Pub. date: 2011 | Online Pub. Date: October 04, 2011 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412994163 | Print ISBN: 9781412959636 | Online ISBN: 9781412994163| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Manuel Mora y Araujo
Individuals hold attitudes—and eventually change them—in relation to a wide diversity of topics. They eventually establish connections between one topic and another. Thus, for example, for some individuals, attitudes toward a political topic may be based on attitudes toward other subjects not related to politics. The idea that political attitudes constitute, or should constitute, a separate field has two main roots. One is the tradition connecting the sphere of politics with the kind of well-articulated sets of ideas frequently called “ideologies”; the other is the normative tradition postulating that human beings should approach the realm of politics in a way that is different from how they normally approach other spheres of life, basically by putting aside impulses, affects, and passions. We hear and record opinions, but no one can hear or see attitudes. Attitudes lie within individuals' minds; therefore, they are nonobservable, or latent, properties. To speak about “attitudes,” we ...