The advantages of an inclusive definition of attitude

Alice H Eagly*, Shelly Chaiken

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

453 Scopus citations


In The Psychology of Attitudes, we provided an abstract - or umbrella - definition of attitude as "a psychological tendency that is expressed by evaluating a particular entity with some degree of favor or disfavor" (Eagly & Chaiken, 1993, p. 1). This definition encompasses the key features of attitudes - namely, tendency, entity (or attitude object), and evaluation. This conception of attitude distinguishes between the inner tendency that is attitude and the evaluative responses that express attitudes. Our definition invites psychologists to specify the nature of attitudes by proposing theories that provide metaphors for the constituents of the inner tendency that is attitude. We advocate theoretical metaphors that endow attitudes with structural qualities.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)582-602
Number of pages21
JournalSocial Cognition
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 1 2007

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology


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