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Essays About Attitude: Top 5 Examples Plus Prompts

Your attitude and demeanor affect all aspects of your life. We have found an inspiring list of essays about attitude to help you choose your own angle.

Attitude refers to a person’s way of thinking about something that affects their behavior. One can say that the proper attitude is vital to leading a fruitful life, whatever that might be for specific individuals. A “good” attitude and a positive outlook can better ascertain success, while a “bad” attitude predisposes a person to fail.

One’s attitude is founded upon knowledge, beliefs, and feelings and reflected in behavior. However, it is also shaped by your experiences.

If you want to write an essay about attitude, here are 5 essay examples and 5 prompts we have prepared to make the process easier for you. 

For help with your essays, check out our round-up of the best essay checkers .

1. Attitude changes everything – it can change your life by Kate Darbyshire Evans

2. 6 ways to banish negative thoughts by emily co, 3. our life is a reflection of our attitude. by iqra shehzadi, 4. watch your attitude: your students are counting on you by amber chandler, 5. how to develop a positive attitude in the workplace by jennifer post, 5 writing prompts on essays about attitude, 1. why is a good attitude so important, 2. how can you change your attitude for the better, 3. is a bad attitude really as detrimental as it is said to be, 4. how has your attitude affected your life, 5. does attitude reflect character.

“Attitude changes everything. Change your attitude, and you can change your life. You cannot always control what happens to you in life but you can always control how you respond to the challenges or difficult situations you encounter. The attitude you approach anything with is entirely your choice. The way you choose to respond mirrors your attitude and so by changing your attitude you can change your perspective and change your life.”

Evans talks about how genuinely present one’s attitude is in the different aspects of their life. It can, quite literally, “change your life.” Regardless of your challenges, Evans believes that a positive attitude can help you steady your course and maintain a good life. She also gives readers tips on developing a good attitude and a more positive outlook on life, including being more grateful, not taking life too seriously, and stepping out of your comfort zone. 

“It’s easy to become jaded when life gets tough, but don’t get caught up in negative thoughts because it may hinder your progress. Seeing the world as a glass half empty may lead you to give up easier and not try as hard because you may think that it’s pointless to even make an attempt.”  

In this short essay, Co lists down a few ways in which we can maintain a positive attitude by keeping negative thoughts out of our minds. These include keeping a gratitude journal, keeping good company, being around animals, and looking for new hobbies. Co believes these activities help promote positivity so that we are not as affected when life gets challenging. You might also be interested in these essays about discipline .

“Our mind has sufficient bandwidth to focus on one thought at a time. All you must do is keep it attentive on inspiring thoughts until you achieve your goal or establish a new habit. After adopting a positive attitude, I have noticed amazing changes all around. I also have noticed a major boost in my confidence and I feel more capable of taking on new projects and challenges which might have formerly been outside my comfort zone.”

Shehzadi reflects on the importance of a positive attitude. She briefly goes over its benefits, like increased confidence and reduced stress. To develop a better attitude, surround yourself with positive people. From there, you can practice kindness, patience, and tolerance. As our attitude reflects itself in how we live, a positive attitude leads to a more productive life. Training your mind to be positive is an excellent investment for your well-being, both mentally and physically. 

“It’s human nature to express ourselves, sure, but I think adults underestimate the impact our ‘attitudes’ have on our own children and students. As we deal with the new variants, head back to school and face another uncertain school year, our attitudes are going to shape the experiences of our students. Why not make a concerted, intentional effort to be the one place where your students can let their guard down and take a break from the attitudes that are everywhere?”

Chandler, an educator, discusses the importance of the right attitude in an environment with kids and the importance of setting a good example. She believes that an authentic, positive attitude helps students thrive, but she also stresses the importance of empathy. To her, the ideal attitude is positive, practical, humble, and empathetic. She wants adults to be more mindful of their attitude, especially in front of kids- they may have certain mannerisms or habits that children will quickly pick up on.

“Not everyone is going to be positive all the time. That’s an unrealistic idea. But even when people are down and at their most negative, there are things one can do to deal with those emotions and actions around the office to keep them from impacting others. Even if it’s just one co-worker causing an issue, take matters into your own hands for your own happiness at work.”

Post’s essay elaborates on the importance of having an attitude suited to your work. Like in Co’s essay, Post discusses certain things we can do to improve our attitude and make us more productive in the workplace. Most significantly, she says that simply saying “yes” more can help develop a better attitude. Even if we cannot always be positive, Post wants us to maximize the positivity in every situation, to look at it from a “glass half full” perspective.

Everyone talks about how the proper attitude helps you go far in life, but how does this work? In your essay, you can explore what makes attitude so vital. You can find examples where people have improved their attitude and attribute it to real-life benefits such as happiness or success. You can also check out these essays about character .

Many people often talk about fixing their attitude and getting out of bad habits. You can use the sample essays to decide which methods you can adopt to improve your attitude. Keep your selection short, simple, and meaningful. Do you think they could be successfully applied to anyone?

Would you say that a good attitude is as important as people say it is? And does a bad attitude indeed dictates one’s fortune or misfortune? Based on research and your own beliefs, decide on your position and provide evidence to support your argument.

Write about something as simple as the effects of your attitude on your life. How does your outlook on life affect you? Do you feel that your attitude is helping you live your life well? Do you think there is anything that you can change to optimize your daily life? Try and provide examples of when a different attitude may have produced a different outcome in a scenario.

Essays about attitude: Does attitude reflect character?

Often people are told they have a bad attitude and are misjudged for it. However, is their attitude a true reflection of their character or simply masking a hidden agenda? Think of examples when people may be misjudged by their attitude, or perhaps their behavior was misconstrued, and discuss how difficult it is to remedy this after the event. There are numerous examples of this in literature that you can reference. If you cannot think of a real-life example pick one from an appropriate piece and discuss the character’s attitude, and others’ perceptions of them.

Tip: If writing an essay sounds like a lot of work, simplify it. Write a simple 5 paragraph essay instead.

essay attitude meaning

Martin is an avid writer specializing in editing and proofreading. He also enjoys literary analysis and writing about food and travel.

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essay attitude meaning

Tone Definition

What is tone? Here’s a quick and simple definition:

The tone of a piece of writing is its general character or attitude, which might be cheerful or depressive, sarcastic or sincere, comical or mournful, praising or critical, and so on. For instance, an editorial in a newspaper that described its subject as "not even having the guts to do the job himself," has a tone that is both informal and critical.

Some additional key details about tone:

  • All pieces of writing, even letters and official documents, have a tone. A neutral, official tone is still a tone.
  • The tone of a piece of writing may change over the course of a text to produce different effects.
  • Tone and mood are not the same. Tone has to do with the attitude of the author or the person speaking, whereas mood is how the work makes the reader feel.
  • The author's intentions, emotions, and personal ideas about the theme or subject matter often reveal themselves in the piece's tone.

How to Pronounce Tone

Here's how to pronounce tone:  tohn

Tone Explained

It is always possible to describe the way that a writer uses language. Therefore, every piece of writing has a tone. Even when a writer's aim is to use completely neutral language—as is often the case in scientific papers or investigative journalism—the language still sounds a certain way, whether it's "scientific," "journalistic," "formal," "professional," or even "mechanical." The way a writer makes use of tone can tell you a lot about the writer's attitude or relationship toward their subject matter and what they are trying to say about it, as well as the effect they are trying to create for their reader.

Here's just a partial list of words that are commonly used to talk about tone, with examples of the types of writing they might be used to describe:

  • A particularly stirring campaign speech
  • The Declaration of Independence
  • Maya Angelou's famous poem, "Still I Rise"
  • A sappy love poem
  • An over-the-top television sermon
  • A wordy letter of apology
  • A know-it-all at a cocktail party
  • The comments section of almost any YouTube video
  • A speech made by a boastful or proud character
  • A speech at a funeral
  • A murder mystery
  • A novel about someone's struggles with depression
  • An article in the newspaper The Onion
  • A work of  parody  like Don Quixote
  • A  satire , like many skits on SNL
  • A stand-up comedy routine
  • A play like Shakespeare's As You Like It
  • A TV show like Seinfeld or Friends
  • A Dr. Seuss Book
  • A wedding speech
  • A friendly joke
  • An essay you'd write for school
  • A dense work of political theory
  • An article analyzing a political event
  • A letter from the IRS
  • A scientific paper
  • Instructions on how to assemble furniture

The tone of a piece of writing depends on a confluence of different factors, including:

  • The connotation  of the words used: Are they positive or negative? What associations do the words bring to mind?
  • The diction , or word choice: Are there lots of thou's and thine's? Does the writer use slang? Are the words long and technical, or short and childish?
  • The use of figurative language :  Is there a lot of metaphor, hyperbole, or alliteration? Does the language sound lofty and poetic?
  • The mood : How does the language make you feel as the reader? This can reveal a lot about the tone of the piece.

All of these things work together to determine the tone of a piece of writing.

The Difference Between Tone and Mood

The words "tone" and " mood " are often used interchangeably, but the two terms actually have different meanings.

  • Tone is the attitude or general character of a piece of writing and is often related to the attitude of the writer or speaker.
  • Mood refers specifically to the effect a piece of writing has on the reader .  Mood is how a piece of writing makes you feel. 

While tone and mood are distinct literary devices, they are often closely related. For example, it wouldn't be unusual for a poem with a somber tone to also have a somber mood—i.e., to make the reader feel somber as well. And as we explained above, a journalist who makes a jab at a politician might be conveying how they feel about their subject (using a critical tone) while also trying to influence their readers to feel similarly—i.e., to create a  mood of anger or outrage.

Tone Examples

Since every text has a tone, there are essentially endless examples of tone. The examples below illustrate different types of tone. 

Tone in U.A. Fanthorpe's "Not my Best Side"

The poem "Not my Best Side" by U.A. Fanthorpe has a lighthearted and ironic   tone. The poem concerns the painting  Saint George and the Dragon  by Paolo Uccello, and pokes fun at the way the various characters are portrayed in the painting—the dragon, the maiden, and the knight who is supposedly rescuing her. Fanthorpe creates a contrast between her modern, colloquial way of speaking and the medieval subject matter of her poem. Using colloquial words like "sexy" and phrases like "if you know what I mean," Fanthorpe creates a lighthearted, conversational tone. But this conversational tone also has the effect of imbuing the poem with a tone of  irony  because it is used to describe the unlikely scenario of a maiden falling in love with a dragon.

It's hard for a girl to be sure if She wants to be rescued. I mean, I quite Took to the dragon. It's nice to be Liked, if you know what I mean. He was So nicely physical, with his claws And lovely green skin, and that sexy tail

Tone in Milton's "Lycidas"

The poem "Lycidas" by John Milton has a mournful   tone. The poem was inspired by the untimely death of Milton's friend, who drowned. To express his grief, and set the sorrowful and mournful tone, Milton uses words and phrases with negative  connotations , like, "watery bier" (or "tomb"), "parching wind" and "melodious tear."

For Lycidas is dead, dead ere his prime, Young lycidas, and hath not left his peer. Who would not sing for Lycidas? he knew Himself to sing, and build the lofty rhyme He must not float upon his watery bier Unwept, and welter to the parching wind, Without the meed of some melodious tear.

Tone in Flaubert's  Madame Bovary

In many passages in Gustave Flaubert's  Madame Bovary , Flaubert's own cynicism about romance shines through the third-person narration to imbue the work with a tone of cynicism. Bored by her husband and desperate for a passionate love affair like the sort she reads about in romance novels, Emma Bovary gets involved with a notorious womanizer. Flaubert highlights Emma's foolishness for falling for such an obvious hack, who sees her as no different from any other mistress:

Emma was just like any other mistress; and the charm of novelty, falling down slowly like a dress, exposed only the eternal monotony of passion, always the same forms and the same language. He did not distinguish, this man of such great expertise, the differences of sentiment beneath the sameness of their expression.

Flaubert sets the cynical tone in part by describing, using figurative language , how the charm of novelty, for Madame Bovary's lover, fell down "slowly like a dress," suggesting that what she experiences as romance, her lover experiences only as an extended prelude to sex.

What's the Function of Tone in Literature?

First and foremost, tone clues readers into the essence and the purpose of what they're reading. It wouldn't make sense to use a wordy, poetic tone to write a simple set of directions, just like it wouldn't make sense to use a dry, unfeeling tone when writing a love poem. Rather, writers set the tone of their work to match not only the content of their writing, but also to suit the purpose they intend for it to serve, whether that is to convey information clearly, to make people laugh, to lavish praises on someone, or something else. Additionally, tone can serve the following purposes:

  • For example, a biography of Bill Clinton might have a critical tone if the author has critical views of the former president and what he stood for, or it might have an admiring tone if the author was a staunch Clinton supporter.
  • If a writer wants their readers to feel upset, he or she might use words with certain connotations to create a gloomy tone.
  • Likewise, if a writer wants to create an informal tone, he or she might make use of colloquialisms , slang terms, and everyday language to make the reader feel like their familiar or their equal.

Simply put, establishing the tone of a work is important because it helps writers show readers what the work is trying to accomplish, and what attitude the work takes toward its own subject matter.

Other Helpful Tone Resources

  • Wikipedia Page on Tone in Literature : A helpful overview of tone and its usage.
  • A Definition of Tone : A definition of tone that includes a short overview of the difference between tone and mood.
  • List of Poetic Tones : A handy chart listing a slew of tones commonly found in poetry, and all other types of literature.

The printed PDF version of the LitCharts literary term guide on Tone

  • PDFs for all 136 Lit Terms we cover
  • Downloads of 1924 LitCharts Lit Guides
  • Teacher Editions for every Lit Guide
  • Explanations and citation info for 40,556 quotes across 1924 books
  • Downloadable (PDF) line-by-line translations of every Shakespeare play
  • Colloquialism
  • Connotation
  • Figurative Language
  • Anadiplosis
  • Antanaclasis
  • Pathetic Fallacy
  • Polysyndeton
  • Figure of Speech
  • Climax (Plot)
  • Dramatic Irony
  • Verbal Irony
  • Rising Action
  • Antimetabole
  • Internal Rhyme
  • Parallelism

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Tone in Writing: 42 Examples of Tone For All Types of Writing

by Joe Bunting | 0 comments

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What is tone in writing and why does it matter?

Tone is key for all communication. Think of the mother telling her disrespectful child, “Watch your tone, young man.” Or the sarcastic, humorous tone of a comedian performing stand up. Or the awe filled way people speak about their favorite musician, author, or actor. Or the careful, soft tones that people use with each other when they first fall in love.

Tone  is  communication, sometimes more than the words being used themselves.

Tone in Writing: 42 Examples of Tone For All Types of Writing

So then how do you use tone in writing, and how does tone influence the meaning of a writing piece?

In this article, you'll learn everything you need to know about how to use tone in all types of writing, from creative writing to academic and even business writing. You'll learn what tone actually  is  in writing and how it's conveyed. You'll learn the forty-two types of tone in writing, plus even have a chance to test your tone recognition with a practice exercise. 

Ready to become a tone master? Let's get started.

Why You Should Listen To Me?

I've been a professional writer for more than a decade, writing in various different formats and styles. I've written formal nonfiction books, descriptive novels, humorous memoir chapters, and conversational but informative online articles (like this one!).

Which is all to say, I earn a living in part by matching the right tone to each type of writing I work on. I hope you find the tips on tone below useful!

Table of Contents

Definition of Tone in Writing Why Tone Matters in Writing 42 Types of Tone Plus Tone Examples How to Choose the Right Tone for Your Writing Piece Tone Writing Identification Exercise Tone Vs. Voice in Writing The Role of Tone in Different Types of Writing

Tone in Creative Writing Tone in Academic Writing Tone in Business Writing Tone in Online Writing

Conclusion: How to Master Tone Practice Exercise

Definition of Tone in Writing

Examples of tone can be formal, informal, serious, humorous, sarcastic, optimistic, pessimistic, and many more (see below for all forty-two examples)

Why Does Tone Matter in Writing

I once saw a version of Shakespeare's  A Midsummer Night's Dream in which the dialogue had been completely translated into various Indian dialects, including Hindi, Urdu, Bengali, and more. And yet, despite not knowing any of those languages, I was amazed to find that I could follow the story perfectly, infinitely better than the average Shakespeare in the park play.

How could I understand the story so well despite the fact that it was in another language? In part, it was the skill of the actors and their body language. But one of the biggest ways that the actors communicated meaning was one thing.

Their tone of voice.

Tone is one of the most important ways we grasp the meaning of what someone is saying. If someone says, “I love you,” in an angry, sneering way, it doesn't matter what their words are saying, the meaning will be completely changed by their tone.

In the same way, tone is crucial in writing because it significantly influences how readers interpret and react to the text. Here are a few reasons why tone is important:

  • Tone conveys feeling. The tone reflects the writer's attitude toward the subject and the audience, helping to shape readers' perceptions and emotional responses.
  • Tone can help readers understand the meaning of the text. A well-chosen tone can clarify meaning, making it easier for readers to understand the writer's intent and message.
  • Tone is engaging! As humans, we are designed to respond to emotion and feeling! Tone can help to engage or disengage readers. A relatable or compelling tone can draw readers in, while an off-putting tone can push them away.
  • Tone sets the mood. Tone can set the mood or atmosphere of a piece of writing, influencing how readers feel as they go through the text.
  • Tone persuades. In persuasive writing, tone plays a significant role in influencing how convincing or compelling your arguments are.
  • Tone reflects professionalism. In professional or academic contexts, maintaining an appropriate tone is crucial to uphold the writer's authority.

42 Types of Tone in Writing Plus Examples of Tone

Tone is about feeling—the feeling of a writer toward the topic and audience. Which means that nearly any attitude or feeling can be a type of tone, not just the forty-two listed below.

However, you have to start somewhere, so here a list of common tones that can be used in writing, with an example for each type:

  • Example : “Upon analysis of the data, it's evident that the proposed hypothesis is substantiated.”
  • Example : “Hey folks, today we'll be chatting about the latest trends in tech.”
  • Example : “The implications of climate change on our future generations cannot be overstated.”
  • Example : “Why don't scientists trust atoms? Because they make up everything!”
  • Example : “Oh great, another diet plan. Just what I needed!”
  • Example : “Despite the setbacks, we remain confident in our ability to achieve our goals.”
  • Example : “Given the declining economy, it's doubtful if small businesses can survive.”
  • Example : “We must act now! Every moment we waste increases the danger.”
  • Example : “The experiment concluded with the subject showing a 25% increase in performance.”
  • Example : “I've always found the taste of coffee absolutely heavenly.”
  • Example : “We owe our success to the ceaseless efforts of our esteemed team.”
  • Example : “So much for their ‘revolutionary' product. It's as exciting as watching paint dry.”
  • Example : “The film's plot was so predictable it felt like a tiresome déjà vu.”
  • Example : “Every setback is a setup for a comeback. Believe in your potential.”
  • Example : “A politician making promises? Now there's something new.”
  • Example : “We must fight to protect our planet—it's the only home we have.”
  • Example : “Whether it rains or shines tomorrow, it makes little difference to me.”
  • Example : “As the doors creaked open, a chilling wind swept through the abandoned mansion.”
  • Example : “She gazed at the fading photograph, lost in the echoes of a time long past.”
  • Example : “The fire station caught on fire—it's almost poetic, isn't it?”
  • Example : “I can understand how challenging this period has been for you.”
  • Example : “His excuse for being late was as pathetic as it was predictable.”
  • Example : “Our feline companion has gone to pursue interests in a different locale” (meaning: the cat ran away).
  • Example : “Your report is due by 5 PM tomorrow, no exceptions.”
  • Example : “So, you've got a hankering to learn about star constellations—well, you're in the right place!”
  • Example : “She tiptoed down the dim hallway, every shadow pulsating with the mysteries of her childhood home.”
  • Example : “With the approaching footsteps echoing in his ears, he quickly hid in the dark alcove, heart pounding.”
  • Example : “His eyes were a stormy sea, and in their depths, she found an anchor for her love.”
  • Example : “In the heart of the mystical forest, nestled between radiant will-o'-the-wisps, was a castle spun from dreams and starlight.”
  • Example : “The quantum mechanical model posits that electrons reside in orbitals, probabilistic regions around the nucleus, rather than fixed paths.”
  • Example : “When constructing a thesis statement, it's crucial to present a clear, concise argument that your paper will substantiate.”
  • Example : “The juxtaposition of light and dark imagery in the novel serves to illustrate the dichotomy between knowledge and ignorance.”
  • Example : “Upon deconstructing the narrative, one can discern the recurrent themes of loss and redemption.”
  • Example : “One must remember, however, that the epistemological underpinnings of such an argument necessitate a comprehensive understanding of Kantian philosophy.”
  • Example : “The ephemeral nature of existence prompts us to contemplate the purpose of our pursuits and the value of our accomplishments.”
  • Example : “She left the room.”
  • Example : “Global warming is a major issue that needs immediate attention.”
  • Example : “Maybe she’ll come tomorrow, I thought, watching the cars pass by, headlights blurring in the rain—oh, to be somewhere else, anywhere, the beach maybe, sand between my toes, the smell of the sea…”
  • Example : “In the quiet solitude of the night, I grappled with my fears, my hopes, my dreams—how little I understood myself.”
  • Example : “The autumn leaves crunched underfoot, their vibrant hues of scarlet and gold painting a brilliant tapestry against the crisp, cerulean sky.”
  • Example : “Looking back on my childhood, I see a time of joy and innocence, a time when the world was a playground of endless possibilities.”
  • Example : “Gazing up at the star-studded sky, I was struck by a sense of awe; the universe's vast expanse dwarfed my existence, reducing me to a speck in the cosmic canvas.”
  • Example : “His unwavering determination in the face of adversity serves as a shining beacon for us all, inspiring us to strive for our dreams, no matter the obstacles.”

Any others that we forgot? Leave a comment and let us know!

Remember, tone can shift within a piece of writing, and a writer can use more than one tone in a piece depending on their intent and the effect they want to create.

The tones used in storytelling are particularly broad and flexible, as they can shift and evolve according to the plot's developments and the characters' arcs.

​​How do you choose the right tone for your writing piece?

