Attitude vs Behavior: Difference and Comparison

The terms “attitude” and “behaviour” are psychological terms related to the personality or character of a person. They are confused and used interchangeably but are very distinct terms. In simple words, the behaviour of a person towards someone or something reflects his/her attitude towards the same.

Key Takeaways

  1. Attitude refers to an individual’s mental disposition towards a person, object, or situation, while behavior is the outward expression or action resulting from that attitude.
  2. Attitudes are internal and may not always be visible, whereas behavior is external and observable.
  3. Attitudes can influence behavior, but external factors and situational variables also shape an individual’s actions.

Attitude VS Behavior

Attitude is a term used to describe an individual’s mental state or disposition towards a particular object, person, or situation. Behavior is a term used to describe the observable actions or reactions of an individual in response to their environment. Behavior can be conscious or unconscious.

Attitude VS Behavior
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A person’s attitude refers to his/her outlook, feelings, opinions, or disposition towards themselves, some person, thing, place, or event. It is the outcome of their experiences or observations in their life.

The attitude of a person is a part of their personality. It influences the individual’s thoughts and actions.

The behaviour of a person refers to his/her actions. They are a kind of reaction to their surroundings, and these reactions are influenced by their thoughts.

It is a response to things that are happening internally or externally with a human being. The behaviour of a person is how he/she represents themselves in front of the world. An individual’s thoughts and actions influence it.

Comparison Table

Parameters of ComparisonAttitudeBehaviour
MeaningIt is how a person feels or thinks in a particular situation or towards something or someone.It is how a person behaves or acts in response to his/her surroundings, according to his thoughts.
Result ofObservation and experienceThoughts and feelings in a particular situation
Result toThinking process and behaviour of a personThe reflection of that person’s character and attitudes
Typesnegative and positiveinnate and learned
Related toPsychologySociology

What is Attitude?

The attitude of a person is his/her mindset, outlook, feelings, beliefs, position, thinking, etc., regarding a thing, person, or topic; in their mind. Different attitudes of a person towards different things make him/her who they are.


There are mainly 4 types of attitudes:

  1. Positive attitude – A person has a positive attitude when he/she keeps a positive mindset and thinking about certain things. Psychologists and mental health experts advise people to keep a positive attitude in all types of circumstances, as it has many benefits and helps bring out good behaviour, such as happiness, sincerity, determination, confidence, etc.
  2. Negative attitude– A person has a negative attitude when he/she keeps a negative mindset about certain things. It is something that every person should avoid. A person with a negative attitude tends to avoid all the good things going on in life, which makes him/her behave negatively in all situations, for example, Anger, Frustration, Doubt, etc.
  3. Neutral attitude– A person has a neutral attitude when he/she tends to ignore all their problems and pleasures. They are lazy people. They do not tend to think or care much about anything. A neutral attitude is also not recommended. These people feel disconnected quite often.
  4. Sikken attitude– This type of attitude is considered to be very dangerous as people with this kind of attitude are highly negative and destructive. It is necessary to let go of this kind of attitude.
  5. In psychology, there are 3 types of attitudes, namely:
    • Cognitive
    • Emotional
    • And, Behavioral
Attitude

What is Behavior?

A person’s behaviour is how he/she acts, behaves, or reacts in a certain situation. The behaviour of a person is driven by their attitude and feelings, the nature of the person, and the nature of the situation.

It is a response to things that are happening internally (thoughts and feelings) or externally (surroundings and environment).

A person’s behaviour is how he/she acts, behaves, or reacts in a certain situation. Their attitude and feelings drive it. It indicates who he is from the inside.

  1. It is a response to things that are happening with a person, internally (thoughts and feelings) or externally (surroundings and environment).
  2. Behaviour also has some purposes:
    • Communication – through facial expressions, body language, gestures and silence.
    • Function – attract attention, gain an indoor or sensory sensation, assist in meeting a necessity, access associate degree item or activity, or flee from one thing.
  3. Behaviour may be adjusted according to positive or negative circumstances from the person’s surroundings or according to self-regulated intentions.
  4. Some studies tell that human behaviour can be classified as Optimistic, Pessimistic, Trusting, and Envious.
  5. Human behaviours are classified into many types and categories, and they can also be classified into these three categories in psychology, they are as follows:

I. Molecular and Moral behaviour – Molecular behaviour is an unexpected behaviour that occurs as a reflex to the surroundings. Whereas, Moral behaviour is the behaviour that occurs after thinking and understanding.
II. Overt and Covert behaviour – Normal behaviour, which is visible, is known as overt behaviour, for example, eating food, cycling, etc. Whereas, Covert behaviour is the behaviour that is not visible, for example, thinking or overthinking.
III. Voluntary and involuntary behaviour – Voluntary behaviour is driven by human want. For example, eating, drinking, etc. Whereas involuntary behaviour includes natural human habits, which occur without thinking.

behavior

Main Differences Between Attitude and Behavior

The main difference between Attitude and Behavior is that a person’s attitude refers to his/her thoughts, feelings, or opinions about themselves, someone, or something.
Whereas the behaviour of a person refers to how he/she acts or reacts in a particular situation or responds to their surroundings.

  1. A person’s attitude is primarily based on his observations and experiences in life. In contrast, a person’s behaviour depends on the situation he/she is in.
  2. The Attitude of a person reflects his/her way of thinking. Whereas the behaviour of a person reflects their manners.
  3. A person’s attitude is their inner thoughts and feelings. While their behaviour reveals their attitude.
  4. Attitude is a natural quality of humans. And behaviour is an inherent element.
  5. A person’s perception of things determines attitude. However, their behaviour is influenced by social norms.
Difference Between Attitude and Behavior
References
  1. https://psycnet.apa.org/record/1998-11538-004
  2. https://www.emerald.com/insight/content/doi/10.1108/13555850910950059/full/html

Last Updated : July 13th, 2023

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