Explain the terms ' Attitudes and Values'

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marbar57 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

An attitude is a hypothetical construct that represents an individual's degree of like or dislike for an item. Attitudes are generally positive or negative views of a person, place, thing, or event—this is often referred to as the attitude object.  Attitudes are judgments. 

There is nothing more trying to the human soul that someone else's bad attitude!  And where do bad attitudes come from?  Basically speaking, "Attitudes are caught, not taught."  So, attitudes often go hand in hand with prejudice.  All is not lost, however, in that attitudes can be greatly influenced, eradicated, and molded.

Values reflect a person’s sense of right and wrong or what “ought” to be.   Values tend to influence attitudes and behavior.  Values are an integral part of every culture. With worldview and personality, they generate behavior. Being part of a culture that shares a common core set of values creates expectations and predictability without which a culture would disintegrate and its members would lose their personal identity and sense of worth.   Values tell people what is good, beneficial, important, useful, beautiful, desirable, constructive...etc.  They answer the question of why people do what they do. Values help people solve common human problems for survival. Over time, they become the roots of traditions that groups of people find important in their day-to-day lives.

So, values, morals, and behaviors form our attitudes, either for good or bad.  Once we have a certain attitude, it takes concerted effort on ours or someone else's part to change it.