Attitudes: What do we want them to mean?

Date of publication: February 1, 1970

Abstract:

One of the principal difficulties in the field of attitude-research seems to be, that the concept attitude means so many different things to so many people. I believe we are now adequately armed to take a closer look at attitudes. But first of all I think we have to define the concept of opinion, which I shall call a reaction to a statement which connects an expressed like, dislike or neutral position with a perceived object or part of an object. Perhaps you will be worried about the implication that people who do not react have no opinions, but this only expresses the operationalistic conviction that no reality exists in a scientific way before you can link it with an instrument of measurement and objectively at that.

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