Attitudes can positively or negatively affect a person’s behavior, regardless of whether the individual is aware of the effects.
Attitudes can positively or negatively affect a person’s behavior. A person may not always be aware of his or her attitude or the effect it is having on behavior. For example, a person who has positive attitudes towards work and co-workers (such as contentment, friendliness, etc.) can positively influence those around them. These positive attitudes are usually manifested in a person’s behavior; people with a good attitude are active and productive and do what they can to improve the mood of those around them. In much the same way, a person who displays negative attitudes (such as discontentment, boredom, etc.), will behave accordingly. People with these types of attitudes may likewise affect those around them and behave in a manner that reduces efficiency and effectiveness.
Behavior can likewise influence attitude. The foot-in-the-door phenomenon, for example, occurs when a person is convinced to take a small step towards a larger goal, as that will likely lead to larger steps towards the same goal later. Another example is the role-playing effect, where people are assigned a role and told to behave in a certain way. This was evident in the work of Zimbardo’s Stanford prison experiment where assignees as prisoners followed the role and adopted the attitude of being hopeless and helpless.