Factors that contribute to attitude
A feeling, opinion or belief of either disapproval or approval towards something, constitute an attitude. Attitudes are acquired over a lengthy period of time through the process of learning. More often than not, behavior is a reflection of formed attitudes and beliefs. The formation of attitudes can occur in the following ways: Classical conditioning, operant condition, modeling and repeated exposure(Hewstone, Fincham, & Foster, 2005). Classical conditioning involves the process of learning where an individual repeatedly draws an association between two different stimuli. Operant conditioning refers to learning that takes place after the repetition of behavior that bears desirable outcome or consequence. Modeling or observational learning takes place when an individual observes another and picks things that guide their future behavior, feelings, or thoughts. Lastly, repeated exposure in the form of constant contact or experience with something reinforces attitude.
The role of prejudice, aggression, and attraction in social interaction
Prejudice, aggression, and attraction facilitate the process of social categorization and eventually helps to decode social interaction as in the structures in society that facilitate how people communicate and with others.
Prejudice is an acquired negative attitude held by a person about members of a particular social group. Attraction refers to the desire to have a relationship with others or a liking of other people. Aggression refers to physical or verbal behavior that is intended to destroy or hurt another person. People are often attracted to other people who are similar in certain ways to them but they can also be attracted to others who are unlike them especially if the differences between them offer complementary support for what they may be lacking(Millar & Tesser, 1990). Together with people that an individual identifies with, he or she forms an in-group, which is in opposition to out-groups; that are formed by those whom the in-group holds or directs prejudice and aggression.
The influence that groups play on a person’s behavior
The behavior of an individual and the attitudes that inform an individual’s behavior can be affected both negatively and positively by the presence of others. Groupthink, group-shift and de-individuation are the key concepts that explain group influence on an individual. While aspiring for conformity or group harmony, the groupthink concept suggests that, an individual’s motivation for decision-making may sway in favor of the group’s values and belief, even if they are erroneous. Since people in a group assess risk differently, group shift concept describes a scenario where one is likely to hold exaggerated and extreme positions, making riskier decisions than one would make as an individual. The process of de-individuation occurs when one loses themselves in terms of self-control and self-consciousness to the beliefs, structures, and values of a group.
Difference between conformity and obedience
Conformity differs from obedience in that when conforming, an individual seeks to match his attitudes to the norms of a group whereas when obeying, an individual is yielding to explicit orders or instructions from a figure of authority. In obedience, there is the element of outright command that is not there in conformity.
The role of social psychology in the workplace environment
Since people’s behaviors and beliefs are influenced by their interactions and perceptions of themselves relative to the world they live in, social psychology allows to understand ourselves and others better and especially allows us to co-exist and work together more harmoniously. This would reduce conflict, increase trust, collaboration, and consequently productivity at the workplace.