Can Attitudes be Separated from Behavior?

To answer this question, it is necessary to investigate the relationship between attitude and behavior and to determine if attitude can predict behavior.  Attitude is a person's evaluation of various aspects of the social world.  People form their attitudes through the process of social learning (Baron & Branscombe, 2012), thus attitudes become part of the knowledge people acquire and store in their mind.  When interacting with the social world, people apply their attitudes to the cognitive process and behave accordingly.  In a study of motives for norm conformity, Pool and Schwegler (2007) explained that attitude along with other motives influence behavioral intention which leads to a behavior of norm conformity.  “Attitudes are defined independently of norms and represent a person’s evaluative beliefs about the target behavior” (Pool & Schwegler, 2007, p. 48).  The results of the research showed that "all correlations among attitude, intention, behavior, and the three measures of social norms were positive and significant" (p. 50).  In this case, attribute is not likely to be separated from behavior.  On the other hand, there is always a gap between attitude and behavior, thus attitude is not the single factor to predict behavior.

References

Baron, R. A. & Branscombe, N. R. (2012). Social psychology (13th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Education, Inc.

Pool, G. J., & Schwegler, A. F. (2007). Differentiating among motives for norm conformity. Basic And Applied Social Psychology, 29(1), 47-60. doi:10.1080/01973530701330983

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