People use the term attitude in many contexts. For our purposes, though, an attitude is a lasting, general evaluation of people (including oneself), objects, advertisements or issues. We assimilate information from a variety of sources and often put a lot of effort into forming an attitude toward many things. Consumers have attitudes toward a wide range of attitude objects, from product-specific behaviors (e.g. you use Crest toothpaste rather than Colgate) to more general, consumption-related behaviors (e.g. how often you should brush your teeth).
Attitudes help to determine whom you choose to date, what music you listen to, whether you will recycle aluminum cans, or whether you choose to become a consumer researcher for a living. In this course, we’ll consider the contents of an attitude, how we form attitudes, and how we measure them. We will also review some of the surprisingly complex relationships between attitudes and behavior and then take a closer look at how marketers can change these attitudes.