What are the six Basic Types of Attitude and Behavior?

What are the six Basic Types of Attitude and Behavior?

Psychologists study how we assess, perceive, feel about and interact with ourselves and other attitude objects. Attitudes remain core studies in social psychology.

6 Types of Attitude

In his book Psychological Types, Carl Jung (1921) proposes that the dominant function, along with the dominant attitude, characterizes consciousness, while its opposite is repressed and characterizes the unconscious.

Based on this, we will be looking at six attitude types defined by Carl C. Jung:

Consciousness and the unconsciousness: The “presence of two attitudes is extremely frequent, one conscious and the other unconscious. This means that conscious has a constellation of contents different from that of the unconscious, a duality particularly evident in neurosis”.

Extraversion and introversion: Jung labelled this pair “attitude-types”. It refers to extroverts and introverts.

Rational and irrational attitudes: “I conceive reason as an attitude”.
The rational attitude: it subdivides into the thinking and feeling psychological functions, each with its attitude.

The irrational attitude: “There is thus a typical thinking, feeling, sensation, and intuitive attitude”. It subdivides into the sensing and intuition psychological functions, each with its attitude.

Individual and social attitudes: It describes the accepted norms and values within a society.

What are the Three (3) Components of Attitude?

Eagly and Chiken describes attitude in their book The Psychology of Attitudes as “a psychological tendency that is expressed by evaluating a particular entity with some degree of favor or disfavor”.

Attitudes are summary evaluations of an object that have affective (feelings, emotions), cognitive (belief and knowledge) and behavioral (effect of the attitude on behavior) components. Attitudes can be a positive or negative evaluation of people, objects, events, activities, and ideas.

Components of Attitude

Affective Cognitive Behavioral
The affective component of
attitudes refer to feelings or
emotions associated with an
attitude object
The cognitive component of
attitudes refer to beliefs,
thoughts and attributes we
associate with a particular
The behavioral component
of attitudes refers to past
behaviors with respect to an
attitude object
Pairing affective information with an attitude object can produce a positive or negative attitude e.g. preparing stew with lizard will generate negative attitude while preparing stew with salmon will generate positive attitude An attitude object will be evaluated positively if it is seen as leading to, or associated with, positive things and avoiding negative things. One-dimensional perspective of attitudes: a perspective that perceives positive and
negative elements as stored along a single
How long a person is exposed to something is likely to cause admiration for it e.g. watching wrestling for long can cause someone who despise the sport tend to like it Two-dimensional perspective of attitudes: a perspective that perceives positive and
negative elements as stored along separate

Attitude is the expression of an evaluative judgment about a stimulus object or making a decision concerning liking vs. disliking, approving vs. disapproving or favoring vs. disfavoring a particular issue, object or person (Haddock & Maio).

Attitudes refer to our evaluations of people, groups and other types of objects in our social world (Haddock & Maio).

Factors of Attitude


Attitudes are determined by psychological factors. Your ideas, values, beliefs and perception.

Values: they are ideals guiding principles in one’s life, or overarching goals that people strive to obtain (Maio & Olson, 1998)

Beliefs: These are cognitions about the world – subjective probabilities that an object has a particular attribute or that an action will lead to a particular outcome (Fishbein & Ajzen, 1975).


One of the earliest agents of attitude formation is family. Primarily, a person develops some kinds of attitudes from their parents, siblings and other members of the family.

Many attitudes exhibited by children are highly correlating to their parent’s attitudes.


Society being a major attitude formation factor, formats individual’s attitude in many different ways. The culture, tradition, language, etc. People learn acceptable values and norms from the society.


Work environment, financial status etc., determines a person’s attitude.

Why is Attitude an Import Area of Study?

Attitude is an important area of study because it impacts both the way we perceive the world and how we behave.

Attitude Object

Attitude object is what is evaluated e.g. oneself, a person, place, thing, event

What is the Meaning of Attitude Girl?

Referring to a girl as attitude girl means she has aggressive style of behavior, she shuns others, behaves awkwardly towards people and regards herself above others.

Attitudes and Their Functions

Attitudes are classified into four groups based on their functions by Daniel Katz:

Utilitarian Knowledge Ego-defensive Value-expressive
It provides us with general approach or avoidance tendencies Help people organize and interpret new information Attitudes can help people protect their self-esteem Used to express central values or beliefs
Attitudes develop to serve in a person’s own self-interest Maintaining organized, meaningful, and stable view of the world e.g. believing that you are a good person, and good things happen to good people but bad things happen to bad people This involves psychoanalytic principles where people use defense mechanisms to protect themselves from psychological harm etc., denial, repression, projection, rationalization Expresses the core values and self-concept










Geoffrey Haddock and Gregory R. Maio – Attitudes: Content, Structure and Functions

What are the six Basic Types of Attitude and Behavior?