The tone of a piece of writing is significantly determined by its purpose, genre, and audience. Here's how these three factors play a role:

  • Purpose: The main goal of your writing guides your tone. If you're trying to persuade someone, you might adopt a passionate, urgent, or even a formal tone, depending on the subject matter. If you're trying to entertain, a humorous, dramatic, or suspenseful tone could be suitable. For educating or informing, an objective, scholarly, or didactic tone may be appropriate.
  • Genre: The type of writing also influences the tone. For instance, academic papers often require a formal, objective, or scholarly tone, while a personal blog post might be more informal and conversational. Similarly, a mystery novel would have a suspenseful tone, a romance novel a romantic or passionate tone, and a satirical essay might adopt an ironic or sarcastic tone.
  • Audience: Understanding your audience is crucial in setting the right tone. Professional audiences may expect a formal or respectful tone, while a younger audience might appreciate a more conversational or even irreverent tone. Furthermore, if your audience is familiar with the topic, you can use a more specialized or cerebral tone. In contrast, for a general audience, a clear and straightforward tone might be better.

It's also worth mentioning that the tone can shift within a piece of writing. For example, a novel might mostly maintain a dramatic tone, but could have moments of humor or melancholy. Similarly, an academic paper could be mainly objective but might adopt a more urgent tone in the conclusion to emphasize the importance of the research findings.

In conclusion, to choose the right tone for your writing, consider the intent of your piece, the expectations of the genre, and the needs and preferences of your audience. And don't forget, maintaining a consistent tone is key to ensuring your message is received as intended.

How to Identify Tone in Writing

How do you identify the tone in various texts (or even in your own writing)? What are the key indicators that help you figure out what tone a writing piece is?

Identifying the tone in a piece of writing can be done by focusing on a few key elements:

  • Word Choice (Diction): The language an author uses can give you strong clues about the tone. For instance, formal language with lots of technical terms suggests a formal or scholarly tone, while casual language with slang or contractions suggests an informal or conversational tone.
  • Sentence Structure (Syntax): Longer, complex sentences often indicate a formal, scholarly, or descriptive tone. Shorter, simpler sentences can suggest a more direct, informal, or urgent tone.
  • Punctuation: The use of punctuation can also impact tone. Exclamation marks may suggest excitement, urgency, or even anger. Question marks might indicate confusion, curiosity, or sarcasm. Ellipsis (…) can suggest suspense, uncertainty, or thoughtfulness.
  • Figurative Language: The use of metaphors, similes, personification, and other literary devices can help set the tone. For instance, an abundance of colorful metaphors and similes could suggest a dramatic, romantic, or fantastical tone.
  • Mood: The emotional atmosphere of the text can give clues to the tone. If the text creates a serious, somber mood, the tone is likely serious or melancholic. If the mood is light-hearted or amusing, the tone could be humorous or whimsical.
  • Perspective or Point of View: First-person narratives often adopt a subjective, personal, or reflective tone. Third-person narratives can have a range of tones, but they might lean towards being more objective, descriptive, or dramatic.
  • Content: The subject matter itself can often indicate the tone. A text about a tragic event is likely to have a serious, melancholic, or respectful tone. A text about a funny incident will probably have a humorous or light-hearted tone.

By carefully analyzing these elements, you can determine the tone of a text. In your own writing, you can use these indicators to check if you're maintaining the desired tone consistently throughout your work.

Tone Writing Exercise: Identify the tone in each of the following sentences

Let’s do a little writing exercise by identifying the tones of the following example sentences.

  • “The participants in the study displayed a significant improvement in their cognitive abilities post intervention.”
  • “Hey guys, just popping in to share some cool updates from our team!”
  • “The consequences of climate change are dire and demand immediate attention from world leaders.”
  • “I told my wife she should embrace her mistakes. She gave me a hug.”
  • “Despite the challenges we've faced this year, I'm confident that brighter days are just around the corner.”
  • “Given the state of the economy, it seems unlikely that we'll see any significant improvements in the near future.”
  • “No mountain is too high to climb if you believe in your ability to reach the summit.”
  • “As she stepped onto the cobblestone streets of the ancient city, the echoes of its rich history whispered in her ears.”
  • “Oh, you're late again? What a surprise.”
  • “The methodology of this research hinges upon a quantitative approach, using statistical analysis to derive meaningful insights from the collected data.”

Give them a try. I’ll share the answers at the end!

Tone Versus Voice in Writing

Tone and voice in writing are related but distinct concepts:

Voice is the unique writing style or personality of the writing that makes it distinct to a particular author. It's a combination of the author's syntax, word choice, rhythm, and other stylistic elements.

Voice tends to remain consistent across different works by the same author, much like how people have consistent speaking voices.

For example, the voice in Ernest Hemingway's work is often described as minimalist and straightforward, while the voice in Virginia Woolf's work is more stream-of-consciousness and introspective.

Tone , on the other hand, refers to the attitude or emotional qualities of the writing. It can change based on the subject matter, the intended audience, and the purpose of the writing.

In the same way that someone's tone of voice can change based on what they're talking about or who they're talking to, the tone of a piece of writing can vary. Using the earlier examples, a work by Hemingway might have a serious, intense tone, while a work by Woolf might have a reflective, introspective tone.

So, while an author's voice remains relatively consistent, the tone they use can change based on the context of the writing.

Tone and voice are two elements of writing that are closely related and often work hand in hand to create a writer's unique style. Here's how they can be used together:

  • Consistency: A consistent voice gives your writing a distinctive personality, while a consistent tone helps to set the mood or attitude of your piece. Together, they create a uniform feel to your work that can make your writing instantly recognizable to your readers.
  • Audience Engagement: Your voice can engage readers on a fundamental level by giving them a sense of who you are or the perspective from which you're writing. Your tone can then enhance this engagement by setting the mood, whether it's serious, humorous, formal, informal, etc., depending on your audience and the purpose of your writing.
  • Clarity of Message: Your voice can express your unique perspective and values, while your tone can help convey your message clearly by fitting the context. For example, a serious tone in an academic research paper or a casual, friendly tone in a personal blog post helps your audience understand your purpose and message.
  • Emotional Impact: Voice and tone together can create emotional resonance. A distinctive voice can make readers feel connected to you as a writer, while the tone can evoke specific emotions that align with your content. For example, a melancholic tone in a heartfelt narrative can elicit empathy from the reader, enhancing the emotional impact of your story.
  • Versatility: While maintaining a consistent overall voice, you can adjust your tone according to the specific piece you're writing. This can show your versatility as a writer. For example, you may have a generally conversational voice but use a serious tone for an important topic and a humorous tone for a lighter topic.

Remember, your unique combination of voice and tone is part of what sets you apart as a writer. It's worth taking the time to explore and develop both.

The Role of Tone in Different Types of Writing

Just as different audiences require different tones of voice, so does your tone change depending on the audience of your writing. 

Tone in Creative Writing

Tone plays a crucial role in creative writing, shaping the reader's experience and influencing their emotional response to the work. Here are some considerations for how to use tone in creative writing:

  • Create Atmosphere: Tone is a powerful tool for creating a specific atmosphere or mood in a story. For example, a suspenseful tone can create a sense of tension and anticipation, while a humorous tone can make a story feel light-hearted and entertaining.
  • Character Development: The tone of a character's dialogue and thoughts can reveal a lot about their personality and emotional state. A character might speak in a sarcastic tone, revealing a cynical worldview, or their internal narrative might be melancholic, indicating feelings of sadness or regret.
  • Plot Development: The tone can shift with the plot, reflecting changes in the story's circumstances. An initially optimistic tone might become increasingly desperate as a situation worsens, or a serious tone could give way to relief and joy when a conflict is resolved.
  • Theme Expression: The overall tone of a story can reinforce its themes. For instance, a dark and somber tone could underscore themes of loss and grief, while a hopeful and inspirational tone could enhance themes of resilience and personal growth.
  • Reader Engagement: A well-chosen tone can engage the reader's emotions, making them more invested in the story. A dramatic, high-stakes tone can keep readers on the edge of their seats, while a romantic, sentimental tone can make them swoon.
  • Style and Voice: The tone is part of the writer's unique voice and style. The way you blend humor and seriousness, or the balance you strike between formal and informal language, can give your work a distinctive feel.

In creative writing, it's important to ensure that your tone is consistent, unless a change in tone is intentional and serves a specific purpose in your story. An inconsistent or shifting tone can be jarring and confusing for the reader. To check your tone, try reading your work aloud, as this can make shifts in tone more evident.

Tone in Academic Writing

In academic writing, the choice of tone is crucial as it helps to establish credibility and convey information in a clear, unambiguous manner. Here are some aspects to consider about tone in academic writing:

  • Formal: Academic writing typically uses a formal tone, which means avoiding colloquialisms, slang, and casual language. This helps to maintain a level of professionalism and seriousness that is appropriate for scholarly work. For instance, instead of saying “experts think this is really bad,” a more formal phrasing would be, “scholars have identified significant concerns regarding this matter.”
  • Objective: The tone in academic writing should usually be objective, rather than subjective. This means focusing on facts, evidence, and logical arguments rather than personal opinions or emotions. For example, instead of saying “I believe that climate change is a major issue,” an objective statement would be, “Research indicates that climate change poses substantial environmental risks.”
  • Precise: Precision is crucial in academic writing, so the tone should be specific and direct. Avoid vague or ambiguous language that might confuse the reader or obscure the meaning of your argument. For example, instead of saying “several studies,” specify the exact number of studies or name the authors if relevant.
  • Respectful: Even when critiquing other scholars' work, it's essential to maintain a respectful tone. This means avoiding harsh or judgmental language and focusing on the intellectual content of the argument rather than personal attacks.
  • Unbiased: Strive for an unbiased tone by presenting multiple perspectives on the issue at hand, especially when it's a subject of debate in the field. This shows that you have a comprehensive understanding of the topic and that your conclusions are based on a balanced assessment of the evidence.
  • Scholarly: A scholarly tone uses discipline-specific terminology and acknowledges existing research on the topic. However, it's also important to explain any complex or specialized terms for the benefit of readers who may not be familiar with them.

By choosing an appropriate tone, you can ensure that your academic writing is professional, credible, and accessible to your intended audience. Remember, the tone can subtly influence how your readers perceive your work and whether they find your arguments convincing.

Tone in Business Writing

In business writing, your tone should be professional, clear, and respectful. Here are some aspects to consider:

  • Professional and Formal: Just like in academic writing, business writing typically uses a professional and formal tone. This ensures that the communication is taken seriously and maintains an air of professionalism. However, remember that “formal” doesn't necessarily mean “stiff” or “impersonal”—a little warmth can make your writing more engaging.
  • Clear and Direct: Your tone should also be clear and direct. Ambiguity can lead to misunderstanding, which can have negative consequences in a business setting. Make sure your main points are obvious and not hidden in jargon or overly complex sentences.
  • Respectful: Respect is crucial in business communication. Even when addressing difficult topics or delivering bad news, keep your tone courteous and considerate. This fosters a positive business relationship and shows that you value the other party.
  • Concise: In the business world, time is often at a premium. Therefore, a concise tone—saying what you need to say as briefly as possible—is often appreciated. This is where the minimalist tone can shine.
  • Persuasive: In many situations, such as a sales pitch or a negotiation, a persuasive tone is beneficial. This involves making your points convincingly, showing enthusiasm where appropriate, and using language that motivates the reader to act.
  • Neutral: In situations where you're sharing information without trying to persuade or express an opinion, a neutral tone is best. For example, when writing a business report or summarizing meeting minutes, stick to the facts without letting personal bias influence your language.

By adapting your tone based on these guidelines and the specific context, you can ensure your business writing is effective and appropriate.

Tone in Online Writing

Online writing can vary greatly depending on the platform and purpose of the content. However, some common considerations for tone include:

  • Conversational and Informal: Online readers often prefer a more conversational, informal tone that mimics everyday speech. This can make your writing feel more personal and relatable. Blogs, social media posts, and personal websites often employ this tone.
  • Engaging and Enthusiastic: With so much content available online, an engaging and enthusiastic tone can help grab readers' attention and keep them interested. You can express your passion for a topic, ask questions, or use humor to make your writing more lively and engaging.
  • Clear and Direct: Just like in business and academic writing, clarity is key in online writing. Whether you're writing a how-to article, a product description, or a blog post, make your points clearly and directly to help your readers understand your message.
  • Descriptive and Vivid: Because online writing often involves storytelling or explaining complex ideas, a descriptive tone can be very effective. Use vivid language and sensory details to help readers visualize what you're talking about.
  • Authoritative: If you're writing content that's meant to inform or educate, an authoritative tone can help establish your credibility. This involves demonstrating your knowledge and expertise on the topic, citing reliable sources, and presenting your information in a confident, professional manner.
  • Optimistic and Inspirational: Particularly for motivational blogs, self-help articles, or other content meant to inspire, an optimistic tone can be very effective. This involves looking at the positive side of things, encouraging readers, and offering hope.

Remember, the best tone for online writing depends heavily on your audience, purpose, and platform. Always keep your readers in mind, and adapt your tone to suit their needs and expectations.

How to Master Tone

Tone isn't as hard as you think.

If you've ever said something with feeling in your voice or with a certain attitude, you know how it works.

And while mastering the word choice, syntax, and other techniques to use tone effectively can be tricky, just by choosing a tone, being aware of tone in your writing, and making a concerted effort to practice it will add depth and style to your writing, heightening both the meaning and your audiences enjoyment.

Remember, we all have tone. You just need to practice  using  it. Happy writing!

What tone do you find yourself using the most in your writing ? Let us know in the comments .

Here are two writing exercises for you to practice tone.

Exercise 1: Identify the Tone

Using the ten identification examples above, write out the tones for each of the examples. Then use this answer guide to check your work.

  • Pessimistic
  • Inspirational

How many did you get correctly? Let me know in the comments .

Exercise 2: Choose One Tone and Write

Choose one of the tones above, set a timer for fifteen minutes, then free write in that tone. 

When your time's up, post your practice in the Pro Practice Workshop (and if you’re not a member yet, you can join here ), and share feedback with a few other writers. 

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What Is Attitude? Definition, Usage, and Literary Examples

Attitude definition.

Attitude  (ADD-ih-tood) is the way someone thinks or feels about something, which is usually apparent in their behavior. In literature, attitude refers to the way an author or character thinks or feels about the subject. It’s expressed through the author’s word choice, chosen  point of view ,  tone ,  voice , and  sentence  structure.

Different Types of Attitude

Most forms of attitude fall into two categories: objective and subjective.

Objective attitude focuses on facts instead of emotions. An objective text will usually consist of longer sentences, higher-level vocabulary, fewer descriptive words, and statistics or evidence to back the claim. They’re often written in third-person point of view, which distances the writer from the subject.

Subjective attitude focuses on emotions. The text is more personal, and there’s more descriptive language. Its tone is more casual, so pieces with subjective attitudes often employ  vernacular ,  colloquialisms , and slang. These works are more likely to be written in first person.

Consider these short passages:

  • “Disneyland is one of the most popular theme park destinations in the world. Thousands of customers purchase annual passes, which saves them money and allows them to visit the park frequently and enjoy the attractions.”
  • “I think Disneyland is overdone. Yeah, lots of people like it, but it doesn’t live up to the hype. Practically everyone I know has an annual pass, but I think it’s a waste of time to go there every week just to go on the same rides.”

The second example has a subjective attitude about Disneyland, evident through the first-person point of view, descriptive words, and casual tone. Readers can clearly tell what the writer thinks about the subject, whereas the first example states facts without providing an opinion on the theme park.

Attitude vs. Perspective

Perspective  is how characters feel and understand what’s happening in the story based on their unique experiences. A work’s perspective helps determine its attitude. For example, if a single mom was being fired from her job, the perspective on the event would depend on who’s telling it—the mom or her boss. If the mom is the narrator, her perspective will be based on elements like how many children she has, how quickly she can find another job, and whether she has a strong support system to help her in the interim. As such, her attitude will likely be subjective and colored with shock or worry. The boss, on the other hand, may have a more objective attitude on the matter; if his decision comes from the company’s need to lay off a certain number of employees, his perspective is focused on the company’s well-being, not the employees’.

Why Writers Use Attitude

Every piece of writing has an attitude. A textbook or scientific research paper will most likely have objective attitudes because they’re communicating facts and data. This gives the reader confidence that they’re getting reliable, unbiased information.

In fiction, attitude has a different purpose. It helps the reader understand how the author or characters feel. Without attitude, the reader would be lost and unable to determine the significance of the story’s events. Because of this, attitude is similar to tone, as both help the reader figure out how they should feel about the story.

Examples of Attitude in Literature

1. Maya Angelou,  Still I Rise

This  poem , in the final section of Angelou’s book,  And Still I Rise , is a testament to the African American life experience and the need to rise above tragedy:

Did you want to see me broken?
Bowed head and lowered eyes?
Shoulders falling down like teardrops.
Weakened by my soulful cries.
Does my haughtiness offend you?
Don’t you take it awful hard
‘Cause I laugh like I’ve got gold mines
Diggin’ in my own back yard.
You may shoot me with your words,
You may cut me with your eyes,
You may kill me with your hatefulness,
But still, like air, I’ll rise.

Words like  broken ,  teardrops ,  soulful cries ,  cut , and  kill  suggest sorrow and defeat, but the final line, “But still, like air, I’ll rise” changes the poem’s whole attitude. By saying that, in spite of all the hardship, she will rise above it all, Angelou gives the poem a positive attitude built on confidence and optimism.

2. Laurie R. King,  The Beekeeper’s Apprentice

A young girl names Mary Russell happens upon the retired Sherlock Holmes on a hillside. To showcase her wit and perspective, Mary tells him her opinion on bees: 

From what I know of them they are mindless creatures, little more than a tool for putting fruit on trees. The females do all the work; the males do…well, they do little. […] Bees are great workers, it is true, but does not the production of each bee’s total lifetime amount to a single dessert-spoonful of honey? Each hive puts up with having hundreds of thousands of bees stolen regularly, to be spread on toast and formed into candles, instead of declaring war or going on strike as any sensible, self-respecting race would do. A bit too close to the human race for my taste .

Though this passage has signs of an objective attitude, like the complex syntax and factual data, Mary clearly gives her opinion with words like  mindless  and  self-respecting . Readers learn that she’s intelligent, a feminist, and believes the human race is malleable and overall unintelligent. So, ultimately, her attitude is subjective, conveyed by her disgusted, haughty tone.

Further Resources on Attitude

Story in Literary Fiction  provides questions authors must ask themselves to determine their attitude (as well as the characters’ attitudes) about the story.

Daniel Droba’s “ The Nature of Attitude ” explores the sociological and psychological implications of attitude.

Related Terms

  • Perspective

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5.1 Exploring Attitudes

Learning objectives.

  • Define the concept of attitude and explain why it is of such interest to social psychologists.
  • Review the variables that determine attitude strength.
  • Outline the factors affect the strength of the attitude-behavior relationship.

Although we might use the term in a different way in our everyday life (“Hey, he’s really got an attitude !”), social psychologists reserve the term attitude to refer to our relatively enduring evaluation of something , where the something is called the attitude object . The attitude object might be a person, a product, or a social group (Albarracín, Johnson, & Zanna, 2005; Wood, 2000). In this section we will consider the nature and strength of attitudes and the conditions under which attitudes best predict our behaviors.

Attitudes Are Evaluations

When we say that attitudes are evaluations, we mean that they involve a preference for or against the attitude object, as commonly expressed in such terms as prefer , like , dislike , hate , and love . When we express our attitudes—for instance, when we say, “I love Cheerios,” “I hate snakes,” “I’m crazy about Bill,” or “I like Italians”—we are expressing the relationship (either positive or negative) between the self and an attitude object. Statements such as these make it clear that attitudes are an important part of the self-concept—attitudes tie the self-concept to the attitude object, and so our attitudes are an essential part of “us.”

Every human being holds thousands of attitudes, including those about family and friends, political parties and political figures, abortion rights and terrorism, preferences for music, and much more. Each of our attitudes has its own unique characteristics, and no two attitudes come to us or influence us in quite the same way. Research has found that some of our attitudes are inherited, at least in part, via genetic transmission from our parents (Olson, Vernon, Harris, & Jang, 2001). Other attitudes are learned mostly through direct and indirect experiences with the attitude objects (De Houwer, Thomas, & Baeyens, 2001). We may like to ride roller coasters in part because our genetic code has given us a thrill-loving personality and in part because we’ve had some really great times on roller coasters in the past. Still other attitudes are learned via the media (Hargreaves & Tiggemann, 2003; Levina, Waldo, & Fitzgerald, 2000) or through our interactions with friends (Poteat, 2007). Some of our attitudes are shared by others (most of us like sugar, fear snakes, and are disgusted by cockroaches), whereas other attitudes—such as our preferences for different styles of music or art—are more individualized.

Table 5.1 “Heritability of Some Attitudes” shows some of the attitudes that have been found to be the most highly heritable (i.e. most strongly determined by genetic variation among people). These attitudes form earlier and are stronger and more resistant to change than others (Bourgeois, 2002), although it is not yet known why some attitudes are more genetically determined than are others.

Table 5.1 Heritability of Some Attitudes

Our attitudes are made up of cognitive, affective, and behavioral components. Consider my own attitude toward chocolate ice cream, which is very positive and always has been, as far as I can remember.

In terms of affect:

In terms of behavior:

I frequently eat chocolate ice cream.

In terms of cognitions:

Chocolate ice cream has a smooth texture and a rich, strong taste.

My attitude toward chocolate ice cream is composed of affect, behavior, and cognition.

Although most attitudes are determined by cognition, affect, and behavior, there is nevertheless variability in this regard across people and across attitudes. Some attitudes are more likely to be based on beliefs, some more likely to be based on feelings, and some more likely to be based on behaviors. I would say that my attitude toward chocolate ice cream is in large part determined by affect—although I can describe its taste, mostly I just like it. My attitudes toward my Toyota Corolla and my home air conditioner, on the other hand, are more cognitive. I don’t really like them so much as I admire their positive features (the Toyota gets good gas mileage and the air conditioner keeps me cool on hot summer days). Still other of my attitudes are based more on behavior—I feel like I’ve learned to like my neighbors because I’ve done favors for them over the years (which they have returned) and these helpful behaviors on my part have, at least in part, led me to develop a positive attitude toward them.

