Functions of Attitude ( 4 Main Functions of Attitude ) – UPSC

Functions Of Attitude
Share This Post With Your Friends......

Hello friends, welcome to In this article, we have described the four main functions of attitude with examples. Mainly there are only 4 major function of attitude which are 100% Explained in this below article with proper examples.

Four Main Functions Of Attitude :

Attitude performs many functions for an individual. Daniel Katz had propound four main Attitude functions. In this article we have explained all that 4 types of attitude function with proper explanation.

  • Utilitarian function
  • Knowledge function
  • Ego-defensive function
  • value Expressive function

Attitudes are psychological constructs that represent individuals’ positive or negative evaluations of people, places, things, or ideas. Attitudes serve various functions for individuals, such as organizing knowledge, guiding behavior, and maintaining self-esteem. Here are some helpful content on the functions of attitudes with proper explanation and examples

1. Utilitarian Function: ( Functions of Attitude 1 )

It is also known as “Adaptive function”. We adopt positive attitudes towards things that help us or reward us. And try to increase the awards as much as possible and decrease the punishments. It means that we develop positive attitudes towards things that are associate with Rewards. Which develops negative attitude towards things that are associate with punishments.

Thus a person always tries to avoid punishment. In other words any attitude that is accept by a person’s own self-interest is consider to serve a utilitarian function.

Attitudes can serve a utilitarian function by helping individuals to maximize rewards and minimize punishments. For example, if a person has a positive attitude towards exercise, then they are more likely to engage in it, resulting in health benefits. On the other hand, if a person has a negative attitude towards drug use, then they are less likely to use drugs, avoiding negative consequences.

Example of Utilitarian Function:

In an election, generally the people from ST/SC/OBC will support party which promises to keep the reservation. While the people from General category will support party which promises to end reservation. Thus the voting behavior or attitudes of both the groups are influenced by their interests served and utility.

2. Knowledge Function: ( Functions of Attitude 2 )

Attitudes can serve a knowledge function by helping individuals to organize and simplify information about the world. For example, an individual who has a positive attitude towards a particular brand of shoes may use that attitude to organize information about shoes, making it easier for them to make a purchasing decision.

Some attitudes are useful as they help us to develop a better understanding of the world. It also helps us to know the reasons behind any incident. These attitudes help in developing attraction towards people, things or events which will be useful in future. It provides meaning (knowledge) to life.

Attitude helps in determining pre-calculated steps or predicts future events and gives us a sense of control. Thus knowing a person’s attitude helps in predicting his behavior. Attitude helps us to organize and structure our experience.

Example of Knowledge Function:

If we know the person who is religious. Then we can predict that he will go to temple/mosque/church etc, according to his religion for worshiping the God.

3. Ego-Defensive Function: ( Functions of Attitude 3 )

This function of attitude protects us from accepting real or bitter truths about our-self. It also helps a person during emotional conflict situations. And it is also used to define our self-respect or ego. In other words it is use to save our self image. Thus, this function involves different defense mechanisms used by the people to protect themselves from psychological harm.

Attitudes can serve an ego-defensive function by protecting individuals from uncomfortable or threatening information. For example, a person who has a positive attitude towards smoking may discount or ignore information about the negative health.

These mechanisms include Denial, Rationalization and Repression etc. Generally, a person uses the ego defensive function when he is frustrate and wants to satisfy his ego.

4. Value-Expressive Function: ( Functions of Attitude 4 )

This function helps a person in expressing his fundamental values towards other persons. In other words, it serves to express one’s central values and self-concept. Central values tend to establish our identity and gain us social approval thereby showing us who we are, and what we stand for. Generally it comes with humanity.

Attitudes can serve a value-expressive function by allowing individuals to express their core values and beliefs. For example, an individual who strongly believes in animal rights may have a negative attitude towards products that have been tested on animals, and this negative attitude expresses their core values.

The Knowledge and Utilitarian functions comprises of outside needs (i.e. materialistic aspects) while, ego-defensive and value expressive functions comprises of inner needs (i.e. spiritual aspects). To become a successful person a person need to create between inner needs and outer needs.

What are the Components of the Attitude?

Attitude is a term used to describe an individual’s predisposition to respond to a specific object, person, or situation in a certain way. Attitudes are composed of three distinct components: cognitive, affective, and behavioral. In this article, we will explore each of these components in detail and how they contribute to shaping our attitudes towards different things.

1. Cognitive component

The cognitive component of attitude refers to the beliefs, thoughts, and knowledge that an individual has about a particular object, person, or situation. It is the way we think about something, our ideas and opinions about it. This component can be formed through direct experience, observation, and education. For example, a person who has a positive cognitive component towards exercise may believe that it is good for their health, enjoyable, and provides a sense of accomplishment.

