals may experience among their own attitudes is called ‘cognitive dissonance.
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