Different people may hold attitudes toward the same attitude object for different reasons. Some people voted for Barack Obama in the 2008 elections because they like his policies (“he’s working for the middle class”; “he wants to increase automobile fuel efficiency”), whereas others voted for (or against) him because they just liked (or disliked) him. Although you might think that cognition would be more important in this regard, political scientists have shown that many voting decisions are made primarily on the basis of affect. Indeed, it is fair to say that the affective component of attitudes is generally the strongest and most important (Abelson, Kinder, Peters, & Fiske, 1981; Stangor, Sullivan, & Ford, 1991).

Human beings hold attitudes because they are useful. Particularly, our attitudes enable us to determine, often very quickly and effortlessly, which behaviors to engage in, which people to approach or avoid, and even which products to buy (Duckworth, Bargh, Garcia, & Chaiken, 2002; Maio & Olson, 2000). You can imagine that making quick decisions about what to avoid

snake = bad ⟶ run away

or to approach

blueberries = good ⟶ eat

has had substantial value in our evolutionary experience.

Because attitudes are evaluations, they can be assessed using any of the normal measuring techniques used by social psychologists (Banaji & Heiphetz, 2010). Attitudes are frequently assessed using self-report measures, but they can also be assessed more indirectly using measures of arousal and facial expressions (Mendes, 2008) as well as implicit measures of cognition, such as the Implicit Association Test (IAT) . Attitudes can also be seen in the brain by using neuroimaging techniques. This research has found that our attitudes, like most of our social knowledge, are stored primarily in the prefrontal cortex but that the amygdala is important in emotional attitudes, particularly those associated with fear (Cunningham, Raye, & Johnson, 2004; Cunningham & Zelazo, 2007; van den Bos, McClure, Harris, Fiske, & Cohen, 2007). Attitudes can be activated extremely quickly—often within one fifth of a second after we see an attitude object (Handy, Smilek, Geiger, Liu, & Schooler, 2010).

Some Attitudes Are Stronger Than Others

Some attitudes are more important than others, because they are more useful to us and thus have more impact on our daily lives. The importance of an attitude, as assessed by how quickly it comes to mind , is known as attitude strength (Fazio, 1990; Fazio, 1995; Krosnick & Petty, 1995). Some of our attitudes are strong attitudes, in the sense that we find them important, hold them with confidence, do not change them very much, and use them frequently to guide our actions. These strong attitudes may guide our actions completely out of our awareness (Ferguson, Bargh, & Nayak, 2005).

Other attitudes are weaker and have little influence on our actions. For instance, John Bargh and his colleagues (Bargh, Chaiken, Raymond, & Hymes, 1996) found that people could express attitudes toward nonsense words such as juvalamu (which people liked) and chakaka (which they did not like). The researchers also found that these attitudes were very weak. On the other hand, the heavy voter turnout for Barack Obama in the 2008 elections was probably because many of his supporters had strong positive attitudes about him.

Strong attitudes are attitudes that are more cognitively accessible—they come to mind quickly, regularly, and easily. We can easily measure attitude strength by assessing how quickly our attitudes are activated when we are exposed to the attitude object. If we can state our attitude quickly, without much thought, then it is a strong one. If we are unsure about our attitude and need to think about it for a while before stating our opinion, the attitude is weak.

Attitudes become stronger when we have direct positive or negative experiences with the attitude object, and particularly if those experiences have been in strong positive or negative contexts. Russell Fazio and his colleagues (Fazio, Powell, & Herr, 1983) had people either work on some puzzles or watch other people work on the same puzzles. Although the people who watched ended up either liking or disliking the puzzles as much as the people who actually worked on them, Fazio found that attitudes, as assessed by reaction time measures, were stronger (in the sense of being expressed quickly) for the people who had directly experienced the puzzles.

Because attitude strength is determined by cognitive accessibility, it is possible to make attitudes stronger by increasing the accessibility of the attitude. This can be done directly by having people think about, express, or discuss their attitudes with others. After people think about their attitudes, talk about them, or just say them out loud, the attitudes they have expressed become stronger (Downing, Judd, & Brauer, 1992; Tesser, Martin, & Mendolia, 1995). Because attitudes are linked to the self-concept, they also become stronger when they are activated along with the self-concept. When we are looking into a mirror or sitting in front of a TV camera, our attitudes are activated and we are then more likely to act on them (Beaman, Klentz, Diener, & Svanum, 1979).

Attitudes are also stronger when the ABCs of affect, behavior, and cognition all line up. As an example, many people’s attitude toward their own nation is universally positive. They have strong positive feelings about their country, many positive thoughts about it, and tend to engage in behaviors that support it. Other attitudes are less strong because the affective, cognitive, and behavioral components are each somewhat different (Thompson, Zanna, & Griffin, 1995). My affect toward chocolate ice cream is positive—I like it a lot. On the other hand, my cognitions are more negative—I know that eating too much ice cream can make me fat and that it is bad for my coronary arteries. And even though I love chocolate ice cream, I don’t eat some every time I get a chance. These inconsistencies among the components of my attitude make it less strong than it would be if all the components lined up together.

When Do Our Attitudes Guide Our Behavior?

Social psychologists (as well as advertisers, marketers, and politicians) are particularly interested in the behavioral aspect of attitudes. Because it is normal that the ABCs of our attitudes are at least somewhat consistent, our behavior tends to follow from our affect and cognition. If I determine that you have more positive cognitions about and more positive affect toward Cheerios than Frosted Flakes, then I will naturally predict (and probably be correct when I do so) that you’ll be more likely to buy Cheerios than Frosted Flakes when you go to the market. Furthermore, if I can do something to make your thoughts or feelings toward Frosted Flakes more positive, then your likelihood of buying that cereal instead of the other will also increase.

The principle of attitude consistency (that for any given attitude object, the ABCs of affect, behavior, and cognition are normally in line with each other ) thus predicts that our attitudes (for instance, as measured via a self-report measure) are likely to guide behavior . Supporting this idea, meta-analyses have found that there is a significant and substantial positive correlation among the different components of attitudes, and that attitudes expressed on self-report measures do predict behavior (Glasman & Albarracín, 2006).

Although there is generally consistency between attitudes and behavior, the relationship is stronger in certain situations, for certain people, and for certain attitudes (Wicker, 1969). The theory of planned behavior , developed by Martin Fishbein and Izek Ajzen (Ajzen, 1991; Fishbein & Ajzen, 1975), outlined many of the important variables that affected the attitude-behavior relationship, and some of these factors are summarized in the list that follows this paragraph. It may not surprise you to hear that attitudes that are strong, in the sense that they are expressed quickly and confidently, predict our behavior better than do weak attitudes (Fazio, Powell, & Williams, 1989; Glasman & Albarracín, 2006). For example, Farc and Sagarin (2009) found that people who could more quickly complete questionnaires about their attitudes toward the politicians George Bush and John Kerry were also more likely to vote for the candidate that they had more positive attitudes toward in the 2004 presidential elections. The relationship between the responses on the questionnaires and voting behavior was weaker for those who completed the items more slowly.

  • When attitudes are strong, rather than weak
  • When we have a strong intention to perform the behavior
  • When the attitude and the behavior both occur in similar social situations
  • When the same components of the attitude (either affect or cognition) are accessible when the attitude is assessed and when the behavior is performed
  • When the attitudes are measured at a specific, rather than a general, level
  • For low self-monitors (rather than for high self-monitors)

Attitudes only predict behaviors well under certain conditions and for some people. The preceding list summarizes the factors that create a strong attitude-behavior relationship.

People who have strong attitudes toward an attitude object are also likely to have strong intentions to act on their attitudes, and the intention to engage in an activity is a strong predictor of behavior (Fishbein & Ajzen, 1975). Imagine for a moment that your friend Sharina is trying to decide whether to recycle her used laptop batteries or just throw them away. We know that her attitude toward recycling is positive—she thinks she should do it—but we also know that recycling takes work. It’s much easier to just throw the batteries away. Only if Sharina has a strong attitude toward recycling will she then have the necessary strong intentions to engage in the behavior that will make her recycle her batteries even when it is difficult to do.

The match between the social situations in which the attitudes are expressed and the behaviors are engaged in also matters, such that there is a greater attitude-behavior correlation when the social situations match. Imagine for a minute the case of Magritte, a 16-year-old high school student. Magritte tells her parents that she hates the idea of smoking cigarettes. Magritte’s negative attitude toward smoking seems to be a strong one because she’s thought a lot about it—she believes that cigarettes are dirty, expensive, and unhealthy. But how sure are you that Magritte’s attitude will predict her behavior? Would you be willing to bet that she’d never try smoking when she’s out with her friends?

You can see that the problem here is that Magritte’s attitude is being expressed in one social situation (when she is with her parents) whereas the behavior (trying a cigarette) is going to occur in a very different social situation (when she is out with her friends). The relevant social norms are of course much different in the two situations. Magritte’s friends might be able to convince her to try smoking, despite her initial negative attitude, when they entice her with peer pressure. Behaviors are more likely to be consistent with attitudes when the social situation in which the behavior occurs is similar to the situation in which the attitude is expressed (Ajzen, 1991; LaPiere, 1936).

Research Focus

Attitude-Behavior Consistency

Another variable that has an important influence on attitude-behavior consistency is the current cognitive accessibility of the underlying affective and cognitive components of the attitude. For example, if we assess the attitude in a situation in which people are thinking primarily about the attitude object in cognitive terms, and yet the behavior is performed in a situation in which the affective components of the attitude are more accessible, then the attitude-behavior relationship will be weak. Wilson and Schooler (1991) showed a similar type of effect by first choosing attitudes that they expected would be primarily determined by affect—attitudes toward five different types of strawberry jam. Then they asked a sample of college students to taste each of the jams. While they were tasting, one-half of the participants were instructed to think about the cognitive aspects of their attitudes to these jams—that is, to focus on the reasons they held their attitudes, whereas the other half of the participants were not given these instructions. Then all the students completed measures of their attitudes toward each of the jams.

Wilson and his colleagues then assessed the extent to which the attitudes expressed by the students correlated with taste ratings of the five jams as indicated by experts at Consumer Reports . They found that the attitudes expressed by the students correlated significantly higher with the expert ratings for the participants who had not listed their cognitions first. Wilson and his colleagues argued that this occurred because our liking of jams is primarily affectively determined—we either like them or we don’t. And the students who simply rated the jams used their feelings to make their judgments. On the other hand, the students who were asked to list their thoughts about the jams had some extra information to use in making their judgments, but it was information that was not actually useful. Therefore, when these students used their thoughts about the jam to make the judgments, their judgments were less valid.

MacDonald, Zanna, and Fong (1996) showed male college students a video of two other college students, Mike and Rebecca, who were out on a date. However, according to random assignment to conditions, half of the men were shown the video while sober and the other half viewed the video after they had had several alcoholic drinks. In the video, Mike and Rebecca go to the campus bar and drink and dance. They then go to Rebecca’s room, where they end up kissing passionately. Mike says that he doesn’t have any condoms, but Rebecca says that she is on the pill.

At this point the film clip ends, and the male participants are asked about their likely behaviors if they had been Mike. Although all men indicated that having unprotected sex in this situation was foolish and irresponsible, the men who had been drinking alcohol were more likely to indicate that they would engage in sexual intercourse with Rebecca even without a condom. One interpretation of this study is that sexual behavior is determined by both cognitive factors (“I know that it is important to practice safe sex and so I should use a condom”) and affective factors (“sex is enjoyable, I don’t want to wait”). When the students were intoxicated at the time the behavior was to be performed, it seems likely the affective component of the attitude was a more important determinant of behavior than was the cognitive component.

One other type of “match” that has an important influence on the attitude-behavior relationship concerns how we measure the attitude and behavior. Attitudes predict behavior better when the attitude is measured at a level that is similar to the behavior to be predicted. Normally, the behavior is specific, so it is better to measure the attitude at a specific level too. For instance, if we measure cognitions at a very general level (“do you think it is important to use condoms?”; “are you a religious person?”) we will not be as successful at predicting actual behaviors as we will be if we ask the question more specifically, at the level of behavior we are interested in predicting (“do you think you will use a condom the next time you have sex?”; “how frequently do you expect to attend church in the next month?”). In general, more specific questions are better predictors of specific behaviors, and thus if we wish to accurately predict behaviors, we should remember to attempt to measure specific attitudes. One example of this principle is shown in Figure 5.1 “Predicting Behavior From Specific and Nonspecific Attitude Measures” . Davidson and Jaccard (1979) found that they were much better able to predict whether women actually used birth control when they assessed the attitude at a more specific level.

Figure 5.1 Predicting Behavior From Specific and Nonspecific Attitude Measures

Attitudes that are measured using more specific questions are more highly correlated with behavior than are attitudes measured using less specific questions.

Attitudes that are measured using more specific questions are more highly correlated with behavior than are attitudes measured using less specific questions. Data are from Davidson and Jaccard (1979).

Attitudes also predict behavior better for some people than for others. Self-monitoring refers to individual differences in the tendency to attend to social cues and to adjust one’s behavior to one’s social environment. To return to our example of Magritte, you might wonder whether she is the type of person who is likely to be persuaded by peer pressure because she is particularly concerned with being liked by others. If she is, then she’s probably more likely to want to fit in with whatever her friends are doing, and she might try a cigarette if her friends offer her one. On the other hand, if Magritte is not particularly concerned about following the social norms of her friends, then she’ll more likely be able to resist the persuasion. High self-monitors are those who tend to attempt to blend into the social situation in order to be liked; low self-monitors are those who are less likely to do so. You can see that, because they allow the social situation to influence their behaviors, the relationship between attitudes and behavior will be weaker for high self-monitors than it is for low self-monitors (Kraus, 1995).

Key Takeaways

  • The term attitude refers to our relatively enduring evaluation of an attitude object.
  • Our attitudes are inherited and also learned through direct and indirect experiences with the attitude objects.
  • Some attitudes are more likely to be based on beliefs, some more likely to be based on feelings, and some more likely to be based on behaviors.
  • Strong attitudes are important in the sense that we hold them with confidence, we do not change them very much, and we use them frequently to guide our actions.
  • Although there is a general consistency between attitudes and behavior, the relationship is stronger in some situations than in others, for some measurements than for others, and for some people than for others.

Exercises and Critical Thinking

  • Consider some of your attitudes toward people, products, or other attitude objects. Are your attitudes strong or weak? Are they determined more by affect or by cognition? How do the attitudes influence your behavior?
  • Consider a time when you acted on your own attitudes and a time when you did not act on your own attitudes. What factors do you think determined the difference?

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English Studies

This website is dedicated to English Literature, Literary Criticism, Literary Theory, English Language and its teaching and learning.

Attitude: A Literary Device

The literary device of “attitude” refers to the author’s emotional and intellectual stance or disposition expressed through the text’s tone, language choices, and character perspectives.

Etymology of Attitude

Table of Contents

The word “attitude” in a literary context, originally derived from the French word “attitude,” had its roots in 17th-century Italy, particularly in the field of art. In this context, “attitude” referred to a pose or posture struck by a figure in a painting or sculpture.

With time, it evolved to encompass a broader range of expressions and behaviors, both in the visual arts and in literature. In literary analysis, “attitude” pertains to the author’s tone, perspective, or disposition toward the subject matter, characters, or themes in a work of literature, and it plays a crucial role in conveying the author’s intentions and the overall mood of the text.

Meaning of Attitude

  • Authorial Tone : The author’s emotional and intellectual stance in the text.
  • Narrative Voice : The way the author presents the story’s events and characters.
  • Character Attitudes : The beliefs, emotions, and responses of characters.
  • Theme and Message : The influence on the central themes and message of the work.
  • Style and Language Choices : How the author’s attitude affects language and style.
  • Reader Engagement : How the author’s attitude affects reader involvement.
  • Cultural and Historical Context : How cultural and historical factors shape attitude.
  • Irony and Satire : Use of attitude for irony or satire.
  • Shifts in Attitude : Changes in attitude throughout the text.
  • Reader’s Interpretation : How attitude aids in interpretation and analysis.

Definition of Literary Device of Attitude

The literary device of “attitude” refers to the author’s emotional and intellectual stance or disposition expressed through the text’s tone, language choices, and character perspectives. It shapes the reader’s interpretation and engagement with the work, influencing themes, character development, and overall literary impact. Attitude is a critical element in analyzing an author’s intentions and the emotional resonance of a literary piece.

Common Features of an Attitude

  • Tone : The emotional quality and mood of the text.
  • Diction and Language Choices : Words and language reflecting the author’s attitude.
  • Character Perspectives : Beliefs, values, and emotions of characters.
  • Narrative Voice : The chosen narrative style influencing attitude perception.
  • Impact on Theme and Message : Shaping themes and conveying the author’s message.

Types of Attitudes

  • Positive Attitude : Characters or narrators express optimism, favorability, or enthusiasm towards people, events, or themes in the text.
  • Negative Attitude : Characters or narrators exhibit pessimism, disapproval, or hostility towards people, events, or themes within the narrative.
  • Neutral Attitude : A lack of emotional bias is evident in the text, with a balanced and objective presentation of characters and events.
  • Sarcastic Attitude : Authors or characters employ sarcasm to convey an attitude that contradicts the literal meaning of their words, often for satirical or critical effect.
  • Cynical Attitude : Characters or narrators display distrust, skepticism, or a pessimistic view of human nature or society.
  • Optimistic Attitude : Characters or authors express hope, positivity, and a favorable outlook on life, often in the face of challenges.
  • Satirical Attitude : Authors use humor, wit, and irony to criticize or mock individuals, institutions, or societal norms.
  • Romantic : Characters or authors idealize love, emotions, and personal relationships, often emphasizing passion and emotional intensity.
  • Realistic : An objective portrayal of life and events without idealization or exaggeration, reflecting the complexities of everyday existence.
  • Tragic : Characters or authors emphasize the inevitability of suffering, fate, and the darker aspects of the human condition.

Shakespearean Attitudes

Suggested readings.

  • Booth, Wayne C. The Rhetoric of Fiction . University of Chicago Press, 1983.
  • Eagleton, Terry. Literary Theory: An Introduction . Blackwell, 2008.
  • Fowler, Alastair. Kinds of Literature: An Introduction to the Theory of Genres and Modes . Harvard University Press, 1982.
  • Green, Keith. Genres of Modernity: Contemporary Indian Novels in English . Bloomsbury Publishing, 2015.
  • Jauss, Hans Robert. Toward an Aesthetic of Reception . University of Minnesota Press, 1982.
  • Leitch, Vincent B., et al. The Norton Anthology of Theory and Criticism . W. W. Norton & Company, 2018.
  • Lodge, David. The Art of Fiction . Penguin Books, 1992.
  • Wellek, René, and Austin Warren. Theory of Literature . Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1956.
  • Wimsatt, W. K., and Monroe C. Beardsley. “The Intentional Fallacy.” The Verbal Icon: Studies in the Meaning of Poetry . University Press of Kentucky, 2010.
  • Woolf, Virginia. “Mr. Bennett and Mrs. Brown.” In Collected Essays , edited by Leonard Woolf, Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1967.

More Literary Devices below:

  • Digression: A Literary Device
  • Digressions in Literature
  • Inversion: A Literary Device
  • Inversions in Literature
  • Critique in Literature & Theory

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essay attitude meaning

Components of Attitude: ABC Model

Saul Mcleod, PhD

Editor-in-Chief for Simply Psychology

BSc (Hons) Psychology, MRes, PhD, University of Manchester

Saul Mcleod, PhD., is a qualified psychology teacher with over 18 years of experience in further and higher education. He has been published in peer-reviewed journals, including the Journal of Clinical Psychology.

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On This Page:

An attitude is “a relatively enduring organization of beliefs, feelings, and behavioral tendencies towards socially significant objects, groups, events or symbols” (Hogg & Vaughan 2005, p. 150)

“..a psychological tendency that is expressed by evaluating a particular entity with some degree of favor or disfavor.” (Eagly & Chaiken, 1993, p. 1)

ABC Model of Attitude

The ABC Model of Attitudes, also known as the tri-component model, is a framework in psychology that describes 3 components of attitudes (Eagly & Chaiken 1998):

  • A ffective component : this involves a person’s feelings/emotions about the attitude object. For example: “I am scared of spiders.”
  • B ehavioral (or conative) component: the way the attitude we have influenced how we act or behave. For example: “I will avoid spiders and scream if I see one.”
  • C ognitive component involves a person’s belief/knowledge about an attitude object. For example: “I believe spiders are dangerous.”

These three components collectively form an individual’s attitude toward an object, person, issue, or situation.

Affective Component

The affective component of an attitude refers to the emotional reactions or feelings an individual has towards an object, person, issue, or situation.

This component involves feelings or emotional responses like liking, disliking, love, hate, fear, etc.  It is essentially the emotional aspect of an attitude that can influence an individual’s behavior.

For instance, if someone feels positive about exercising, this is an affective response that may make them more likely to engage in physical activity.

Suppose someone has a fear of spiders (the affective component). In that case, they might avoid places where they believe spiders may be present (the behavioral component) due to their belief that all spiders are harmful (the cognitive component).

Behavioral Component

The behavioral component of an attitude refers to how one behaves or acts towards an object, person, issue, or situation based on their attitude.

It involves an individual’s tendency to behave in a certain way toward the attitude object.

For example, suppose a person has a positive attitude toward healthy eating (affective and cognitive components). In that case, the behavioral component of their attitude may be demonstrated by them frequently choosing to eat fruits and vegetables, avoiding fast food, and cooking meals at home.

Cognitive Component

The cognitive component of an attitude refers to the beliefs, thoughts, and attributes that an individual associates with an object, person, issue, or situation. It involves the mental processes of understanding and interpreting information.

For example, suppose a person believes that recycling benefits the environment and effectively conserves natural resources. In that case, this represents the cognitive component of their positive attitude towards recycling.

This cognitive component can influence their feelings about recycling (affective component) and their likelihood of engaging in recycling behaviors (behavioral component).

