An attitude is the value a person assigns to something or someone. For example, individuals have differing attitudes against all kinds of aspects such as immunisations, asylum seekers and people with disabilities. People may have either a negative or positive attitude towards these particular examples because of numerous internal and external factors. Attitude formation theories help us understand how another person’s attitude takes shape and why people have these specific beliefs. Often, peoples attitudes about something will reflect in their behaviour and how they act towards it.
The information provided in this lecture describes individualism as social patterns that involve an individual’s priority for self motivation, self confidence, self oriented, and self competent, self responsibility. Collectivism also involves social patterns, however collectivism involves individuals who are collective, which means these individual prefer to be a part of some type of group. These groups may be internal or external. In conclusion, one has discussed and defined the topics of individualism and collectivism from a cultural perspective. The purpose for information provided in this lecture was to help one to differentiate between the two elements.
Next, is our motivational state, this is described in the text as, “the needs, values, and desires of a perceiver at the time of perception,” (P. 128). Where are we in the hierarchy of needs? The last factor is that affects perception is the perceiver’s mood. How a person feels at the time of can influence how we take in information. These factors are different for every person and can have an influence on how we developed our attitudes, or see the world around us.
Distinctiveness refers to whether an individual displays different behaviors in different situations. What we want to know is whether the observed behavior is unusual. If it is, the observer is likely to give the behavior an external attribution. If this action is not unusual, it will probably be judged as internal. Consensus occurs if everyone who is faced with a similar situation responds in the same way.
Giddens (as cited in Ritzer & Goodman, 2003) argues that structure and agency, although a dichotomy, mustn’t be regarded as working independent of one another. Instead the nature of human interaction and action relies on the interlaced mechanism of agency and structure. Human practices are recursive, thus individuals create both their cognizance and the structural conditions within which they act. Since social actors are reflexive and observe the ongoing flow of activities and structural conditions, they adapt their actions responsively to those evolving insights. An example of such adaptation is the ways in which stigmatized individuals manage their identity to conform to the structural norms and expectations of society.
By definition, culture is considered as shared patterns of behaviour and interactions that are learned through socialization. These patterns of behaviour vary in each society. Thus, what may be accepted as appropriate in one culture may not be accepted as such in another. It is therefore insufficient to use intuitive thinking to understand the behaviour of another culture in this regard. Furthermore, attitudes are closely tied to one’s perceptions and cognitions which greatly influence human behaviour.
It has been noted from the text that our perception influences the thinking and decisions we make. It shows that choices differ because of the different understanding that individual have. In addition, our intuition is essential and at many times it provides us with guidance on how to make decisions. However, we can see that this intuition can be misleading at times and therefore the best thing is to evaluate the available evidence before making decisions. In my view decision making tends to have disciplinary across individuals.
Stereotypes, though originating as convenient sorting mechanisms, instead, influence our thinking process (Lane 42-43). By instituting broad categories, establishing virtually immovable terms, and, often, being mistakenly identified as facts, stereotypes affect the mental process of humans. Different sets of people do have unique characteristics common to the group. While it is not politically correct to point them out or speak of them, it is still the truth. Stereotyping has been used so negatively in the past we are fearful to acknowledge the obvious.
In addition, Ms. M may deal with her feelings on an intellectual level, which creates a sense of denial where she is unable to comprehensively understand the impact of situations. Overall, Ms. M suffers from the presence of a very painful emotion, which has negatively impacted her psychological functioning. It will effect attention, concentration, thinking, and