Is behaviour always a reflection of one’s attitude? Explain with a relevant example.
It usually expected behaviour to follow logically from attitudes. However, an individual’s attitudes may not always be exhibited through behaviour. Likewise, one’s actual behaviour may be contrary to one’s attitude towards a particular topic.
It also have found that there would be consistency between attitudes and behaviour when :-
(i) The attitude is strong, and occupies a central place in the attitude system,
(ii) the person is aware of her/his attitude,
(iii) There is very little or no external pressure for the person to behave in a particular way. For example, when there is no group pressure to follow a particular norm.
(iv) The person’s behaviour is not being watched or evaluated by others, and
(v) The person thinks that the behaviour would have a positive consequence, and therefore, intends to engage in that behaviour.
In the days when Americans were said to be prejudiced against the Chinese, Richard LaPiere, an American social psychologist, conducted the following study. He asked a Chinese couple to travel across the United States, and stay in different hotels. Only once during these occasions they were refused service by one of the hotels. Sometime later, LaPiere sent out questionnaires to managers of hotels and tourist homes in the same areas where the Chinese couple had travelled, asking them if they would give accommodation to Chinese guests. A very large percentage said that they would not do so. This response showed a negative attitude towards the Chinese, which was inconsistent with the positive behaviour that was actually shown towards the travelling Chinese couple. Thus, attitudes may not always predict actual pattern of one’s behaviour.