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Measuring attitude

 

Explanations > Social ResearchMeasurement > Measuring attitude

Cognitive component | Affective component | Behavioral component | See also

 

When measuring attitude, there are three components that you need to take into account.

Cognitive component

The cognitive component is that part of the attitude that controls how the person understands and thinks consciously about things, for example where a street gang member thinks about what they can do that will cause a public nuisance without getting arrested.

Cognition includes beliefs, models, preferences and other aspects that shape how a person interprets the world. 

Measuring cognition may come through open questions about 'what you thought'. It can also be determined through focused questions about beliefs and other motivators.

Affective component

The affective component is that part of the attitude where people experience emotions and make choices based on what they feel. For example, a person may buy a brand of car because they just love the brand and all that it means. Thus I could say 'I love my Toyota!'

Affective questions may thus offer emotion-based statements to determine how emotionally involved people are with a product or context.

Behavioral component

The behavioral component is that part of the attitude where people say and do things, or at least show intent towards these. For example a person may display intent to buy a BMW in the future.

Questions about behavior can be about the past and what people have done or about the future and their intent.

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