The knowledge function is intimately tied to the cognitive component of attitudes as it directly influences how we interpret and make sense of our beliefs and perceptions.

Attitude Strength

The strength with which an attitude is held is often a good predictor of behavior. The stronger the attitude, the more likely it should affect behavior. Attitude strength involves:

Importance / personal relevance refers to how significant the attitude is for the person and relates to self-interest, social identification, and value.

If an attitude has a high self-interest for a person (i.e., it is held by a group the person is a member of or would like to be a member of and is related to a person’s values), it is going to be extremely important.

As a consequence, the attitude will have a very strong influence on a person’s behavior. By contrast, an attitude will not be important to a person if it does not relate in any way to their life.

The knowledge aspect of attitude strength covers how much a person knows about the attitude object. People are generally more knowledgeable about topics that interest them and are likely to hold strong attitudes (positive or negative) as a consequence.

Attitudes based on direct experience are more strongly held and influence behavior more than attitudes formed indirectly (for example, through hearsay, reading, or watching television).

Principle of Consistency

One of the underlying assumptions about the link between attitudes and behavior is that of consistency.

This means that we often or usually expect a person’s behavior to be consistent with their attitudes. This is called the principle of consistency.

The principle of consistency reflects the idea that people are rational and attempt to behave rationally at all times and that a person’s behavior should be consistent with their attitude(s).

Whilst this principle may sound, it is clear that people do not always follow it, sometimes behaving in seemingly illogical ways; for example, smoking cigarettes and knowing that smoking causes lung cancer and heart disease.

There is evidence that behavior’s cognitive and affective components do not always match with behavior. This is shown in a study by LaPiere (1934) .

Eagly, A. H. Chaiken. S.(1998). Attitude, structure and function.  Handbook of social psychology , 269-322.

Eagly, A. H., & Chaiken, S. (1993). The psychology of attitudes . Harcourt Brace Jovanovich College Publishers.

Hogg, M., & Vaughan, G. (2005). Social Psychology (4th edition) . London: Prentice-Hall.

LaPiere, R. T. (1934). Attitudes vs. Actions. Social Forces , 13, 230-237.

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72 Attitudes and Persuasion


Learning Objectives

By the end of this section, you will be able to:

  • Define attitude
  • Describe how people’s attitudes are internally changed through cognitive dissonance
  • Explain how people’s attitudes are externally changed through persuasion
  • Describe the peripheral and central routes to persuasion

Social psychologists have documented how the power of the situation can influence our behaviors. Now we turn to how the power of the situation can influence our attitudes and beliefs. Attitude is our evaluation of a person, an idea, or an object. We have attitudes for many things ranging from products that we might pick up in the supermarket to people around the world to political policies. Typically, attitudes are favorable or unfavorable: positive or negative (Eagly & Chaiken, 1993). And, they have three components: an affective component (feelings), a behavioral component (the effect of the attitude on behavior), and a cognitive component (belief and knowledge) (Rosenberg & Hovland, 1960).

For example, you may hold a positive attitude toward recycling. This attitude should result in positive feelings toward recycling (such as “It makes me feel good to recycle” or “I enjoy knowing that I make a small difference in reducing the amount of waste that ends up in landfills”). Certainly, this attitude should be reflected in our behavior: You actually recycle as often as you can. Finally, this attitude will be reflected in favorable thoughts (for example, “Recycling is good for the environment” or “Recycling is the responsible thing to do”).

Our attitudes and beliefs are not only influenced by external forces, but also by internal influences that we control. Like our behavior, our attitudes and thoughts are not always changed by situational pressures, but they can be consciously changed by our own free will. In this section we discuss the conditions under which we would want to change our own attitudes and beliefs.


Social psychologists have documented that feeling good about ourselves and maintaining positive self-esteem is a powerful motivator of human behavior (Tavris & Aronson, 2008). In the United States, members of the predominant culture typically think very highly of themselves and view themselves as good people who are above average on many desirable traits (Ehrlinger, Gilovich, & Ross, 2005). Often, our behavior, attitudes, and beliefs are affected when we experience a threat to our self-esteem or positive self-image. Psychologist Leon Festinger (1957) defined cognitive dissonance as psychological discomfort arising from holding two or more inconsistent attitudes, behaviors, or cognitions (thoughts, beliefs, or opinions). Festinger’s theory of cognitive dissonance states that when we experience a conflict in our behaviors, attitudes, or beliefs that runs counter to our positive self-perceptions, we experience psychological discomfort (dissonance). For example, if you believe smoking is bad for your health but you continue to smoke, you experience conflict between your belief and behavior ( [link] ).

A diagram shows the process of cognitive dissonance. Two disparate statements (“I am a smoker” and “Smoking is bad for your health”) are joined as an example of cognitive dissonance. A flow diagram joins them in a process labeled, “Remove dissonance tension,” with two resulting flows. The first flow path shows the warning on a pack of cigarettes with a checkmark imposed over the image that is labeled, “Smoking is bad for your health.” The path then shows a photograph of an arm with a nicotine patch that is labeled, “I quit smoking.” The second flow path shows the warning on a pack of cigarettes with an X imposed over the image and is labeled, “Research is inconclusive,” then shows a photograph of a person smoking labeled, “I am still a smoker.”

Later research documented that only conflicting cognitions that threaten individuals’ positive self-image cause dissonance (Greenwald & Ronis, 1978). Additional research found that dissonance is not only psychologically uncomfortable but also can cause physiological arousal (Croyle & Cooper, 1983) and activate regions of the brain important in emotions and cognitive functioning (van Veen, Krug, Schooler, & Carter, 2009). When we experience cognitive dissonance, we are motivated to decrease it because it is psychologically, physically, and mentally uncomfortable. We can reduce cognitive dissonance by bringing our cognitions, attitudes, and behaviors in line—that is, making them harmonious. This can be done in different ways, such as:

  • changing our discrepant behavior (e.g., stop smoking),
  • changing our cognitions through rationalization or denial (e.g., telling ourselves that health risks can be reduced by smoking filtered cigarettes),
  • adding a new cognition (e.g., “Smoking suppresses my appetite so I don’t become overweight, which is good for my health.”).

A classic example of cognitive dissonance is John, a 20-year-old who enlists in the military. During boot camp he is awakened at 5:00 a.m., is chronically sleep deprived, yelled at, covered in sand flea bites, physically bruised and battered, and mentally exhausted ( [link] ). It gets worse. Recruits that make it to week 11 of boot camp have to do 54 hours of continuous training.

A photograph shows a person doing pushups while a military leader stands over the person; other people are doing jumping jacks in the background.

Not surprisingly, John is miserable. No one likes to be miserable. In this type of situation, people can change their beliefs, their attitudes, or their behaviors. The last option, a change of behaviors, is not available to John. He has signed on to the military for four years, and he cannot legally leave.

If John keeps thinking about how miserable he is, it is going to be a very long four years. He will be in a constant state of cognitive dissonance. As an alternative to this misery, John can change his beliefs or attitudes. He can tell himself, “I am becoming stronger, healthier, and sharper. I am learning discipline and how to defend myself and my country. What I am doing is really important.” If this is his belief, he will realize that he is becoming stronger through his challenges. He then will feel better and not experience cognitive dissonance, which is an uncomfortable state.

The Effect of Initiation

The military example demonstrates the observation that a difficult initiation into a group influences us to like the group more , due to the justification of effort. We do not want to have wasted time and effort to join a group that we eventually leave. A classic experiment by Aronson and Mills (1959) demonstrated this justification of effort effect. College students volunteered to join a campus group that would meet regularly to discuss the psychology of sex. Participants were randomly assigned to one of three conditions: no initiation, an easy initiation, and a difficult initiation into the group. After participating in the first discussion, which was deliberately made very boring, participants rated how much they liked the group. Participants who underwent a difficult initiation process to join the group rated the group more favorably than did participants with an easy initiation or no initiation ( [link] ).

A bar graph has an x-axis labeled, “Difficulty of initiation” and a y-axis labeled, “Relative magnitude of liking a group.” The liking of the group is low to moderate for the groups whose difficulty of initiation was “none” or “easy,” but high for the group whose difficulty of initiation was “difficult.”

Similar effects can be seen in a more recent study of how student effort affects course evaluations. Heckert, Latier, Ringwald-Burton, and Drazen (2006) surveyed 463 undergraduates enrolled in courses at a midwestern university about the amount of effort that their courses required of them. In addition, the students were also asked to evaluate various aspects of the course. Given what you’ve just read, it will come as no surprise that those courses that were associated with the highest level of effort were evaluated as being more valuable than those that did not. Furthermore, students indicated that they learned more in courses that required more effort, regardless of the grades that they received in those courses (Heckert et al., 2006).

Besides the classic military example and group initiation, can you think of other examples of cognitive dissonance ? Here is one: Marco and Maria live in Fairfield County, Connecticut, which is one of the wealthiest areas in the United States and has a very high cost of living. Marco telecommutes from home and Maria does not work outside of the home. They rent a very small house for more than $3000 a month. Maria shops at consignment stores for clothes and economizes where she can. They complain that they never have any money and that they cannot buy anything new. When asked why they do not move to a less expensive location, since Marco telecommutes, they respond that Fairfield County is beautiful, they love the beaches, and they feel comfortable there. How does the theory of cognitive dissonance apply to Marco and Maria’s choices?

In the previous section we discussed that the motivation to reduce cognitive dissonance leads us to change our attitudes, behaviors, and/or cognitions to make them consonant. Persuasion is the process of changing our attitude toward something based on some kind of communication. Much of the persuasion we experience comes from outside forces. How do people convince others to change their attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors ( [link] )? What communications do you receive that attempt to persuade you to change your attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors?

A photograph shows the back of a car that is covered in numerous bumper stickers.

A subfield of social psychology studies persuasion and social influence, providing us with a plethora of information on how humans can be persuaded by others.

Yale Attitude Change Approach

The topic of persuasion has been one of the most extensively researched areas in social psychology (Fiske et al., 2010). During the Second World War, Carl Hovland extensively researched persuasion for the U.S. Army. After the war, Hovland continued his exploration of persuasion at Yale University. Out of this work came a model called the Yale attitude change approach , which describes the conditions under which people tend to change their attitudes. Hovland demonstrated that certain features of the source of a persuasive message, the content of the message, and the characteristics of the audience will influence the persuasiveness of a message (Hovland, Janis, & Kelley, 1953).

Features of the source of the persuasive message include the credibility of the speaker (Hovland & Weiss, 1951) and the physical attractiveness of the speaker (Eagly & Chaiken, 1975; Petty, Wegener, & Fabrigar, 1997). Thus, speakers who are credible, or have expertise on the topic, and who are deemed as trustworthy are more persuasive than less credible speakers. Similarly, more attractive speakers are more persuasive than less attractive speakers. The use of famous actors and athletes to advertise products on television and in print relies on this principle. The immediate and long term impact of the persuasion also depends, however, on the credibility of the messenger (Kumkale & Albarracín, 2004).

Features of the message itself that affect persuasion include subtlety (the quality of being important, but not obvious) (Petty & Cacioppo, 1986; Walster & Festinger, 1962); sidedness (that is, having more than one side) (Crowley & Hoyer, 1994; Igou & Bless, 2003; Lumsdaine & Janis, 1953); timing (Haugtvedt & Wegener, 1994; Miller & Campbell, 1959), and whether both sides are presented. Messages that are more subtle are more persuasive than direct messages. Arguments that occur first, such as in a debate, are more influential if messages are given back-to-back. However, if there is a delay after the first message, and before the audience needs to make a decision, the last message presented will tend to be more persuasive (Miller & Campbell, 1959).

Features of the audience that affect persuasion are attention (Albarracín & Wyer, 2001; Festinger & Maccoby, 1964), intelligence, self-esteem (Rhodes & Wood, 1992), and age (Krosnick & Alwin, 1989). In order to be persuaded, audience members must be paying attention. People with lower intelligence are more easily persuaded than people with higher intelligence; whereas people with moderate self-esteem are more easily persuaded than people with higher or lower self-esteem (Rhodes & Wood, 1992). Finally, younger adults aged 18–25 are more persuadable than older adults.

Elaboration Likelihood Model

An especially popular model that describes the dynamics of persuasion is the elaboration likelihood model of persuasion (Petty & Cacioppo, 1986). The elaboration likelihood model considers the variables of the attitude change approach—that is, features of the source of the persuasive message, contents of the message, and characteristics of the audience are used to determine when attitude change will occur. According to the elaboration likelihood model of persuasion, there are two main routes that play a role in delivering a persuasive message: central and peripheral ( [link] ).

A diagram shows two routes of persuasion. A box on the left is labeled “persuasive message” and arrows from the box separate into two routes: the central and peripheral routes, each with boxes describing the characteristics of the audience, processing, and persuasion. The audience is “motivated, analytical” in the central route, and “not motivated, not analytical” in the peripheral route. Processing in the central route is “high effort; evaluate message” and in the peripheral route is “low effort; persuaded by cues outside of message.” Persuasion in the central route is “lasting change in attitude” and in the peripheral route is “temporary change in attitude.”

The central route is logic driven and uses data and facts to convince people of an argument’s worthiness. For example, a car company seeking to persuade you to purchase their model will emphasize the car’s safety features and fuel economy. This is a direct route to persuasion that focuses on the quality of the information. In order for the central route of persuasion to be effective in changing attitudes, thoughts, and behaviors, the argument must be strong and, if successful, will result in lasting attitude change.

The central route to persuasion works best when the target of persuasion, or the audience, is analytical and willing to engage in processing of the information. From an advertiser’s perspective, what products would be best sold using the central route to persuasion? What audience would most likely be influenced to buy the product? One example is buying a computer. It is likely, for example, that small business owners might be especially influenced by the focus on the computer’s quality and features such as processing speed and memory capacity.

The peripheral route is an indirect route that uses peripheral cues to associate positivity with the message (Petty & Cacioppo, 1986). Instead of focusing on the facts and a product’s quality, the peripheral route relies on association with positive characteristics such as positive emotions and celebrity endorsement. For example, having a popular athlete advertise athletic shoes is a common method used to encourage young adults to purchase the shoes. This route to attitude change does not require much effort or information processing. This method of persuasion may promote positivity toward the message or product, but it typically results in less permanent attitude or behavior change. The audience does not need to be analytical or motivated to process the message. In fact, a peripheral route to persuasion may not even be noticed by the audience, for example in the strategy of product placement. Product placement refers to putting a product with a clear brand name or brand identity in a TV show or movie to promote the product (Gupta & Lord, 1998). For example, one season of the reality series American Idol prominently showed the panel of judges drinking out of cups that displayed the Coca-Cola logo. What other products would be best sold using the peripheral route to persuasion? Another example is clothing: A retailer may focus on celebrities that are wearing the same style of clothing.

Foot-in-the-door Technique

Researchers have tested many persuasion strategies that are effective in selling products and changing people’s attitude, ideas, and behaviors. One effective strategy is the foot-in-the-door technique (Cialdini, 2001; Pliner, Hart, Kohl, & Saari, 1974). Using the foot-in-the-door technique , the persuader gets a person to agree to bestow a small favor or to buy a small item, only to later request a larger favor or purchase of a bigger item. The foot-in-the-door technique was demonstrated in a study by Freedman and Fraser (1966) in which participants who agreed to post small sign in their yard or sign a petition were more likely to agree to put a large sign in their yard than people who declined the first request ( [link] ). Research on this technique also illustrates the principle of consistency (Cialdini, 2001): Our past behavior often directs our future behavior, and we have a desire to maintain consistency once we have a committed to a behavior.

Photograph A shows a campaign button. Photograph B shows a yard filled with numerous signs.

A common application of foot-in-the-door is when teens ask their parents for a small permission (for example, extending curfew by a half hour) and then asking them for something larger. Having granted the smaller request increases the likelihood that parents will acquiesce with the later, larger request.

How would a store owner use the foot-in-the-door technique to sell you an expensive product? For example, say that you are buying the latest model smartphone, and the salesperson suggests you purchase the best data plan. You agree to this. The salesperson then suggests a bigger purchase—the three-year extended warranty. After agreeing to the smaller request, you are more likely to also agree to the larger request. You may have encountered this if you have bought a car. When salespeople realize that a buyer intends to purchase a certain model, they might try to get the customer to pay for many or most available options on the car.

Attitudes are our evaluations or feelings toward a person, idea, or object and typically are positive or negative. Our attitudes and beliefs are influenced not only by external forces, but also by internal influences that we control. An internal form of attitude change is cognitive dissonance or the tension we experience when our thoughts, feelings, and behaviors are in conflict. In order to reduce dissonance, individuals can change their behavior, attitudes, or cognitions, or add a new cognition. External forces of persuasion include advertising; the features of advertising that influence our behaviors include the source, message, and audience. There are two primary routes to persuasion. The central route to persuasion uses facts and information to persuade potential consumers. The peripheral route uses positive association with cues such as beauty, fame, and positive emotions.

Review Questions

Attitudes describe our ________ of people, objects, and ideas.

  • evaluations

Cognitive dissonance causes discomfort because it disrupts our sense of ________.

  • unpredictability
  • consistency

In order for the central route to persuasion to be effective, the audience must be ________ and ________.

  • analytical; motivated
  • attentive; happy
  • intelligent; unemotional
  • gullible; distracted

Examples of cues used in peripheral route persuasion include all of the following except ________.

  • celebrity endorsement
  • positive emotions
  • attractive models
  • factual information

Critical Thinking Questions

Give an example (one not used in class or your text) of cognitive dissonance and how an individual might resolve this.

One example is choosing which college to attend—the public school close to home or the Ivy League school out of state. Since both schools are desirable, the student is likely to experience cognitive dissonance in making this decision. In order to justify choosing the public school close to home, the student could change her cognition about Ivy League school, asserting that it is too expensive and the quality of education at the public school is just as good. She could change her attitude toward the Ivy League school and determine that the students there are too stuffy and wouldn’t make good classmates.

Imagine that you work for an advertising agency, and you’ve been tasked with developing an advertising campaign to increase sales of Bliss Soda. How would you develop an advertisement for this product that uses a central route of persuasion? How would you develop an ad using a peripheral route of persuasion?

Although potential answers will vary, advertisements using the central route of persuasion might involve a doctor listing logical reasons for drinking this product. For example, the doctor might cite research suggesting that the soda is better than alternatives because of its reduced calorie content, lack of adverse health consequences, etc. An advertisement using a peripheral route of persuasion might show very attractive people consuming the product while spending time on a beautiful, sunny beach.

Personal Application Questions

Cognitive dissonance often arises after making an important decision, called post-decision dissonance (or in popular terms, buyer’s remorse). Describe a recent decision you made that caused dissonance and describe how you resolved it.

Describe a time when you or someone you know used the foot-in-the-door technique to gain someone’s compliance.

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The Power of Positive Thinking

Kendra Cherry, MS, is a psychosocial rehabilitation specialist, psychology educator, and author of the "Everything Psychology Book."

essay attitude meaning

Carly Snyder, MD is a reproductive and perinatal psychiatrist who combines traditional psychiatry with integrative medicine-based treatments.

essay attitude meaning

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What Is Positive Thinking?

  • Benefits of Positive Thinking

How to Practice Positive Thinking

Potential pitfalls of positive thinking, frequently asked questions.

Do you tend to see the glass as half empty or half full? You have probably heard that question plenty of times. Your answer relates directly to the concept of positive thinking and whether you have a positive or negative outlook on life. Positive thinking plays an important role in positive psychology , a subfield devoted to the study of what makes people happy and fulfilled.

Research has found that positive thinking can aid in stress management and even plays an important role in your overall health and well-being. It can help combat feelings of low self-esteem, improve physical health, and help brighten your overall outlook on life.

This article discusses what positive thinking is and the health benefits of being positive. It also explores some of the strategies you can use to become a more positive thinker.

Positive thinking means approaching life's challenges with a positive outlook. It doesn't mean seeing the world through rose-colored lenses by ignoring or glossing over the negative aspects of life.

Positive thinking does not necessarily mean avoiding difficult situations. Instead, positive thinking means making the most of potential obstacles, trying to see the best in other people, and viewing yourself and your abilities in a positive light.

Some researchers, including positive psychologist Martin Seligman , frame positive thinking in terms of explanatory style. Your explanatory style is how you explain why events happened.

  • Optimistic explanatory style : People with an optimistic explanatory style tend to give themselves credit when good things happen and typically blame outside forces for bad outcomes. They also tend to see negative events as temporary and atypical.
  • Pessimistic explanatory style : People with a pessimistic explanatory style often blame themselves when bad things happen, but fail to give themselves adequate credit for successful outcomes. They also have a tendency to view negative events as expected and lasting. As you can imagine, blaming yourself for events outside of your control or viewing these unfortunate events as a persistent part of your life can have a detrimental impact on your state of mind.

Positive thinkers are more apt to use an optimistic explanatory style, but the way in which people attribute events can also vary depending upon the exact situation. For example, a person who is generally a positive thinker might use a more pessimistic explanatory style in particularly challenging situations, such as at work or at school.

While there are many factors that determine whether a person has a positive outlook, the way that they explain the events of their life, known as their explanatory style, plays an important role.

Positive Psychology vs. Positive Thinking

While the terms "positive thinking" and "positive psychology" are sometimes used interchangeably, it is important to understand that they are not the same thing. Positive thinking is about looking at things from a positive point of view. It is a type of thinking that focuses on maintaining a positive, optimistic attitude. Positive psychology is a branch of psychology that studies the effects of optimism, what causes it, and when it is best utilized.

Health Benefits of Positive Thinking

In recent years, the so-called "power of positive thinking" has gained a great deal of attention thanks to self-help books such as "The Secret." While these pop-psychology books often tout positive thinking or philosophies like the law of attraction as a sort of psychological panacea, empirical research has found that there are many very real health benefits linked to positive thinking and optimistic attitudes.

Positive thinking is linked to a wide range of health benefits, including:

  • Better stress management and coping skills
  • Enhanced psychological health
  • Greater resistance to the common cold
  • Increased physical well-being
  • Longer life span
  • Lower rates of depression
  • Reduced risk of cardiovascular disease-related death

One study of 1,558 older adults found that positive thinking could also reduce frailty during old age.

