What are the factors that influence the formation of an attitude?
Factors that influence the formation of an attitude :-
1. Characteristics of the existing attitude :-
All four properties of attitudes mentioned earlier, namely, valence (positivity or negativity), extremeness, simplicity or complexity (multiplexity), and centrality or significance of the attitude, determine attitude change. In general, positive attitudes are easier to change than negative attitudes are. Extreme attitudes, and central attitudes are more difficult to change than the less extreme, and peripheral (less significant) attitudes are. Simple attitudes are easier to change than multiple attitudes are.
2. Source characteristics :-
Source credibility and attractiveness are two features that affect attitude change. Attitudes are more likely to change when the message comes from a highly credible source rather than from a low-credible source.
3. Message characteristics :-
The message is the information that is presented in order to bring about an attitude change. Attitudes will change when the amount of information that is given about the topic is just enough, neither too much nor too little. Whether the message contains a rational or an emotional appeal, also makes a difference.
4. Target characteristics :-
Qualities of the target, such as persuasibility, strong prejudices, self-esteem, and intelligence influence the likelihood and extent of attitude change. People, who have a more open and flexible personality, change more easily. Advertisers benefit most from such people. People with strong prejudices are less prone to any attitude change than those who do not hold strong prejudices. Persons who have a low self-esteem, and do not have sufficient confidence in themselves, change their attitudes more easily than those who are high on self-esteem. More intelligent people may change their attitudes less easily than those with lower intelligence. However, sometimes more intelligent persons change their attitudes more willingly than less intelligent ones, because they base their attitude on more information and thinking.