Below is a hand-curated selection of papers which provide a sociological definition of ‘attitudes’. Understanding the sociological definitions of ‘attitudes’ is important in sociology when conducting research into the attitudes which people hold towards certain demographics, concepts, or affiliations.
a psychological tendency that is expressed by evaluating a particular entity with some degree of favor or disfavor(Eagly and Chaiken, 1993)
a valenced evaluation of some entity(Sweeny & Rankin, 2018: 3)
a learned tendency to evaluate things in a certain way(Cherry, 2018: 1)
evaluative reactions associated with a target object(Meffert et al., 2004: 63)
the degree to which one has a positive versus a negative evaluation of performing the behavior(Fishman et al., 2021: 2)
certain ways of seeing human beings that logically include or exclude various emotional, behavioral, and linguistic responses, that can be more or less natural, and over which we have some degree of voluntary control(Natfield, 2022: 95)
Individual’s disposition to respond favourably or unfavourably to an object, person, institution, or event, or to any other discriminable aspect of the individual’s world(Ajzen, 1989: 241)
Affective responses that involve negative or positive feelings of moderate intensity(McLeod, 1992: 581)
a summation of emotions and feelings experienced over time in the context of learning mathematics or statistic(Gal et al., 1997: 40)
A relatively enduring organization of beliefs around an object or situation predisposing one to respond in some preferential manner(Aiken, 2002: 3)
a readiness to act or a mindset that is used by an actor to act and judge in situations of decision-making(Ahnström et al., 2009: 44)
relatively lasting clusters of feelings, beliefs, and behavior tendencies directed towards specific persons, ideas, objects or groups(Baron & Byrne, 1984)
is a mental or neural state of readiness, organized through experience, exerting a directive or dynamic influence on the individual’s response to all objects and situations to which it is related(Allport, 1935: 810)
For an in-depth discussion on defining ‘attitudes’, see Zanna et al. (2005).
Ahnström, J., Höckert, J., Bergeå, H. L., Francis, C. A., Skelton, P., & Hallgren, L. (2009). Farmers and nature conservation: What is known about attitudes, context factors and actions affecting conservation?. Renewable agriculture and food systems, 24(1), 38-47.
Aiken, L. (2002). Attitudes and related psychosocial constructs – theories, assessement, and research. London: Sage
Ajzen, I. (1989). Attitude structure and behavior. In A. Pratkanis, S. Breckler, & A. Greenwald (Eds.), Attitude structure and function (pp. 241-274). Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum
Allport, G.W. (1935). Attitudes. In C. Murchison, ed. Handbook of social psychology. Worchester, MA: Clark University Press, pp. 798–844
Baron, R.A. & Byrne, D. (1984). Social psychology understanding human interaction, Boston: Allyn & Bacon.
Cherry, K. (2018). Attitudes and behavior in psychology. Verywell mind.
Eagly, A. H., & Chaiken, S. (1993). The psychology of attitudes. Orlando, FL: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich.
Fishman, J., Yang, C., & Mandell, D. (2021). Attitude theory and measurement in implementation science: a secondary review of empirical studies and opportunities for advancement. Implementation Science, 16, 1-10.
Gal, I., Ginsburg, L., & Schau, C. (1997). Monitoring attitudes and beliefs in statistics education. In I. Gal & J. B. Garfield (Eds.), The assessment challenge in statistics education (pp. 37-51). Voorburg, Netherlands: IOS Press
McLeod, D. (1992). Research on affect in mathematics education: A reconceptualization. In D.A. Grouws (Ed.), Handbook of research on mathematics teaching and learning (pp. 575–596). New York, NY: Macmillan.
Meffert, M. F., Guge, M., & Lodge, M. (2004). Good, bad, and ambivalent: The consequences of multidimensional political attitudes. Studies in public opinion: Attitudes, nonattitudes, measurement error, and change, 63-92.
Nayfeld, N. (2022). The Varieties of Attitudes Towards Offenders. Criminal Justice Ethics, 41(2), 95-120.
Sweeny, K., & Rankin, K. (2018). The role of attitudes in cancer. In Handbook of Attitudes, Volume 2: Applications (pp. 3-30). Routledge.
Zanna, D. A. M. P., Johnson, B. T., & Kumkale, G. T. (2005). Attitudes: Introduction and scope. The handbook of attitudes, 2, 3-20.