A 2018 study published in the Journal of Aging Research found that having a positive mental attitude was linked to decreased mortality over a 35-year period. People who had a more positive outlook were also more likely to get regular physical exercise, avoid smoking, eat a healthier diet, and get more quality sleep.

Clearly, there are many benefits of positive thinking . But why, exactly, does positive thinking have such a strong impact on physical and mental health ?

One theory is that people who think positively tend to be less affected by stress. Research suggests that having more positive automatic thoughts helps people become more resilient in the face of life's stressful events. People who had high levels of positive thinking were more likely to walk away from stressful life events with a higher sense of the meaningfulness of life.

Another possibility is that people who think positively tend to live healthier lives in general; they may exercise more, follow a more nutritious diet, and avoid unhealthy behaviors.

While you might be more prone to negative thinking, there are strategies that you can use to become a more positive thinker. Practicing these strategies regularly can help you get in the habit of maintaining a more positive outlook on life.

  • Notice your thoughts : Start paying attention to the type of thoughts you have each day. If you notice that many of them are negative, make a conscious effort to reframe how you are thinking in a more positive way.
  • Write in a gratitude journal : Practicing gratitude can have a range of positive benefits and it can help you learn to develop a better outlook. Experiencing grateful thoughts helps people to feel more optimistic.
  • Use positive self-talk : How you talk to yourself can play an important role in shaping your outlook. Studies have shown that shifting to more positive self-talk can have a positive impact on your emotions and how you respond to stress.

While there are many benefits to thinking positively, there are actually times when more realistic thinking is more advantageous. For example, in some situations, negative thinking can actually lead to more accurate decisions and outcomes.

Some research has found that negative thinking and moods can actually help people make better, more accurate judgments.

However, research suggests that realistic optimism might be the ideal. The results of a 2020 study published in the Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin revealed that people who have mistaken expectations, whether those expectations are optimistic or pessimistic, tend to fare worse in terms of mental health when compared to realists.  

The authors of the study suggest that the disappointment that optimists experience when their high hopes are not realized can have a negative impact on well-being. This doesn't mean that people should strive to be pessimistic thinkers. since studies indicate that people with a negative outlook tend to fare the worst. Instead, having a generally positive outlook that is focused on realistic expectations may be the best approach. 

In some cases, inappropriately applied positive thinking can cross the line into what is known as toxic positivity . This involves insisting on maintaining a positive mindset no matter how upsetting, dire, or damaging a situation might be. This type of excessive positivity can impede authentic communication and cause people to experience feelings of shame or guilt if they struggle to maintain such an overly positive outlook.

Positive thinking can have pitfalls at times. While it is important to have an overall positive outlook, unrealistically high expectations can lead to disappointment. Being unable to accept any negative emotions, known as toxic positivity, can also have a negative effect on mental well-being.

A Word From Verywell

Even if you are not a natural-born optimist, there are things you can do to learn how to think more positively and become a positive thinker . One of the first steps is to focus on your own inner monologue and to pay attention to your self-talk.

Strategies that can improve your positive thinking include noticing your thoughts and making a conscious effort to shift from negative thoughts to more positive one. Practicing positive self-talk and practicing gratitude can also be helpful ways to start having a more positive outlook.

Positive thinking is important because it can have a beneficial impact on both physical and mental well-being. People who maintain a more positive outlook on life cope better with stress, have better immunity, and have a lower risk of premature death. Positive thinking also helps promote greater feelings of happiness and overall satisfaction with life.

Positive thinking has been shown to help people live healthier, happier lives. When they have a positive outlook, they are more likely to engage in healthy behaviors such as exercising, eating healthy, and getting plenty of rest. Downsides of positive thinking include the risk of forming overly high expectations that result in disappointment and being affected by toxic positivity.

Practicing mindfulness can be a way to build self-awareness and become more conscious of how your negative thoughts affect your moods and behaviors. As you become better at identifying negative thought patterns, you can then take steps to shift into a more positive mindset. Actively replacing negative thoughts with positive ones can help you eventually learn to become a more positive thinker.

Kim ES, Hagan KA, Grodstein F, DeMeo DL, De Vivo I, Kubzansky LD. Optimism and cause-specific mortality: a prospective cohort study . Am J Epidemiol. 2017;185(1):21-29. doi:10.1093/aje/kww182

Seligman M.  Learned Optimism . Random House.

Chang E, Sanna L.  Virtue, Vice, And Personality: The Complexity of Behavior . American Psychological Association.

Johns Hopkins Medicine. The power of positive thinking .

Park N, Peterson C, Szvarca D, Vander Molen RJ, Kim ES, Collon K. Positive psychology and physical health: Research and applications . Am J Lifestyle Med . 2016;10(3):200-206. doi:10.1177/1559827614550277

Gale CR, Mõttus R, Deary IJ, Cooper C, Sayer AA. Personality and risk of frailty: The English Longitudinal Study of Ageing . Ann Behav Med . 2017;51(1):128-136. doi:10.1007/s12160-016-9833-5

Paganini-Hill A, Kawas CH, Corrada MM. Positive mental attitude associated with lower 35-year mortality: The Leisure World Cohort Study .  J Aging Res . 2018;2018:2126368. doi:10.1155/2018/2126368

Boyraz G, Lightsey OR Jr. Can positive thinking help? Positive automatic thoughts as moderators of the stress-meaning relationship . Am J Orthopsychiatry . 2012;82(2):267-77. doi:10.1111/j.1939-0025.2012.01150.x

Kross E, Bruehlman-Senecal E, Park J, et al. Self-talk as a regulatory mechanism: how you do it matters . J Pers Soc Psychol . 2014;106(2):304-24. doi:10.1037/a0035173

Forgas JP. Don’t worry, be sad! On the cognitive, motivational, and interpersonal benefits of negative mood . Curr Dir Psychol Sci . 2013;22(3):225-232. doi:10.1177/0963721412474458

De Meza D, Dawson C. Neither an optimist nor a pessimist be: mistaken expectations lower well-being . Pers Soc Psychol Bull . 2021;47(4):540-550. doi:10.1177/0146167220934577

By Kendra Cherry, MSEd Kendra Cherry, MS, is a psychosocial rehabilitation specialist, psychology educator, and author of the "Everything Psychology Book."

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The Importance of Attitude: How Changing Your Attitude Will Change Your Life


In order to consciously evolve and master ourselves, our attitude in each moment is what we should focus on as our gauge of personal mastery. We are beings of perception, and the quality of our perception is determined by our attitude. This is the importance of attitude.

An individual who has the openness, honesty, and subtlety to perceive the nuances of their attitude in each moment, and the concentration necessary to make corrections as necessary is truly an unlimited person. For it is our attitude which determines the reality we live in and the opportunities and experiences we are available to.

Two individuals can be in the pouring rain while one is having the time of their lives, and the other is soaked, cold, and in essence, miserable. The difference is not in the environment, but in their perception of the environment. And that is where attitude comes in.

The reason why attitude is an excellent focal point of our attention is because our attitude is what gives us direct insight into our thoughts, beliefs, and emotions in each moment. Many of our beliefs operate on the level of our subconscious mind, therefore they are nearly invisible to us. Moreover, our emotional state is not always obvious.

If we are habitually depressed or angry or hopeless, a time will come when this feels normal. And when we maintain these energies for long enough, we won’t realize our emotional state until we have felt its opposite. For example we wont realize how bored or listless we were until we have felt radical enthusiasm and inspiration , or we wont realize how empty we have been until we have felt love. Therefore only by the experience of a new way of being can we see how we were and how we have been.

This new experience of being is literally a shift attitude.  A shift in perception and a shift in feeling if you will. If we can pay attention to our attitude, and become aware enough to identify the nuances of our attitudes, then we can discover the limitations of our beliefs, thoughts, and emotional states which may have become so habitual that we may not even notice their detrimental effects and the ways in which they limit us.

Making and Maintaining Attitudinal Shifts

I have found in my life that they key to learning and growth is always consistency. Consistency in our actions, and most importantly in what we focus our attention on. Specifically, our attitude, because it is our attitude which determines our reality, and one of the most efficient way to reprogram our subconscious minds and thus change our lives is to make and maintain attitudinal shifts in each moment.

Our beliefs ultimately determine our attitude and perception of the reality around us, therefore instead of struggling to fish out these deeply ingrained beliefs one by one (and there are multitudes), it is more direct and efficient to change what we perceive by consciously changing our attitude. By doing so we experience literally a different set of energy/information and thus when our subconscious minds are consistently flooding with new perceptual and experiential information, over time new beliefs are formed which are in alignment with the attitudes we have consciously chosen.

We can either consciously shift our attitude in order to change our beliefs, or we can remain unconscious and allow our attitude to be determined subconsciously by our subconscious beliefs. Many of which, possible the majority, are limiting.

By being able to consistently make attitudinal shifts, we will gain the subtlety to be able to do so consciously and in a way where the attitudinal shifts we make are done so in order to align more with source, and align with who we truly are and who we are inspired to become. But even more important than making these attitudinal shifts is the ability to maintain them. And the only way to do so is through consistent and diligent practice ( the power of commitment ).

One way is to literally practice new attitudes, new perspectives, and new ways of feeling.  I am not talking here about artificially creating and adopting attitudes because we have already done that. That is what much of our personality is, and precisely what our ego is. A new way to go about this business of personal transformation is to pay attention in our lives and consciously make the attitudinal shifts necessary so that we can maintain connection to intention (the universe).

Many of our programmed behaviors and beliefs which define our habitual attitude are obstructive and incongruous with who we really are and our highest potential. And when those habitual attitudes set in they distort the flow of the universe and higher consciousness through us. When our personality is incongruous with our true nature, it obstructs our connecting link with spirit when it is engaged and the flow of intention (universal consciousness) through us is hindered.

Once you feel intention, you will know it. Meditation will bring you to this awareness, but even still these attitudinal shifts require subtlety which can only be gained with practice over time. And while it seems a difficult task at first, we have to ask ourselves, isn’t our effort involved completely justifiable if the result is the establishment and maintenance of a conscious connection with the universe, with intention, that grows deeper and more profound over time? Moreover, is it not worth it to train ourselves to live at a level of consciousness where we experience and consistently unleash amazing abilities and potential within us, and truly feel unlimited?

Feeling unlimited is not some vague belief, it is an unquenchable lust for life and excitement that surges from the depths of our being when we consciously feel and sense that we have no limitations. It is not a belief but an experiential fact. And that experience can be achieved through the lens of our attitude.

The importance of attitude is that it is the basis for everything in our lives. Our attitude determines how we react to adversity, our ability to grow and to learn, our ability to overcome challenges, and create bonds with others. And our attitude as it is now is the product of a lifetime of instilled beliefs, programming, and in my opinion, brainwashing.

As sinister as it sounds, it is true, simply because the way we have been taught to perceive reality is so far off from the true nature of reality. And whether it was intentional or the result of ignorance, it really doesn’t matter. The fact is that it happened, and why it happened isn’t all that important to me. What is important however is that we take responsibility for ourselves in this moment so that we can consciously reverse it in order to grow, transform, evolve, and experience these exalted levels of consciousness for ourselves.

Changing Your Attitude

When I talk about attitude what I really mean is how we habitually feel and perceive the world. However, this in turn is determined by our ‘personality’ which in itself is founded on our beliefs as a result of life experiences and our programming. To change our attitude, one way is to change directly how we see the world in our imagination and consciously instill new feelings within ourselves based on these new images (which is a highly effective process for manifestation and transformation which I will cover in-depth in a later article).

The simpler method is to just concentrate on consciously feeling differently where appropriate.

I know this works because I did it for the first time when I was in grade 9. I literally concentrated as much as it was possible for me to concentrate to literally change my attitude and how I habitually felt, and the result was that I changed aspects of my personality. In hindsight I realize that I did this in a direction I would not choose to take today because it led to self-pity. But I have no regrets because I see now that it was an essential learning experience in itself which led down a path of even greater learning experiences (many disguised as misfortune, and suffering).

Changing our attitude is not an event but a continuous process, as everything related to mastery and evolution undoubtedly is. You don’t have to change all at once. Instead just make the most relevant attitudinal shifts to you in your daily life and reinforce them consistently until they become your new attitude. And as you do this you will find yourself naturally moving on to new areas, and new levels of subtlety.

If it is most relevant for you in this moment to get in shape, then create an exercise routine and follow it daily while consciously changing your attitude towards yourself, and even your attitude towards hard work, physical exertion, commitment, and discipline which are all lessons I have personally learned through physical training. Or if you are learning a language or studying a difficult course in school, consciously shift your attitude towards your memory, towards your intelligence and so on.

Notice when you unconsciously adopt the attitude of being overwhelmed, or doubting your intelligence, or perceiving as if your memory is poor when you are learning something new. Or when you adopt the attitude of ‘I Can’t’. Sometimes I notice my attitude first by a face that I feel myself making, and that is a trigger to realizing I am feeling an emotion that doesn’t resonate with my unlimited nature.

In these moments take a second and concentrate with everything you have on feeling differently about what you are facing, whatever it may be. It could be self-doubt, or an uncontrollable nervousness about talking to that girl or boy you are infatuated with.

Remember a time when you felt confident and assume that feeling in your body in this instant. When you change how you feel when confronted with these circumstances you are changing your attitude. And eventually with diligent practice and repetition this new feeling and attitude you have conditioned yourself to feel will be your new response to similar circumstances in the future.

But at very least you will have the ability to change your feelings and attitude consciously which is the height of self-mastery and self-awareness. A superpower that I cannot stress the importance of enough.

The Importance of Attitude

In essence there are a lot of major and truly subtle shifts that we can make regarding our relationship to everything. Our attitude towards financial wealth for example is another important one. Our attitude towards adversity, towards challenges, towards hard work, towards learning from within , towards success, towards self-reliance and independence, towards freedom, towards our dreams, towards people you disagree with, towards people you don’t like, towards parts of yourself you don’t like, and on, and on, and on …

And at is our attitudes towards all things in our lives which determine our reality. This is the importance of attitude. Your attitude towards financial wealth is what determines your financial wealth. Your attitude towards success, or towards love, is what determines your success and determines the love you feel. And it is my conviction that changing our attitude is a practice at the heart not only of personal growth and mastery, but of consciousness evolution . Right alongside self-discipline. For it is our attitude towards reality in general which determines what reality is for us. But if we can consciously shift our attitude over time, we will shift our personality drastically, and we will also change our reality by degrees until we live at a new level of being.

And one day, we will shift our attitude and personality to such a finely tuned degree that we are in complete alignment with the universe. And at that time we will cease to be individuals with an ego ( What is Ego? ), and we will become individuals expressions of universal consciousness.

This thing that we call our personality is but the culmination of our beliefs and social programming, and in no way is it something sacred which is unique to us except  the aspects of our personality that are defined by qualities such as love, kindness, generosity, creativity, and true spiritual power. For those are not qualities of the ego, they are qualities of the universe, our true selves, which is shining through us.

Our uniqueness is found in how we express the divine energies being channeling through us, not in the pettiness and limitations of our ego.

Thus by consistently shifting our attitude we are not battling the ego or living from it either. We are simply opening up new channels for expressing the universe and ourselves, and opening a doorway to new ways of being and to a new experience of reality.

You cannot control what is currently happening to you in your life, but what you can control is your attitude towards what is happening in your life, in every respect. And thus by shifting your attitude, you also shift your perspective and change what you attract into your life. This is the importance of attitude.

What we call our ego is not our individuality, rather it is the aspect of ourselves which stands in contradiction to our true nature: it is the expression of our subconscious programming which opposes our true self. The intention therefore is not to remove the ego, but to align it so well with our infinite nature that our ego and infinite nature become completely congruous.

Then we will always be expressing the truth of who we are, which is invariable divine love, creativity, wisdom, and power. That is the true nature of each and every one of us.

By making and maintaining attitudinal shifts that keep us at levels of higher consciousness, over time these attitudinal shifts become subconscious habits and thus our subconscious mind maintains higher levels of consciousness for us. Instead of fighting with ourselves constantly, in the ongoing battle between our ego and our infinite self, it is much more intelligent (and easier in the long run) to concentrate on aligning them.

Our attitude is the focal point of that alignment.

You are personally responsible for everything in your life, once you become aware that you are personally responsible for everything in your life. – Bruce Lipton

This article was written by Brandon West who is the creator of Project Global Awakening . A website dedicated to the research of a variety of scientific and spiritual disciplines, and applying that knowledge to help you live an inspired life and change the world.

This article is offered under Creative Commons license. It’s okay to republish it anywhere as long as attribution bio is included and all links remain intact.

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Essay on attitude.

essay attitude meaning


Attitude is the mental state of individuals, which tends to act or respond or is ready to respond for or against objects, situations, etc. with which their vested feelings or effect, interest, liking, desire and so on are directly or indirectly linked or associated.During the course of development the person acquires tendencies to respond to objects. These learned cognitive mechanisms are called attitudes.

Attitude is an enduring evaluation—positive or negative—of people, objects, and ideas. Thus, attitudes are evaluative statements or judgments concerning objects, people, or events. Attitude has three components—cognition, affection, and behaviour of people. A particular attitude of a person can be based on one component or the other.

Cognitive-based attitude is primarily based on beliefs and properties of an attitudinal object. Cognitive component of an attitude is the opinion or belief segment of an attitude. Cognitive dissonance theory helps us to trace any incompatibility between two or more attitudes or between behaviour and attitudes.

Affection-based attitude stems from people’s feelings (e.g., attitudes towards political candidates). Affective component is the emotion or feeling segment of an attitude. Behaviour-based attitude is based on the self-perception of one’s own behaviour when the initial attitude is weak or ambiguous.

Behavioural component of an attitude is an intention to behave in a certain way towards someone or something. The affection-behaviour (A- B) relationship acts as moderating variables (i.e., importance, specificity, accessibility, social pressures, and direct experience). The self-perception theory uses attitudes after the event, to make sense out of an action taken. For organizational behaviour, the people’s attitude is especially significant, as job satisfaction, job involvement, and organizational commitment largely stem from an individual employee’s attitude.

Job satisfaction refers to the general attitude of employees towards their job. Job involvement helps in psychological identification of people with their job, while organizational commitment is the degree to which an employee identifies with a particular organization and its goals, and wishes to maintain membership in the organization. In an organization, people seek consistency among their attitudes and seek to reconcile with divergent attitudes in order to appear rational and consistent.

An attitudinal change in a person takes place with change in the behaviour. The cognitive dissonance theory facilitates change of attitude through behavioural reinforcement. Persuasive communication and focus on a particular issue facilitate such change of attitude.

Haviland et al. proposed the Yale Attitude Change Model, which suggests study of conditions under which people are most likely to change their attitudes. (The Yale Attitude Change Model focuses on effectiveness of persuasive communication, which depends on the credibility and attractiveness of the speakers.)

These conditions are source of communication (i.e., credible speaker), nature of communication, and the nature of audience, etc. Communication between a doctor and a patient on a medical issue (communication source), communication that does not intend to influence people (nature of communication), and persuasive communication to distract an audience within the age group of 18-25 are likely to yield better results in attitudinal changes.

Elaboration-likelihood model (Petty and Cacioppo 1981), on the other hand, shows that people change their attitudes in two ways—concept (central route to persuasion) and conditions for central route to persuasion (motivation). Central route to persuasion motivates people to pay attention to the facts in a communicated message. When facts are logical and compelling, attitudinal changes take place promptly.

Therefore, the contents of the messages are especially important. On the contrary, when facts are not compelling, people get swayed only by peripheral cues such as mood, emotion, attractiveness of the speaker, etc. Such peripheral cues may facilitate to enhance motivation but not the attitudinal changes. The conditions for central route to persuasion are reinforcing motivation by focusing on personal relevance so that people can pay attention to the arguments.

Emotion’s influence on attitude changes depends on the routes to persuasion. Emotion or mood manipulation is only effective for peripheral route to persuasion. People pay more attention to a speech when the argument is strong and effective in changing their attitudes. People in a sad mood take the central route to persuasion, while in a happy mood they take the peripheral route to persuasion.

Therefore, attitudinal changes take place when people take the central route to persuasion, such as fear, greatness of harm, etc., which give better results in inducing attitudinal changes. Therefore, managers should use the central route to persuasion, duly inducing the arousal of fear and combining it with a persuasive and appealing message.

In managing organizational behaviour, like personality and emotional intelligence, an individual employee also differs in terms of attitude. Eagly and Chaiken (1993) defined attitude as ‘a psychological tendency that is expressed by evaluating a particular entity with some degree of favour or dis-favour’. Yet, from another perspective, attitude is defined as the way we reflect our values. For example, innate value systems of employees may make them optimistic, always looking at the brighter side and working smartly to get a positive outcome.

They not only nurture such value-laden attitudes in their own behaviour but also view others from the same perspective. The concept of attitude has a rich history (Fleming 1967). Once used to describe the spatial orientation of physical objects such as statues, the concept has evolved to refer to a person’s mental and neural state of readiness (Allport 1935).

The function of attitudes is to guide the formation of behavioural intentions. Attitude formation and change is viewed as a process of deliberative evaluation and belief updating. Attitudes are thought to impact behaviour indirectly via behavioural intentions.

Definition and Concepts :

Attitude is the mental state of individuals, which tends to act or respond or is ready to respond for or against objects, situations, etc. with which their vested feelings or effect, interest, liking, desire and so on are directly or indirectly linked or associated. During the course of development the person acquires tendencies to respond to objects. These learned cognitive mechanisms are called attitudes. Changes in knowledge are followed by the change in attitudes.

Attitudes are different from knowledge in the sense that attitudes are emotion-laden. Knowledge reinforces attitudes and reinforced attitudes in the long run reinforce individual and group behaviour. Hence, attitude is neither behaviour nor cause of behaviour but it relates to an intervening pre­disposition or a frame of reference that influences the behaviour of an individual.

When the interest, feeling, etc. of individuals are not connected in any way with the object or situation, their responses (towards the said object or situation) will then constitute their opinions and not their attitudes. In many research works, especially by CIPD, UK, employee attitudes and commitments were found to be strongly associated with business perfor­mance, and managers saw employee voice as contributing to performance via better employee contributions and productivity gains.