2. Affective component

The affective component of attitude refers to the emotional or feeling component of an individual’s attitude towards something. This component includes the emotional reactions, likes, dislikes, and preferences that a person associates with the object, person, or situation. For example, a person who has a positive affective component towards dogs may feel happy, comfortable, and safe in their presence.

3. Behavioral component

The behavioral component of attitude refers to the way an individual behaves or acts towards an object, person, or situation. This component is shaped by the cognitive and affective components of attitude and is influenced by situational factors such as social norms, roles, and expectations. For example, a person who has a positive behavioral component towards recycling may actively seek out recycling bins and encourage others to do the same.

It is important to note that these three components are interrelated and affect each other. For example, a person’s affective component towards exercise may influence their cognitive component, leading them to believe that exercise is beneficial for their health. This, in turn, may lead to a positive behavioral component, where the person engages in regular exercise.



What is Attitude and Behavior?

It is the feeling of great respect or admiration towards something and is known as  the “mother of moral life”. Reverent men live their life in such a way that others would automatically respect them. For ex: Mahatma Gandhiji, Dr APJ Abdul Kalam.

Reverent man knows that the world is greater than him. They do not behave like kings and are down to earth while dealing with other people. And they care about the needs and feelings of the other people. Reverence is the pre-supposition for true love because such people care and respect others. They are also very responsible towards their own work and also to other people.

The fundamental reason behind our attitude towards our-self, neighbors, culture, society or country is the attitude of reverence. This feeling of reverence binds a child to his mother. A soldier sacrifices his life because of his reverence towards the country.

Some Difference Between Attitude and Behavior

Attitude and behavior are two distinct but interrelated concepts that are often used interchangeably. While they are related, there are important differences between the two.

Attitude refers to an individual’s evaluation or perception of an object, person, or situation. It is a psychological construct that is made up of three components: cognitive, affective, and behavioral. The cognitive component refers to the beliefs and thoughts an individual has about something, the affective component refers to the emotions or feelings associated with it, and the behavioral component refers to the actions or behaviors that result from the attitude. Attitudes are often seen as a precursor to behavior, as they can influence a person’s actions and decisions.

Behavior, on the other hand, refers to the actions or reactions of an individual in response to a particular situation or stimulus. It is the observable manifestation of an individual’s thoughts, feelings, and attitudes. Unlike attitudes, behavior can be directly observed and measured.

One key difference between attitude and behavior is that attitude is an internal construct, while behavior is an external one. Attitudes are based on personal beliefs and perceptions, while behavior is based on external factors such as situational factors, social norms, and peer pressure.

Another difference is that attitudes are more stable and long-lasting than behavior, which can vary depending on the situation. For example, a person may have a positive attitude towards exercising, but their behavior may not always reflect this attitude if they are feeling tired or lazy.

In addition, attitudes and behavior may not always be consistent with each other. A person may have a positive attitude towards a certain behavior, but not engage in it due to external factors such as time constraints or lack of resources. Similarly, a person may engage in a behavior that goes against their attitudes due to social pressure or conformity.

How are attitudes formed?

It is basically “Consistency” i.e. no variation in the attitude of the person. A faithful person alone is reliable and responsible. He stands firm in the movement of trial. The more faithful or more consistent a men is, he will be richer and more substantial. He will be more capable of being a vessel of moral values He will have purity, justice, humanity, love and goodness. These things radiate from him. The foundational attitude of faithfulness is also the presupposition for reliability in every condition Faithfulness is viewed from two senses:

Narrow Sense: Faithfulness towards ourselves, friends, family, society and Country etc.

Broad Sense: However, if viewed from broad sense than it imparts internal affection and unity ton the whole human life.

The development of personality of any person is only possible when he remains consistent and stands firm on his Values. However, change is the rule of nature but with respective of changes a person should stand firm and has faith in his fundamental truths and Values. For ex: Yours’s faithfully is written at the bottom of letter by the subordinate to show the trust on his superior.


In conclusion, attitudes are complex constructs that are made up of cognitive, affective, and behavioral components. These components are interrelated and can be influenced by personal experiences, social norms, media, and culture. Understanding these components can help us to better understand our own attitudes and those of others, leading to more effective communication and stronger relationships.

Attitudes can also be influenced by a variety of factors, including personal experiences, social norms, media, and culture. For example, a person’s cultural background may influence their attitudes towards certain social issues or political views.

Understanding the components of attitude can be useful in many areas of life, including personal relationships, work environments, and social interactions. By understanding the cognitive, affective, and behavioral components of attitudes, we can better understand our own attitudes and those of others. This can help us to communicate more effectively, resolve conflicts, and build stronger relationships.

Video On Function Of Attitude For UPSC Aspirants :

                                                      THANK YOU FOR READING

Share This Post With Your Friends......

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *