Social Psychology And Their Measurement

2350 Words10 Pages
Attitudes are said to be a central concept in social psychology and their measurement is even more intriguing for the researchers. Throughout the years many psychologists and sociologists have had major disputes concerning the exact definition of attitudes (Fleming 1967; Rokeach 1969; Fishbein & Ajzen 1975). The concept itself has been so ambiguous that it is difficult to perceive how the definitions are conceptually similar or different from one another. Along with the conflicts about the exact science definition, the investigators have developed many different kinds of measurement which can be used nowadays as well (Thurstone 1928; Likert 1932; Guttman 1944; Osgood 1957).
This essay has the purpose to summarise and explain the concept of
…show more content…
Back then the concept was more physical than psychological. People used the word to describe the posture of figure, while nowadays this is only a secondary meaning. Studying attitudes has been an interest for psychologists since the early 1918 when Thomas and Znaniecki first made a study on attitudes by using Polish immigrants as a subject (Thomas & Znaniecki 1918). It is considered to be the first scientific research on this broad topic and the first to propose that the study of attitudes is a central task of social psychology. The process of becoming social psychology’s most important concept continues with Chein in 1948 when he writes that defining attitude is not a definition of a word, but a definition of a whole area in psychology (Chein 1948). According to him an attitude is independent of how it is learned. On the other hand, Asch (1952) and Allport (1950) suggest that attitudes are either formed by past experiences or learned. In his ‘Handbook of Social Psychology’ Allport also suggest that this concept has both physical and mental role. He is giving as an evidence the root of the word ‘attitude’ – form the Latin ‘aptus’ it means ‘fitness’ or ‘adaptedness’, but again deriving from the same Latin root the word ‘aptitude’ means ‘mental preparation for action’ (Allport 1954). Later on Fleming would argue that Darwin took the first step to attitude measurement by using the concept to
Open Document