The informal cli­mate of involvement and consultation appears to be more strongly associated with employee satisfaction and commitment than the collective machinery for negotiation and consultation. Mechanisms in use for employee voice in­clude two-way communications, project teams, and joint consultation, but there is a growing interest in the electronic media, attitude surveys, and part­nership schemes.

The major constraints on employee voice are lack of skills and enthusiasm by managers and employees. The psychological contract model, validated by successive employee attitude surveys, suggests that HR practices strongly affect the way people feel about their work.

Employees’ trust in the organization, their sense of being fairly treated, and the extent to which they believe their employer has delivered on the implicit deal between them affects their attitudes towards job satisfaction, commitment, work-life balance, and the state of employee relations. Attitude essentially stems from three underlying components: the cognitive component, affective component, and behavioural component.

Social psychologists differentiate between these attitudinal components as under:

1. Cognitive component of an attitude is the opinion or belief segment of an attitude. Attitudinal responses of people, which stem from cognitive component, mainly reflect expression of beliefs (e.g., expectancy-value judgments) and nonverbal reactions.

2. Affective component is the emotion or feeling segment of an attitude, and it manifests in verbal expressions of feelings and physiological changes in the organism (e.g., increase of arousal).

3. Behavioural component of an attitude is an intention to behave in a cer­tain way towards someone or something. It is reflected through behavioural intentions and actions.

Attitude theory and research deals with the structure, function, formation, and change of attitudes, and is also concerned with the relationship between attitudes and behaviour. For example, the model of reasoned action (Fishbein and Ajzen 1975) provides a comprehensive approach to all of these aspects.

In this model, the internal structure of an attitude is described in terms of beliefs (expectations), which relate the attitude object (a behavioural alternative) to evaluated attributes. The function of attitudes is to guide the formation of behavioural intentions.

Attitude formation and change is viewed as a process of deliberative evaluation and belief updating. Attitudes are thought to impact behaviour indirectly via behavioural intentions. More recent approaches, however, assume that a deliberative calculation of expectancy and values is not a necessary condition for either intention formation or attitude formation and change.

According to a study conducted by Zajonc in 1980, there is ample evidence to suggest that liking of an attitude object can be enhanced simply by increasing its presentation frequency. Furthermore, attitudes, if they are frequently activated from memory, tend to become activated automatically in the presence of the attitude object and then directly impact behavioural decisions (Fazio 1990).

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Psychology Discussion

Essay on attitude: top 8 essays | human behaviour | psychology.


Here is a compilation of essays on ‘Attitude’ for class 9, 10, 11 and 12. Find paragraphs, long and short essays on ‘Attitude’ especially written for school and college students.

Essay on Attitude

Essay Contents:

  • Essay on the Theories of Attitude

Essay # 1. Meaning and Definition of Attitude :

Attitudes are learned predispositions and represent cluster of beliefs, assessed feelings and behavioural intentions towards aspects of our environment like a person, object or event. Attitudes are evaluative statements either favourable or unfavourable concerning objects, people or events and are a persistent tendency to feel and behave in a particular way toward some object.

Measuring the A-B Relationship Recent research indicates that attitudes:

(A) Significantly predict behaviours

(B) When moderating variables are taken into account.

According to G.W. Allport, “Attitude is a mental and neutral state of readiness organized through experience, exerting a directive or dynamic influence upon individual’s response to all objects and situations with which it is related.”

Krech and Crutchfield defined “attitude as an enduring organization of motivational, emotional, perceptual and cognitive processes with respect to some aspect of the individual’s world.”

According to Katz and Scotland, “Attitude is a tendency or predisposition to evaluate an object or symbol of that object in a certain way”. In effect attitude is used in a generic sense, as to what people perceive, feel and express their views about a situation, object or other people. Attitude cannot be seen, but the behaviour can be seen as an expression of attitude.

Essay # 2. Characteristics of Attitude :

The attitude is the evaluative statements or judgments concerning objects, people, or events. More precisely attitudes can be defined as a persistent tendency to feel and behave in a particular way toward some object which may include events or individuals as well.

Attitude can be characterized in three ways:

(a) They tend to persist unless something is done to change them.

(b) Attitudes can fall anywhere along a continuum from very favourable to very unfavourable.

(c) Attitudes are directed toward some object about which a person has feelings (sometimes called “affect”) and beliefs.

Essay # 3. Components of Attitudes :

The three basic components of attitude are cognitive, affective and behavioural part:

(a) Cognitive Component:

Cognitive component of attitude is related to value statement. It consists of belief, ideas, values and other information that an individual may possess or has faith in. Quality of working hard is a value statement or faith that a manager may have.

(b) Affective Component:

Affective component of attitude is related to person’s feelings about another person, which may be positive, negative or neutral.

Example: I do not like Maya because she is not hard working, or I like Mina because she is hard working. It is an expression of feelings about a person, object or a situation.

(c) Behavioural Component:

Behavioural component of attitude is related to impact of various situations or objects that lead to individual’s behaviour based on cognitive and affective components.

Example: I do not like Maya because she is not hard working is an affective component, I therefore would like to disassociate myself with her, is a behavioural component and therefore I would avoid Maya.

Development of favourable attitude, and good relationship with Mina is but natural. Individual’s favorable behaviour is an outcome of the fact that Mina is hardworking. Cognitive and affective components are bases for such behaviour. Former two components cannot be seen, only the behaviour component can be seen. Former is important because it is a base for formation of attitude. These components are explained in Figure.

Essay # 4. Formation of Attitude:

Direct Experience with the Object:

Attitudes can develop from the personally rewarding or punishing experience with an object.

(a) Classical Conditioning:

People develop associations between various objects and the emotional reactions that accompany them.

(b) Operant Conditioning:

Attitudes that are reinforced, either verbally or nonverbally, tend to be maintained.

Vicarious Learning:

Where person learns something by the observation of others helps in attitude development where individual has no direct experience with the object of attitude.

Formation of attitudes is influenced by:

(i) Family and Peer Groups:

A person may learn attitude through the imitation of family members and peers.

(ii) Neighbourhood:

The neighbourhood has a certain structure in terms of having cultural facilities, religious groupings and possibly ethnic differences. The neighbours tolerate condone or deny certain attitudes.

Economic Status and Occupations of the Person:

Mass communication like news-paper, TV, radio etc.

These in turn give rise to development of one’s attitudes.

(a) Attitudes Help Predict Work Behavior:

The following example might help to illustrate it. After introducing a particular policy, it is found from an attitude survey, that the workers are not too happy about it. During the subsequent week it is found that the attendance of the employees drops sharply from the previous standard. Here management may conclude that a negative attitude toward new work rules led to increased absenteeism.

(b) Attitudes Help People to Adapt to their Work Environment:

An understanding of attitudes is also important because attitudes help the employees to get adjusted to their work. If the management can successfully develop a- positive attitude among the employees, they will be better adjusted to their work.

Essay # 5. Functions of Attitude :

According to Katz, attitudes serve four important functions from the viewpoint of organizational behaviour.

These are as follows:

(a) The Adjustment Function:

Attitudes often help people to adjust to their work environment. Well-treated employees tend to develop a positive attitude towards their job, management and the organization in general while berated and ill-treated organizational members develop a negative attitude. In other words, attitudes help employees adjust to their environment and form a basis for future behaviour.

(b) Utilitarian Function:

An attitude may develop because either the attitude or the attitude object is instrumental in helping one to obtain rewards or avoid punishments.

(c) Ego-Defensive Function:

Attitudes help people to retain their dignity and self- image. When a young faculty member who is full of fresh ideas and enthusiasm, joins the organization, the older members might feel somewhat threatened by him. But they tend to disapprove his creative ideas as ‘crazy’ and ‘impractical’ and dismiss him altogether.

(d) The Value-Expressive Function:

Attitudes provide individuals with a basis for expressing their values. For example, a manager who values hard and sincere work will be more vocal against an employee who is having a very casual approach towards work.

(e) The Knowledge Function:

Attitudes provide standards and frames of reference that allow people to understand and perceive the world around him. If one has a strong negative attitude towards the management, whatever the management does, even employee welfare programmes can be perceived as something ‘bad’ and as actually against them.

Essay # 6. Change of Attitudes :

Employees’ attitudes can be changed and sometimes it is in the best interests of managements to try to do so. For example, if employees believe that their employer does not look after their welfare, the management should try to change their attitude and help develop a more positive attitude in them.

However, the process of changing the attitude is not always easy. There are some barriers which have to be overcome if one strives to change somebody’s attitude.

There are two major categories of barriers that come in the way of changing attitudes:

1. Prior commitment when people feel a commitment towards a particular course of action that has already been agreed upon and thus it becomes difficult for them to change or accept the new ways of functioning.

2. Insufficient information also acts as a major barrier to change attitudes. Sometimes people simply see any reason to change their attitude due to unavailability of adequate information.

Some of the possible ways of changing attitudes are described below:

(a) Providing New Information:

Sometimes a dramatic change in attitude is possible only by providing relevant and adequate information to the person concerned. Scanty and incomplete information can be a major reason for brewing negative feeling and attitudes.

(b) Use of Fear:

Attitudes can be changed through the use of fear. People might resort to change their work habit for the fear of fear of unpleasant consequences. However, the degree of the arousal of fear will have to be taken into consideration as well.

(c) Resolving Discrepancies:

Whenever “people face” a dilemma or conflicting situation they feel confused in choosing a particular course of action. Like in the case where one is to choose from” between two alternative courses of action, it is often become difficult for him to decide which is right for him.

Even when he chooses one over the other, he might still feel confused. If someone helps him in pointing out the positive points in favour of the chosen course of action, the person might resolve the dilemma.

(d) Influence of Friends and Peers:

A very effective way of changing one’s attitude is through his friends and colleagues. Their opinion and recommendation for something often proves to be more important. If for example, they are all praise for a particular policy introduced in the work place, chances are high that an individual will slowly accept that even when he had initial reservations for that.

(e) Co-Opting:

If you want to change the attitude of somebody who belongs to a different group, it is often becomes very effective if you can include him in your own group. Like in the case of the union leader who are all the time vehemently against any management decision, can be the person who takes active initiative in implementing a new policy when he had participated in that decision making process himself.

Essay # 7. Types of Attitude :

1. Job Satisfaction:

Job satisfaction is related to general attitude towards the job. A person having a high level of satisfaction will generally hold a positive attitude while dissatisfied people will generally display negative attitude towards life. When we talk about attitude, we generally speak about job satisfaction because they are inter-related in organizational behaviour.

2. Job Involvement:

Job involvement refers to the degree to which a person identifies himself (psychologically) with his job, actively participates and considers his perceived performance level important to self-worth. (Robbins). High level of involvement indicates that the individual cares for his job that has an impact on high productivity. Higher the job satisfaction, lower will be absenteeism and employee turnover.

3. Organizational Commitment:

Organizational commitment refers to degree to which an employee identifies himself with the organizational goals and wishes to maintain membership in the organization. He wants to “belong” to the organization and take an active part in its functioning.

Absenting or resigning from the job versus job satisfaction is a predictor of organizational commitment. The concept has been very popular in the recent times. Organizational commitment depends upon job enrichment factor and degree to which the workers enjoy autonomy and freedom of action while performing.

Nature of Employee Attitudes :

Attitudes are the feelings and beliefs that largely determine how employees will perceive their environment, commit themselves to intended actions and ultimately behave. Managers of organizational behavior are vitally interested in the nature of the attitudes of their employees toward their jobs, toward their careers and toward the organization itself. Employee attitudes which are important to employers are Job satisfaction, Job Involvement, Organizational Commitment and Work moods.

Moderating Variables for Attitude in Organization:

1. Importance of the attitude

2. Specificity of the attitude

3. Accessibility of the attitude

4. Social pressures on the individual

5. Direct experience with the attitude

Essay # 8. Theories of Attitude :

(a) Cognitive dissonance

(b) Self-perception theory

(a) Cognitive Dissonance Theory :

Tension arises when we are aware of two simultaneously inconsistent cognitions. To reduce the dissonance, we change our attitudes so that they will correspond to our actions. We correct discrepancies between attitudes & behaviors. Festinger’s Famous Cognitive Dissonance Study Had Ss perform dull tasks (turning knobs).

Afterwards, Ss were told the study was on how expectations affect performance. Experimenter asked Ss to tell a new S outside that the experiment was really exciting. Ss were either given $1 or $20 to lie. Ss told the new S (confederate) how great the experiment was & then filled out a questionnaire asking how much they liked the study.

Those who earned $1 were more likely to say they liked the study. Why? We often experience dissonance when making big decisions. To reduce the dissonance after making our choice, we upgrade the chosen alternative and downgrade the unchosen option.

(b) Self-Perception Theory :

When unsure of our attitudes, we examine our behavior & the circumstances under which it occurs. Wells & Petty (1980) had Ss test headphone sets by making either vertical or horizontal head movements while listening to a radio editorial. Those nodding their heads up & down agreed with the editorial most as it is associated with “yes” responses.

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Definition of attitude

Examples of attitude in a sentence.

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'attitude.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

French, from Italian attitudine , literally, aptitude, from Late Latin aptitudin-, aptitudo fitness — more at aptitude

1668, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Phrases Containing attitude

  • attitude problem
  • cop an attitude

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“Attitude.” Dictionary , Merriam-Webster, Accessed 12 May. 2024.

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Essay on Positive Thinking

Positive thinking refers to a belief or mental attitude which makes us think that good things will happen eventually and our efforts will pay off sooner or later. It is the opposite of negative thinking which makes our mind full of stress and fear. Thus, an essay on positive thinking will show us how it reinforces thoughts like optimism and hope and works wonders.

essay on positive thinking

Benefits of Positive Thinking

Let it be clear that positive thinking does not mean you do not notice the bad things in life. It means you try to find a solution in a productive way instead of whining about it. There are many benefits of positive thinking.

The first one is better health. Negative thinking gives rise to anxiety, stress, frustration and more. However, positive thinking helps you avoid all this and focus on staying healthy and doing better in life.

Further, it is essential for us to fight depression which positive thinking helps with. Similarly, it will also help us to relieve stress. Positive thinking overwhelms stress and it will allow you to get rid of stress.

As a result, positive thinking helps you live longer. It is because you will be free from diseases that form due to stress, anxiety and more. Moreover, it is also the key to success. Meaning to say, success becomes easier when you don’t bash yourself up.

Similarly, it also gives us more confidence. It boosts our self-esteem and helps in becoming more confident and self-assured. Therefore, we must certainly adopt positive thinking to make the most of our lives.

How to Build a Positive Thinking

There are many ways through which we can build positive thinking. To begin with, we must inculcate the habit of reading motivational and inspiring stories of people who are successful.

All this will help in motivating and inspiring you and showing you the right path. Moreover, it is important to never let negative thoughts thrive in your mind and work towards putting end to this habit.

You can do so by replacing your negative thoughts with constructive and positive reviews. Start to pay attention to your ideas and don’t pay heed to negative thoughts. Further, it is helpful to use affirmations.

These positive statements will truly sink into your subconscious mind and guide you to take better action. It will also help in visualising your dreams and getting the right means to achieve them fast.

Finally, always stay guard and gatekeep your mind to make important changes in life. In other words, do not be afraid to take actions. Keep yourself busy and do different things to avoid becoming cynical and remaining positive.

Get the huge list of more than 500 Essay Topics and Ideas

Conclusion of the Essay on Positive Thinking

To conclude, we must change our attitude and believe that we will succeed one day. Moreover, we also need to implement positive thinking techniques which will help us learn from our failures and stay focused. As positive thinking plays an essential role in our lives, we must make sure to adopt in our lives.

FAQ of Essay on Positive Thinking

Question 1: What is positive thinking?

Answer 1: Positive thinking is basically an optimistic attitude. In other words, it is the practice of focusing on the good in any given situation. This kind of thinking can have a big impact on your physical and mental health .

Question 2: Why is positive thinking important?

Answer 2: Positive thinking is important as it helps us with stress management and can even improve our health. Moreover, some studies show that personality traits like optimism can affect many areas of our health and well-being. Thus, positive thinking comes with optimism

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Positive Mindset: How to Develop a Positive Mental Attitude

happy people: What is Positive Mindset and 89 Ways to Achieve a Positive Mental Attitude

Positivity doesn’t always refer to simply smiling and looking cheerful, however—positivity is more about one’s overall perspective on life and their tendency to focus on all that is good in life.

In this piece, we’ll cover the basics of positivity within positive psychology, identify some of the many benefits of approaching life from a positive point of view, and explore some tips and techniques for cultivating a positive mindset.

This piece is a long one, so settle in and get comfortable. Let’s get started.

Before you read on, we thought you might like to download our three Positive Psychology Exercises for free . These science-based exercises will explore fundamental aspects of positive psychology including strengths, values and self-compassion and will give you the tools to enhance the wellbeing of your clients, students or employees.

This Article Contains:

What is a positive mindset and attitude a definition, characteristics and traits of a positive mindset: 6 examples, a list of positive attitudes, why is a positive attitude considered the key to success, the outcomes of a positive attitude, 33 tips on how to have & keep a positive mindset in life and at work, helping students to develop a positive attitude towards learning and school, 46 activities and games to develop positive mindset skills (incl. group exercises), 10 worksheets for training a positive mindset (pdf), 32 quotes and affirmations on positive mindset/attitude, inspiring speeches and videos, recommended books, a take-home message.

You probably have an idea of what a positive mindset or positive attitude is already, but it’s always helpful to start with a definition.

This definition from Remez Sasson (n.d.) is a good general description:

“Positive thinking is a mental and emotional attitude that focuses on the bright side of life and expects positive results.”

Another, more comprehensive definition comes from Kendra Cherry at Very Well Mind (2017B):

“[P]ositive thinking actually means approaching life’s challenges with a positive outlook. It does not necessarily mean avoiding or ignoring the bad things; instead, it involves making the most of the potentially bad situations, trying to see the best in other people, and viewing yourself and your abilities in a positive light.”

We can extrapolate from these definitions and come up with a good description of a positive mindset as the tendency to focus on the bright side, expect positive results, and approach challenges with a positive outlook.

Having a positive mindset means making positive thinking a habit, continually searching for the silver lining and making the best out of any situation you find yourself in.

So, now we know what a positive mindset is, we can dive into the next important question: What does it look like?

There are many traits and characteristics associated with a positive mindset, including:

  • Optimism : a willingness to make an effort and take a chance instead of assuming your efforts won’t pay off.
  • Acceptance : acknowledging that things don’t always turn out how you want them to, but learning from your mistakes.
  • Resilience : bouncing back from adversity, disappointment, and failure instead of giving up.
  • Gratitude : actively, continuously appreciating the good things in your life (Blank, 2017).
  • Consciousness/Mindfulness : dedicating the mind to conscious awareness and enhancing the ability to focus.
  • Integrity : the trait of being honorable, righteous, and straightforward, instead of deceitful and self-serving (Power of Positivity, n.d.).

Not only are these characteristics of a positive mindset, but they may also work in the other direction—actively adopting optimism, acceptance, resilience, gratitude, mindfulness, and integrity in your life will help you develop and maintain a positive mindset.

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If you found the list above still too vague, there are many more specific examples of a positive attitude in action.

For example, positive attitudes can include:

  • It is looking adversity in the eye… and laughing.
  • Getting what you get, and not pitching a fit.
  • Enjoying the unexpected, even when it’s not what you wanted originally.
  • Motivating those around you with a positive word.
  • Using the power of a smile to reverse the tone of a situation.
  • Being friendly to those you don’t know.
  • It’s getting back up when you fall down. (No matter how many times you fall down.)
  • Being a source of energy that lifts those around you.
  • Understanding that relationships are more important than material things.
  • Being happy even when you have little.
  • Having a good time even when you are losing.
  • Being happy for someone else’s success.
  • Having a positive future vision, no matter how bad your current circumstances.
  • Paying a compliment, even to a total stranger.
  • Tell someone you know that they did a great job. (And mean it.)
  • Making someone’s day. (Not just a child’s… adult’s like to have their day be special, too!)
  • It’s not complaining no matter how unfair things appear to be. (It is a waste of time… instead, do something!)
  • Not letting other people’s negativity bring you down.
  • Giving more than you expect to get in return.
  • Being true to yourself… always (Jarrow, 2012).

man smiling - Characteristics and Traits of a Positive Mindset: 6 Examples

Now we know a little bit more about what a positive mindset looks like, we can turn to one of the biggest questions of all: What’s the deal with having a positive attitude?

What is it about having a positive mindset that is so important, so impactful, so life-changing?

Well, the traits and characteristics listed above give us a hint; if you comb through the literature, you’ll see a plethora of benefits linked to optimism, resilience, and mindfulness.

You’ll see that awareness and integrity are linked to better quality of life , and acceptance and gratitude can take you from the “okay life” to the “good life.”

The Importance of Developing the Right Thoughts

Developing a truly positive mindset and gaining these benefits is a function of the thoughts you cultivate.

Don’t worry—this piece isn’t about the kind of positive thinking that is all positive, all the time. We don’t claim that just “thinking happy thoughts” will bring you all the success you desire in life, and we certainly don’t believe that optimism is warranted in every situation, every minute of the day.

Developing the right thoughts is not about being constantly happy or cheerful, and it’s not about ignoring anything negative or unpleasant in your life. It’s about incorporating both the positive and negative into your perspective and choosing to still be generally optimistic.

It’s about acknowledging that you will not always be happy and learning to accept bad moods and difficult emotions when they come.

Above all, it’s about increasing your control over your own attitude in the face of whatever comes your way. You cannot control your mood , and you cannot always control the thoughts that pop into your head, but you can choose how you handle them.

When you choose to give in to the negativity, pessimism, and doom-and-gloom view of the world, you are not only submitting to a loss of control and potentially wallowing in unhappiness—you are missing out on an important opportunity for growth and development.

According to positive psychologist Barbara Fredrickson, negative thinking, and negative emotions have their place: they allow you to sharpen your focus on dangers, threats, and vulnerabilities. This is vital for survival, although perhaps not as much as it was for our ancestors.

On the other hand, positive thinking and positive emotions “ broaden and build ” our resources and skills, and open us up to possibilities (Fredrickson, 2004).

Building a positive framework for your thoughts is not about being bubbly and annoyingly cheerful, but making an investment in yourself and your future. It’s okay to feel down or think pessimistically sometimes, but choosing to respond with optimism, resilience, and gratitude will benefit you far more in the long run.

According to Seligman (2006), optimism can be cultivated by challenging the negative stories we create in our minds. This “learned optimism” can be beneficial to feel happier and healthier, to release stress, and to increase performance and motivation.

The ABC Model, originally developed by Albert Ellis and later adapted by Martin Seligman, is an approach to help us think more optimistically. This model can be used for yourself or with your clients. Often, this technique can be found in cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) as the approach results in restructuring beliefs through self-awareness.

This technique can be used in daily life situations – An obstacle in your way reflects Adversity . The way you think about Adversity turns into your Beliefs , which impact how you react (Consequence). The Consequences are not inevitable since you can challenge the way you think about them (Seligman, 2006).

Seligman added the components “Disputation” and “Energization” to the original ABC model in order to not only be aware of your thinking patterns but to be able to overcome pessimistic thinking and cultivate a more optimistic outlook.

To be optimistic, you have to change what you believe about yourself and the situation you are encountering. Positive beliefs result in a more positive consequence, which then leads to a more positive outlook.

essay attitude meaning

Aside from enhancing your skills and personal resources, there are many other benefits of cultivating a positive mindset, including better overall health, better ability to cope with stress , and greater well-being (Cherry, 2017A).

According to the experts at the Mayo Clinic, positive thinking can increase your lifespan, reduce rates of depression and levels of distress , give you greater resistance to the common cold, improve your overall psychological and physical well-being , improve your cardiovascular health and protect you from cardiovascular disease, and help you build coping skills to keep you afloat during challenging times (2017).

You’ve probably heard of all these generic benefits before, so we’ll get more specific and explore the benefits of a positive mindset in several different contexts:

  • The workplace
  • Dealing with disability (for both those with a disability and those around them)
  • Nursing and healthcare
  • Recovery from cancer

10 Benefits of a Positive Mental Attitude in the Workplace

No construct better captures the essence of a positive attitude in the workplace quite like psychological capital (or PsyCap for short). This multicomponent construct is made up of four psychological resources:

PsyCap was first conceptualized as “positive psychological capital” by renowned management and leadership researchers Luthans and Youssef in 2004. The concept quickly took off among positive organizational psychologists, and by 2011 there were already hundreds of citations of PsyCap in the literature.

The first meta-analysis of all the research on PsyCap was conducted in 2011, and it outlined some of the many benefits of PsyCap in the workplace:

  • PsyCap was positively related to job satisfaction , organizational commitment, and psychological well-being.
  • PsyCap was also positively related to organizational citizenship (desirable employee behaviors) and multiple measures of performance (self-rated, supervisor evaluations, and objective measures).
  • PsyCap was negatively related to cynicism, turnover intentions, job stress, and anxiety .
  • PsyCap was also negatively related to negative employee deviance (bad employee behaviors; Avey, Reichard, Luthans, & Mhatre, 2011).

It seems pretty straightforward that positive attitudes like optimism and resilience lead to positive outcomes for the organization and for the employees!

Another study by a few of the giants in the field of positive psychology (Sonja Lyubomirsky, Laura King, and Ed Diener, 2005) investigated the relationship between happiness and benefits to employees. They showed that positive attitudes in the workplace also benefit the employee in addition to the organization:

  • Happier employees are more productive than other employees.
  • Happy salespeople have higher sales than other salespeople.
  • Happy employees are more creative than other employees.
  • Happy employees are evaluated more positively by their supervisors.
  • Happy employees are less likely to show job withdrawal (absenteeism, turnover, job burnout, and retaliatory behaviors).
  • Happy employees make more money than other employees.

So, a positive attitude can have great benefits for the organization as a whole and for all of its employees.

It turns out that a positive attitude can also result in benefits for leaders and their followers (as well as spreading positivity throughout the organization).

The Importance of a Positive Mindset for Leadership

As important as a positive mindset is for the rank-and-file, it’s easy to see why it is vital for those in a position of leadership.

Researchers Hannah, Woolfolk, and Lord (2009) outlined a framework for positive leadership that rests on the idea that leaders with a positive self-concept (a positive idea of who they are and a habit of thinking positively about themselves) are more able to bring the “right stuff” to their leadership role.

In their theory, a leader with a positive mindset is not only more likely to be actively engaged and to perform at a high level, he or she is also more able to influence followers toward a more positive mindset through role modeling and normative influence.

A study completed around the same time provides support for the relationship between leader and follower positivity; trust in management influenced positive PsyCap, which had a big impact on performance for leaders and followers (Clapp-Smith, Vogegesang, & Avey, 2008).

Further, trust in management was linked to positive leadership and performance. While trust in management isn’t necessarily indicative of a positive mindset in both leader and follower, it is certainly a likely outcome of a generally positive attitude in the workplace.

Forbes writer Victor Lipman (2017) puts findings like these in simpler terms:

“It’s always easier to follow someone with a positive outlook.”

In other words, positive attitudes in a leader will draw followers and encourage motivation and engagement in subordinates. Lipman also notes that having a positive outlook and being resilient is vital in leadership positions because there is a lot of stress involved in managing and leading others.

Leaders must always be “on” and spend much of their time “performing” as a strong, confident leader and perhaps even a public face. This role is a tiring one, and being optimistic and resilient will help leaders stay sane and healthy in challenging contexts.

The Promotion of Positive Attitudes Towards Disability

Having a positive attitude is also a boon for those educating, interacting with, and caring for a disabled student, loved one, or patient.

A positive attitude toward disability facilitates disabled students’ education and helps them assimilate into postsecondary education (Rao, 2004).

This makes it even more troubling to learn that, according to a 2012 study on UK primary schools, only 38% of them had a Disability Equality Scheme in place and only 30% had included a plan to “promote positive attitudes towards disabled people” (Beckett & Buckner). Further, 76% of schools reported that their staff had not received any training in the promotion of positive attitudes towards students with disabilities.

With so many resources available for promoting positive attitudes toward disability, there is ample opportunity to rectify this lack; for example, research by The Children’s Society in the UK identified several ways to promote positivity:

  • An inclusive ethos within the school.
  • Staff teams who are knowledgeable, skilled, and committed.
  • Better training, guidance, and support for teachers, including Disability Equality training and ongoing INSET for all staff.
  • High levels of awareness across the whole school community.
  • Disability equality teaching being part of a wider strategy and included across the curriculum and not just within subjects such as PSHE, Citizenship and Religious education.
  • A designated member of staff to coordinate teaching across the curriculum
  • A better understanding of why promoting disability awareness and equality is important.
  • Links with disabled people within the school community and beyond, as well as links with special schools.
  • The availability of good resources.
  • Awareness of, and the challenging of, stereotypes.
  • A critical approach to the use of ‘disablist’ language which reinforces discriminatory attitudes and negative stereotypes.
  • Promotion of the social model of disability.
  • The inclusion of positive and diverse images in all materials used within the school and undertaking an audit of existing materials and resources to ensure they promote positive attitudes (More information on these suggestions can be found here ).

A 2009 study also established that formal instruction in disability awareness combined with hands-on fieldwork experiences with people who have a disability can have a significant impact on the positive attitudes toward those with disability (Campbell, Gilmore, & Cuskelly).

The research found that teachers-in-training who participated in a one-semester course involving direct work with students who had Down syndrome greatly improved their knowledge of the syndrome as well as their attitudes toward those with Down syndrome.

All of these findings show that having a positive attitude towards those with a disability is not only the right thing to work toward, but it also has a significant positive influence on both those with disability and those around them.

Unsurprisingly, it’s also important for nurses and other health professionals to cultivate a positive attitude towards their patients with a disability—something that nurses sometimes struggle with (Tervo & Palmer, 2004).

Positive Attitude in Nursing and Health Care

On the subject of nursing and healthcare, this is another context where having a positive mindset (towards oneself and one’s patients—disabled or otherwise) can have a positive impact.

In fact, having a positive attitude is so important for nursing, expert Jean Watson describes nursing as the “Caring Science” (2009). Indeed, positivity and caring are ingrained in the field; just take a look at the five core nursing values:

  • Human dignity
  • Social justice (Fahrenwald et al., 2005)

These five values lay the foundation for a caring, positive mindset that is the hallmark of good nursing practice. Nurses who embrace these core values and adopt a positive mindset toward themselves, their work, and their patients can help them find the meaning and fulfillment that likely prompted them to enter the field in the first place.

Having a positive mindset in health care not only acts as a facilitator of meaning and purpose in the lives of healthcare professionals but it also:

  • Improves the professional’s performance and helps patients find healing and maintain a healthy lifestyle.
  • Reduces the frequency of accidents by enhancing focus.
  • Helps the professional build a good reputation and advance in their career (Swanson, n.d.).

Luckily, there are evidence-backed ways for nurses to implement a more positive outlook, including:

  • The “Three Good Things” exercise, in which the nursing staff maintains a “three good things” sheet that gets passed around all the nurses at the end of their shift; each staff member writes down at least one good thing that happened that day, and the charge nurse selects three of these positive things to share with the oncoming-shift nurses to help them start their day with positivity.
  • Increasing social connections with patients by placing a “getting to know you” board in each patient room; on admission, nurses can encourage the patient to share something about themselves (not their illness or hospitalization, but about who you are).
  • Encouraging random acts of kindness by nurses—a practice which has the potential to spread to patients and other healthcare professionals as well.
  • Enhancing gratitude through a staff peer recognition board.
  • Practicing loving-kindness meditation at staff meetings.
  • Identifying and applying one’s Signature Strengths (Roberts & Strauss, 2015).

Speaking of the importance of positivity in health care, the benefits can extend to the patients as well.

Positive Attitude and Cancer Recovery

You’ve probably heard the common phrases and encouragements used when discussing someone’s cancer diagnosis.

A cancer patient will likely be told at least a few times that “You have to stay positive!” and “You can fight this if you maintain a positive attitude.”

This idea that being positive will help cancer patients to fight the disease is a common one, although the literature is a bit iffy on whether this phenomenon is real (Coyne & Tennen, 2010; O’Baugh, Wilkes, Luke, & George, 2003).

Although it is unclear whether simply cultivating a positive mindset will help a patient beat cancer, there’s no doubt that getting support, focusing on a healthy mental state, and maintaining a positive attitude will help patients reduce their tension, anxiety, fatigue, and depression, and improve their overall quality of life (Spiegel et al., 2007).

Cancer Treatment Centers of America expert Katherine Puckett agrees that positivity can be helpful for patients being treated for cancer, but clarifies that other emotions are perfectly acceptable as well.

“So often I have heard a loved one say to a cancer patient who is crying, ‘Stop crying. You know you have to be positive’… However, when we make space for people to express all of their feelings, rather than bottling them up inside, it is then easier for them to be optimistic. It is okay to allow tears to flow—these can be a healthy release.” (Katherine Puckett, as reported in Fischer, 2016).

This indicates that the most important factor regarding positivity in cancer recovery is that it is authentic . False smiles and superficial cheerfulness will likely do nothing for the cancer patient, but working on cultivating an authentically positive mindset and focusing on the activities and techniques that build well-being can have a significant impact on a cancer patient’s quality of life and—possibly—their chances of beating cancer.

Do a quick Google search on how to cultivate a more positive mindset, and you’ll see that there are tons of suggestions out there! We’ve gathered some of the most popular and most evidence-backed methods here, but don’t hesitate to search for more if you need them.

Larry Alton (2018) from lists 7 practical tips to help you get more positive:

  • Start the day with positive affirmations (scroll down to see some example affirmations).
  • Focus on the good things, however small they are.
  • Find humor in bad situations.
  • Turn failures into lessons—and learn from them!
  • Transform negative self-talk into positive self-talk.
  • Focus on the present instead of getting mired in the past or losing your way in the future.
  • Find positive friends, mentors, and co-workers to support and encourage you.

A successful author, speaker, and coach Brian Tracy (n.d.) echoes some of these tips and adds a couple more:

  • Remember that it’s your response that determines the outcome of a situation.
  • Use positive affirmations or phrases to chase off negative thoughts.
  • Find inspirational quotes and messages to bolster your positivity.
  • Decide to be happy by being grateful and assuming the people around you have the best of intentions.
  • Challenge yourself to maintain a positive attitude when something goes wrong—show the world how resilient and positive you are!

For a more specific list of habits and actions you can take to develop a more positive mindset, try these 10 suggestions from Megan Wycklendt (2014) of Fulfillment Daily:

  • Keep a gratitude journal .
  • Reframe your challenges as opportunities for growth .
  • Get good at being rejected—it happens to everyone!
  • Use positive words to describe your life.
  • Replace have with get (e.g., I have to go to work → I get to go to work).
  • Don’t let yourself get dragged down into other people’s complaints.
  • Breathe—consciously, purposefully, and mindfully.
  • Notice the righteous and good in times of tragedy and violence.
  • Have solutions ready when you point out problems.
  • Make someone else smile.

Finally, these 11 techniques from Dr. Tchiki Davis (2018) can also help you adopt a more positive attitude:

  • Ask yourself, “Do I think positively?” Take a test or quiz on positivity to see where you stand.
  • Strengthen your memory for positive information by using positive words more often.
  • Strengthen your brain’s ability to work with positive information with exercises that involve positive words.
  • Strengthen your brain’s ability to pay attention to the positive by routinely redirecting your focus away from the negative to the positive.
  • Condition yourself to experience random moments of positivity (use classical conditioning on yourself to build positive associations).
  • Think positive—but not too much—and think negative when you need to; sometimes we need to grieve, think about the negative consequences, and use negative emotions to motivate and engage us.
  • Practice gratitude (perhaps with a gratitude journal).
  • Savor the good moments (stop to “smell the roses” and celebrate the positive).
  • Generate positive emotions by watching funny videos
  • Stop minimizing your successes and acknowledge the efforts you put in.
  • Stop all-or-nothing thinking; this cognitive distortion is not in line with reality since things are very rarely “all good” or “all bad.”

two happy students - Helping Students to Develop a Positive Attitude Towards Learning and School

To pass along the benefits of developing a positive mindset to students, you can encourage them to try the techniques listed above.

However, there are some methods for improving students’ attitude towards learning and school that may be even more effective.

Elliot Seif from the ASCD’s Edge website outlines 13 ways you can help students cultivate this mindset:

  • “Reduce the emphasis on traditional testing as the key assessment tool, and focus on more “natural” and diverse assessment approaches such as essays and papers, reflective journals, oral presentations, and other demonstrations of their learning.
  • Create the expectation that effort makes a difference in learning. Help students understand that when someone works hard, they are more likely to succeed. Give students more opportunities to put effort into areas that interest them and that they enjoy.
  • Include narratives on report cards that focus on individual strengths and interests.
  • Where possible, instead of or in addition to reading textbooks, find and have students read and choose books that are interesting to them, that opens them up to the world around them, that makes them think!
  • Focus primarily on student strengths and student success. For each student, consider “ the glass as half full ” rather than “the glass as half empty”. Encourage students as much as possible. Understand that not all students will be strong in all areas and that it is important to help each student find his or her strengths and interests and to build on them. Also, see “failure” as an opportunity for student growth. Make it clear to students that not doing well is a cause for looking inside yourself to see how you can do something better (and that you will do the same). Give students more specific feedback, along with opportunities to redo their work and improve it. Provide mentors and tutors and other help and support for students who need it.
  • Be willing to “slow down the learning process”. Focus learning on what you think is important. Figure out ways to teach an idea differently, and work on something for a longer period than you normally do if your students are not “getting it”. Figure out alternative ways to teach something if your approach isn’t working.
  • Focus a good deal of your teaching on “learning how to learn” skill development. Read up on how to teach study skills, learning to learn skills, research skills, inquiry skills. Make sure that your students grow both in terms of content they learn and the “learning to learn” skills they need to develop in order to learn well in the future.
  • Make “asking questions” central to your teaching and to your learning environment and school culture. Write course descriptions around key questions. Use essential questions to focus units, or have students develop essential questions as the focus for learning. As you teach, encourage students to ask clarifying and elaborative questions. Make it clear to students that no question is too small or too silly. Build open time for students to ask questions on the topics they are studying. Use “wait time” when you are asking for questions. Teach students study strategies such as SQ3R[i] that encourage students to turn statements (such as text headings) into questions.
  • Give students more choices and options – in the classroom, by offering many electives, through multiple extra-curricular options. Choices/options should give students opportunities to develop and expand their interests, see connections and relevance in what they are learning, and expand their talents.
  • Use inquiry strategies, research skill-building activities, interactive learning and projects as critical parts of teaching. Incorporate more interest-based projects into your curriculum.
  • Where possible, make learning experiences more “authentic”. For example, consider how learning about the American Revolution might be tied to a current event happening in the world. Visit the area surrounding the school to demonstrate how math might be used for everyday activity. Through surveys, encourage students to provide feedback on whether they feel that their learning is interesting, motivating, and relevant and whether they are being encouraged to develop their talents and interests. Conduct student surveys to determine what types of school and classroom activities are most motivating and interesting. Create activities and experiences that enable students to get outside the school and learn from the outside world and perform community service.
  • Create more ways to integrate learning across the curriculum and consider ways to redesign the curriculum. Use themes to create more interdisciplinary units. Connect separate subject areas, such as by teaching American history and literature in tandem so that history topics and specific literature that touch on similar time periods or themes are taught at the same time. When redesigning or renewing the curriculum, examine whether curriculum materials or programs have a significant component built around developing curiosity, motivation, relevance, and interest.
  • See yourself as helping students build “pathways to adult success”. How can your subject, your grade level, your school contribute to making these pathways smoother? How can you provide students with a concrete understanding of their future options? Can you take field trips to different places of business? Colleges and universities? Bring in speakers?” (Seif, 2013)

However, these techniques are not always within a teacher’s (or parent’s) realm of control. If you these techniques are too overwhelming or the scope is out of your control, try these 7 strategies that you will likely have the power to implement:

  • Be an example. Model a positive, encouraging attitude in all that you say, do and believe.
  • Create a positive learning space for your student.
  • Help your student visualize a positive outcome from every scenario before starting.
  • Eliminate negative verbiage from your students’ dialogue (e.g., respond to “I can’t do it” with “Why can’t you do it? What’s holding you back? How can I help?”).
  • Help your students change negative thinking patterns (encourage them to replace the negative thoughts with positive ones).
  • Play the role of your students’ biggest fan (encourage them and help them develop self-confidence ).
  • Incorporate a rewards system to encourage positivity at all times (Werrell, 2016).

For more tips and suggestions from the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development, check out their excellent resource on instilling positive attitudes and perceptions about learning here .

46 Activities and Games to Develop Positive Mindset Skills (incl. Group Exercises)

There are many positive thinking exercises and games that can give you a boost.

Some of the most popular ones are listed here, but feel free to search for more if none of them align with your interests—there are a lot to choose from out there!

Zdravko Lukovski from the Enlightenment Portal website has 10 exercises and activities that you can implement in your own life or encourage your clients to try in order to think more positively:

  • Listen to your favorite music—it’s that easy! Music has a fairly unique ability to put you in a positive state of mind, so take advantage of that fact.
  • Express your thankfulness and gratitude for all the good things in your life. Appreciate them, and write them down to help you remember.
  • Remember to breathe. Breathe deeply, slowly, and mindfully to transport your mind to a positive, calm place.
  • Don’t live according to a label—labels come from others, not from yourself, and you are so much more than a simple label could ever represent. Be authentic, and it will be much easier to be positive.
  • Check your internal dialogue, and challenge that critical inner voice to make room for happiness.
  • Engage in positive activities like meditation , yoga , hiking, playing a sport, or whatever other activity you enjoy.
  • Take back control of the things you can change—and put in the effort required to actually change—but learn to accept the things you cannot change.
  • Go easy on yourself. Don’t kick yourself when you’re down; everyone fails, and it doesn’t mean you’re not good enough.
  • Pay attention to your diet, and ensure that you eat healthy food that will contribute to a healthy and positive mind.
  • Embrace change—it’s happening whether we want it to or not, so it’s best to embrace it. Make an effort to step outside of your comfort zone (2015).

This list from Thought Catalog’s Kathy Mitchell (2017) has some of the same ideas as Lukovski, but she adds a few more activities as well:

  • Listen to upbeat music.
  • Have sex (that can certainly be an engaging and life-affirming activity!).
  • Travel, even if it’s not very far—the point is to interact with different people and get to know other cultures.
  • Eat healthy foods.
  • Be thankful and cultivate gratitude.
  • Journal and/or use a notebook to write things down—especially positive things.
  • Breathe mindfully and deeply.
  • Use positive words and avoid phrases like “I can’t” and “I won’t.”
  • Practice positive affirmations or mantras.
  • Try the Best Possible Self exercise (imagine yourself in your best possible future, and write about it).
  • Volunteer and commit your time and efforts to helping others.
  • Take control of the things you can, and accept the things you can’t.
  • Remind yourself “Never a failure, always a lesson;” make every failure a learning opportunity.
  • Try the mirror technique—say something positive about yourself (and truly mean it) every time you see yourself in the mirror.
  • Socialize and spend time with others, including family, friends, your spouse or significant other, and new friends or acquaintances.

If you’re more interested in games you can play to boost positive thinking, try these suggested games from Mary Osborne (2017) at Live Strong.

Recognizing Positive Behavior

Gather your team (or family, friends, etc.) and review a list of a generic individual’s positive behaviors (like giving credit to others, smiling, saying thank you, and listening nonjudgmentally).

Next, ask players to identify their reactions to positive behaviors like these.

When everyone has listed their responses to these behaviors, talk about them as a group to show that engaging in positive behaviors like these will attract clients, customers, and coworkers rather than repel them.

The “Glad” Game

This game comes from the Disney movie Pollyanna, in which the main character actively cultivates positive thinking.

Have one person bring up a negative event, like losing a job or breaking up with a boyfriend or girlfriend.

The other players are challenged to turn the first person’s thoughts to the positive; for example, they can say something like, “ But now that I’ve lost my job, I’ll have more time to _______ .” The first person must come up with a word or phrase that fits the blank.

This game will encourage you to find the silver lining and look for opportunities instead of wallowing in despair.

Egg-Balancing Game

The egg-balancing game can be frustrating, but it can impart an important lesson in staying optimistic and open-minded.

Give your player(s) a raw egg and a flat, somewhat textured tabletop (use a tablecloth or placemat if you need to). Tell them to find a way to balance the egg in an upright position on the table. They might say it’s not possible, but assure them that it is!

Let them try for a while—they might actually be able to do it—but give them a small mound of salt to balance the egg in if they are struggling for too long. If you use the salt, remind them that this is an important thing to remember: sometimes things that seem impossible actually are possible when you think outside the box!

Hunt for Happiness

This game is described as a “positive-thinking scavenger game” and it can be used with both children and adults.

Have the players make a list of things that they feel make life worth living or, for younger children, things that make them smile.

Once everyone has a list ready, send them off on a scavenger hunt to collect as many items on the list as possible. If it’s too big to collect and bring back, you can mark your “collection” of it on the list.

You’ll have to get creative to check off everything on the list, especially abstract things like “love,” but that’s part of the challenge. As a bonus, it will also help you boost your creative thinking in addition to your positive thinking.

To read more about these games, click here .

For Children

There are even more games and activities to help children develop a positive mindset. If you’re a teacher, parent, coach, or anyone else who interacts with kids, give these activities a try.

Big Life Journal has a great infographic that lists the ways you can help children develop a positive attitude. You can find the whole blog post here , but we’ll outline the 7 activities they describe:

  • Engage your child in loving-kindness meditation. You can teach him or her the four traditional phrases directed towards loved ones if you’d like: “May you feel safe. May you feel happy. May you feel healthy. May you live with ease.”
  • Encourage your child to help others, whether that takes the form of assisting an elderly neighbor with yard work or chores, helping a friend with homework, or participating in a canned food, clothing, or toy drive.
  • Have your child create and write in an “Awe Journal.” Tell them to write down any sights or moments from their daily life that they find beautiful, extraordinary, awesome, or just all-around wonderful.
  • Encourage your child to set goals, visualize their path forward, and plan for obstacles before they come face-to-face with them (this is the WOOP approach: Wish, Outcome, Obstacle, Plan).
  • Share your own positive experiences with your child. Laugh with them, hug them, and set aside quality time to simply be together.
  • Identify your child’s strengths and encourage him or her to put them to good use and develop them further with productive, fun activities.
  • Guide your child through the process of coming up with positive affirmations like, “I am kind. I am enough. I am loving. I am good.” (Cullins, 2018).

Another collection of activities that can help children (and the whole family) develop and maintain a positive mindset comes from Sharon Harding at the Rediscovered Families website:

  • Keep “Quote Books,” or notebooks for your children to write in. Every week, choose a positive quote to share with your kids and encourage them to write it down along with their thoughts, drawings that correspond to the quote, or insights from a family discussion or activities based on the quote.
  • Try the “Success of the Day” activity, in which each family member is encouraged to talk about a success they had that day, like helping someone, standing up for a peer, finishing a project, or committing (or receiving) a random act of kindness. Your children can keep a journal of their successes to look back on and draw inspiration from.
  • Create Warm Fuzzy Jars for each of your children; whenever they do something kind or helpful, they can place a pom-pom ball in their jar to represent the warm fuzzy feeling they gave to another person. When their jar is full, they get to choose a special or fun activity to do—with either parent, both parents, their sibling, or the whole family.
  • Write Morning Love Notes (sweet notes for them to read in the morning and get a good start to their day) for your children, and encourage them to write them for their siblings.
  • Choose an Act of Kindness to help your kids understand the impact a simple kindness can have. Try something like shoveling a neighbor’s walkway when it snows, bringing a meal to a family in need, or volunteering.
  • Creating art that helps them to manage their feelings and turn their mind towards the positive (more info here ).
  • Have each family member create a Slinky Character Trait Person. Encourage each family member to identify some positive character traits in each other and write them on the slinky person. You can find more detailed instructions here .
  • Help each child make a vision board to share their hopes, dreams, goals, and aspirations with each other.
  • Complete the Buggy and Buddy motivational art activity to help your children boost their creative confidence and self-esteem .
  • Make gratitude stones and encourage your children to practice gratitude every day. All you’ll need is a small, smooth stone and some paint to create a heart on the stone. Tell your children to carry them around and use them as a reminder to think about the things they are grateful for. You can also use them in other ways, detailed here .

man jumping - 10 Worksheets for Training a Positive Mindset (PDF)

If games and activities aren’t really your “thing,” there are lots of other ways to cultivate a positive attitude.

One effective technique is completing worksheets designed to help you develop a positive mindset.

A few of the many worksheets on this topic are described below.

Strengths Exploration

Becoming more positive can start with a fun and uplifting exercise—identifying your strengths.

This worksheet lists 36 individual strengths, with room to add 4 more, that you can use to pick out which strengths you embody. You can choose as many as you like, but try to keep the list to those traits that you think are your biggest strengths .

Once you have your strengths identified, move on to the rest of the worksheet: learning about your strengths in specific areas, how you apply them now, and how you can use them more often.

The second page concerns your relationships—romantic relationships, family relationships, and relationships with friends. There are three questions to guide you here:

  • List the strengths you possess that help you in your relationships.
  • Describe a specific time your strengths were able to help you in a relationship.
  • Describe two new ways you could use your strengths in relationships.

On the third page, you will answer the same questions but with your profession in mind instead of relationships.

The fourth page repeats these questions but with a focus on personal fulfillment (hobbies, interests, pleasurable activities).

You can find this worksheet here .

Gratitude Journal

Cultivating a regular practice of gratitude will help you to become more positive, and this worksheet will guide you in establishing your practice.

First, the instructions for the sheet are as follows: “Two times a week, write a detailed entry about one thing you are grateful for. This could be a person, a job, a great meal with friends, or anything else that comes to mind.”

Next, the worksheet includes some tips for effective journaling, like:

  • Don’t rush to write down the first things that come to your mind. Take time to truly think about what you’re grateful for. Expect each entry to take between 10-20 minutes.
  • Writing about the people who you’re grateful for tends to be more powerful than writing about things.

To help get you started, you can use one of the journaling prompts listed in the worksheet, including:

  • Someone whose company I enjoy…
  • A fun experience I had…
  • A reason to be excited about the future…
  • An unexpected good thing that happened…

The next two pages provide you space to write up to four entries. It’s best if you get a journal specifically for this purpose, but this space can get you started until you obtain a journal.

Click here to download this worksheet .

Positive Journal

Similar to the gratitude journal, a positive journal is an effective way to use journaling to improve your mindset.

The worksheet encourages you to make a point of recognizing positive experiences throughout your day, however big or small. At the end of each day, use the worksheet to record three positive things that happened.

It’s good to have an actual journal for your positive entries (either the same journal you use for recording the things you are grateful for or a separate one), but this worksheet includes space for entering three positive things for 7 days to help you get started.

Click here to read the instructions in more detail.

Protective Factors

The Protective Factors worksheet will get you thinking about all of the positive traits, attributes, and skills that contribute to your resilience and overall mental health. Identifying these factors is essential to knowing when and how to use them.

The instructions are to review each of the protective factors listed and marking where you are on the scale (from weak to strong). These factors include:

  • Social Support
  • Coping Skills
  • Physical Health
  • Sense of Purpose
  • Self-Esteem
  • Healthy Thinking

Once you have given thought to each protective factor, the next page poses some questions about them:

  • Which protective factor has been the most valuable to you during difficult times?
  • Specifically, how have you used this protective factor to your advantage in the past?
  • What are the two protective factors that you would like to improve?
  • Describe how things might be different if you able to improve these protective factors.
  • List specific steps or actions that might help to make these goals a reality.

To download this worksheet and learn about your own protective factors, click here .

Looking Back, Looking Forward

This worksheet will help you to identify times in your life when things have gone well, when you got things right, and when you thrived.

First, for the “Looking Back” portion, you will be instructed to choose a timeframe to reflect on (for example, “the past year” or “since starting my new job”).

Next, you will answer several questions about the positive events and accomplishments from this time period, including:

  • List your accomplishments from this timeframe, even if they seem minor.
  • Describe a great day from this timeframe. What made this day special?
  • How have you grown, or what lessons did you learn, during this timeframe?
  • What are you grateful for from this timeframe? Try to list at least three examples.
  • What was a challenge that you overcame during this timeframe?

For the “Looking Forward” portion, you will complete a similar exercise but with a future time period in mind.

Instead of the questions above, you will answer these five questions:

  • What would you like to achieve during this timeframe?
  • What are you looking forward to during this timeframe? Try to list at least three examples.
  • What relationships would you like to strengthen during this timeframe?
  • What can you do to help others during this timeframe?
  • Ideally, how will your life be different at the end of this timeframe? Give specifics.

Once you have completed this worksheet, you will have a list of good things and accomplishments already behind you, and a list of good things you have to look forward to and work towards. Click here to get started.

Why I’m Grateful

This is a great worksheet for cultivating gratitude, and it can be used with children or adults.

It lists six prompts for you to complete that will help you focus on the good things in your life:

  • I am grateful for my family because…
  • Something good that happened this week…
  • I am grateful for my friendship with… because…
  • I am grateful for who I am because…
  • Something silly that I am grateful for…
  • Something else I am grateful for…

To start thinking about all the things you have to be grateful for, click here .

Positive Activities for Behavioral Activation

This worksheet is focused on the therapeutic technique of behavioral activation—encouraging the patient to get more active, engage in positive activities, and gain the rewards inherent in these activities.

It instructs you to create a list of activities that you find personally rewarding and leaves space for you to do so.

Next, it instructs you to rate the ease of each activity on a scale from 1 (difficult) to 10 (easy) and the reward you get from each activity on a scale from 1 (not at all rewarding) to 10 (very rewarding).

Completing this worksheet will leave you with a list of activities that you can refer to whenever you need a quick boost, and help you learn about what you enjoy most.

Click here to download this worksheet.

Positive Experiences

The Positive Experiences worksheet is a simple one in theory, but it can be difficult to actually complete. The difficulty comes with an equivalent reward though; you can get a great boost in your mood, self-esteem, and self-confidence from completing it.

The only instruction is to consider each of the positive traits listed and write briefly about times when you have displayed each of them.

The positive traits include:

  • Selflessness
  • Determination

If you’re feeling particularly down, you may be tempted to skip one or two, but fight this urge! You have definitely displayed each of these traits at one time or another—don’t sell yourself short!

Positive Steps to Wellbeing

This resource is actually a handout, but you can certainly make it interactive by taking notes or using check marks to indicate what you have tried, or what you would like to try.

It lists 12 things you can do to improve your wellbeing. These 12 activities include:

  • Being kind to yourself
  • Exercise regularly
  • Take up a hobby and/or learn a new skill
  • Have some fun and/or be creative
  • Help others
  • Eat healthily
  • Balance sleep
  • Connect with others
  • Beware drink and drugs
  • See the bigger picture
  • Accepting: “It is as it is”

To read more about how each of these activities contributes to your wellbeing, download the handout here .

Positive Self-Talk/Coping Thoughts Worksheet

The positive self-talk/coping thoughts worksheet is a great way to turn your focus from the negative to the positive and come up with positive statements you can use to cope in future stressful or difficult situations.

Example coping thoughts and positive statements listed on the worksheet include:

  • Stop, and breathe, I can do this.
  • This will pass.
  • This feels bad, and feelings are very often wrong.
  • I can feel bad and still choose to take a new and healthy direction.
  • I feel this way because of my past experiences, but I am safe right now.

After reading the example statements, the worksheet encourages you to write down some coping thoughts or positive statements for difficult or distressing situations in your life. You can write them directly on the worksheet, but it may be most helpful to copy them onto a note card and carry them with you.

3 kids - positive mindset children worksheets skills

While we’re on the subject of positive statements, we should also mention that quotes and affirmations can be an excellent way to encourage positive thinking.


If you’re interested in affirmations, try the Mind Tools Content Team’s (n.d.) list of positive thinking affirmations:

  • I have plenty of creativity for this project.
  • My work will be recognized in a positive way by my boss and colleagues.
  • I can do this!
  • My team respects and values my opinion.
  • I am successful.
  • I am honest in my life, and my work.
  • I like completing tasks and projects on time.
  • I’m grateful for the job I have.
  • I enjoy working with my team.
  • I’m bringing a positive attitude to work every day.
  • I am excellent at what I do.
  • I am generous.
  • I am happy.
  • I will be a leader in my organization.

If none of these appeal to you on a deep level, refer to their tips on developing your own personal affirmations:

  • Think about the areas of your life that you’d like to change.
  • Write affirmations that are credible and achievable (based on reality).
  • Use your affirmations to turn negative into positive (note a persistent negative thought and choose an affirmation that is the opposite).
  • Write your affirmations in the present tense—affirm yourself in the here and now, not a vague future version of yourself.
  • Say it with feeling! Your affirmations should be personally meaningful to you (Mind Tools Content Team, n.d.).

If you’re having trouble coming up with your affirmations or you just like to hear a different perspective on positive thinking, you might find some quotes helpful.

Lydia Sweatt (2017) from shares 13 great quotes on optimism and having a positive attitude.

“Optimism doesn’t wait on facts. It deals with prospects.”

Norman Cousins

“Be fanatically positive and militantly optimistic. If something is not to your liking, change your liking.”

Rick Steves

“No pessimist ever discovered the secrets of the stars, or sailed to an uncharted land, or opened a new heaven to the human spirit.”

Helen Keller

“Optimism is a strategy for making a better future. Because unless you believe that the future can be better, you are unlikely to step up and take responsibility for making it so.”

Noam Chomsky

“One of the things I learned the hard way was that it doesn’t pay to get discouraged. Keeping busy and making optimism a way of life can restore your faith in yourself.”

Lucille Ball

“An optimist understands that life can be a bumpy road, but at least it is leading somewhere. They learn from mistakes and failures, and are not afraid to fail again.”

Harvey Mackay

“Optimism is a kind of heart stimulant―the digitalis of failure.”

Elbert Hubbard

“Things turn out best for the people who make the best of the way things turn out.”

John Wooden

“Do not anticipate trouble, or worry about what may never happen. Keep in the sunlight.”

Benjamin Franklin

“Optimism refuses to believe that the road ends without options.”

Robert H. Schuller

“What is hope but a feeling of optimism, a thought that says things will improve, it won’t always be bleak [and] there’s a way to rise above the present circumstances.”

Wayne W. Dyer

“A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.”

Winston Churchill

“Even if I knew that tomorrow the world would go to pieces, I would still plant my apple tree.”

Martin Luther

Quotes can be fantastic motivators, but you probably agree that a rousing speech or inspiring video can be even more effective.

Check out these TED Talks and YouTube videos on positive thinking when you need a boost.

Jim Rohn’s A Positive Attitude Attracts Success

Brendon Burchard’s How to Reprogram Your Mind (for Positive Thinking)

Carol Dweck’s TED Talk The Power of Believing That You Can Improve

Shawn Achor’s TED Talk The Happy Secret to Better Work

If you’re more of a fan of books than videos, never fear—we’ve got book recommendations too!

Here are just a few of the many books on developing a positive mindset:

  • Authentic Happiness: Using the New Positive Psychology to Realize Your Potential for Lasting Fulfillment by Martin E. P. Seligman ( Amazon )
  • Attitude: Your Most Priceless Possession by Elwood N. Chapman ( Amazon )
  • The Happiness Advantage: How a Positive Brain Fuels Success in Work and Life by Shawn Achor ( Amazon )
  • Mindset: The New Psychology of Success by Carol S. Dweck ( Amazon )
  • Getting Back to Happy: Change Your Thoughts, Change Your Reality, and Turn Your Trials into Triumphs by March Chernoff and Angel Chernoff ( Amazon )
  • Learned Optimism: How to Change Your Mind and Your Life by Martin E. P. Seligman ( Amazon )
  • Mindset: How Positive Thinking Will Set You Free & Help You Achieve Massive Success in Life by Benjamin Smith ( Amazon )
  • Hard Optimism: How to Succeed in a World Where Positive Wins by Price Pritchett ( Amazon )

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17 Top-Rated Positive Psychology Exercises for Practitioners

Expand your arsenal and impact with these 17 Positive Psychology Exercises [PDF] , scientifically designed to promote human flourishing, meaning, and wellbeing.

Created by Experts. 100% Science-based.

If you’re still with me after this very long read, thanks for sticking with it! I hope you will find that the time invested in reading this piece was worth the information you gleaned from it.

The one takeaway from this piece that I really hope sticks with you is this: Positive thinking is a powerful tool that can result in a lot of benefits for you and those around you; however, thinking positive 100% of the time is unrealistic and could even be disastrous.

We have a lot of different emotions and thoughts, and we have such a wide variety for a reason. There are times when being a bit pessimistic can help us, and it is a good idea to let out the negative emotions you experience once in a while (especially if the alternative is bottling them up).

If you’re an optimist by nature, cultivate gratitude for your inherent positivity, but make sure you don’t push aside the negative feelings that crop up. They’re part of life too.

If you’re a pessimist by nature, don’t despair of ever thinking positively. Try a few of the techniques that seem most applicable and give yourself a break if it takes some time. Remember, the goal is not to become a “ Pollyanna ,” but to become the best version of yourself that you can be and maintain a healthy and happy mental state.

How do you feel about the positivity movement? Are you naturally optimistic, pessimistic, or somewhere in between? Do you have any thoughts about how to cultivate a positive mindset? Let us know in the comments section below!

Thanks for reading, and best of luck in developing a positive mindset!

We hope you enjoyed reading this article. Don’t forget to download our three Positive Psychology Exercises for free .

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    Attitudes Are Evaluations. When we say that attitudes are evaluations, we mean that they involve a preference for or against the attitude object, as commonly expressed in such terms as prefer, like, dislike, hate, and love.When we express our attitudes—for instance, when we say, "I love Cheerios," "I hate snakes," "I'm crazy about Bill," or "I like Italians"—we are ...

  9. Attitude: Meaning, Concept and Formation

    According to them attitude is a learned predisposition to respond in a consistently favourable or unfavourable manner with respect to a given object. This definition, thus, emphasizes the view that attitudes are fundamentally evaluations of a particular person, group, their actions and objects, situations etc.

  10. Attitude: A Literary Device

    Definition of Literary Device of Attitude. The literary device of "attitude" refers to the author's emotional and intellectual stance or disposition expressed through the text's tone, language choices, and character perspectives. It shapes the reader's interpretation and engagement with the work, influencing themes, character ...

  11. The Beginner's Guide to Writing an Essay

    Define a topic: If you're allowed ... but they can also change the perspectives and attitudes of those who do not. Write your essay conclusion. Essay checklist. Checklist: Essay 0 / 14. My essay follows the requirements of the assignment (topic and length). My introduction sparks the reader's interest and provides any necessary background ...

  12. Components of Attitude: ABC Model

    ABC Model of Attitude. The ABC Model of Attitudes, also known as the tri-component model, is a framework in psychology that describes 3 components of attitudes (Eagly & Chaiken 1998): Affective component: this involves a person's feelings/emotions about the attitude object. For example: "I am scared of spiders.".

  13. Attitudes and Persuasion

    Describe the peripheral and central routes to persuasion. Social psychologists have documented how the power of the situation can influence our behaviors. Now we turn to how the power of the situation can influence our attitudes and beliefs. Attitude is our evaluation of a person, an idea, or an object. We have attitudes for many things ranging ...

  14. Positive Thinking: Definition, Benefits, and How to Practice

    Positive thinking is important because it can have a beneficial impact on both physical and mental well-being. People who maintain a more positive outlook on life cope better with stress, have better immunity, and have a lower risk of premature death. Positive thinking also helps promote greater feelings of happiness and overall satisfaction ...

  15. The Importance of Attitude: How Changing Your Attitude ...

    The importance of attitude is that it is the basis for everything in our lives. Our attitude determines how we react to adversity, our ability to grow and to learn, our ability to overcome challenges, and create bonds with others. And our attitude as it is now is the product of a lifetime of instilled beliefs, programming, and in my opinion ...

  16. Essay on Attitude

    Meaning: Attitude is an enduring evaluation—positive or negative—of people, objects, and ideas. Thus, attitudes are evaluative statements or judgments concerning objects, people, or events. Attitude has three components—cognition, affection, and behaviour of people. A particular attitude of a person can be based on one component or the other.

  17. Essay on Attitude: Top 8 Essays

    Essay # 1. Meaning and Definition of Attitude: Attitudes are learned predispositions and represent cluster of beliefs, assessed feelings and behavioural intentions towards aspects of our environment like a person, object or event. Attitudes are evaluative statements either favourable or unfavourable concerning objects, people or events and are ...

  18. (PDF) Expressions of Attitudes in Students' Narrative Writing: An

    The findings demonstrate that the affect is the most dominant subsystem of attitude used in the students' narrative writing to convey feelings and emotion of characters and events in the stories ...

  19. Attitude Definition & Meaning

    attitude: [noun] the arrangement of the parts of a body or figure : posture.

  20. Essay On Positive Thinking in English for Students

    FAQ of Essay on Positive Thinking. Question 1: What is positive thinking? Answer 1: Positive thinking is basically an optimistic attitude. In other words, it is the practice of focusing on the good in any given situation. This kind of thinking can have a big impact on your physical and mental health.

  21. Positive Mindset: How to Develop a Positive Mental Attitude

    This definition from Remez Sasson (n.d.) is a good general description: "Positive thinking is a mental and emotional attitude that focuses on the bright side of life and expects positive results." Another, more comprehensive definition comes from Kendra Cherry at Very Well Mind (2017B):

  22. Short Essay on Attitude

    Attitude is basically how one assesses on factors like people, objects, issues or events. They could either be positive or negative, that depends on how one views the situation. Based on researches, it has been understood that there are several components that makes up a persons attitude. The components could be like for example, an emotional ...