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Mains Practice Questions

  • Q. “Attitude is a little thing that makes a big difference.” Discuss the factors which contribute to the formation of Attitude in an individual’s life. (150 Words)

    11 Feb, 2022 GS Paper 4 Theoretical Questions


    • Begin by defining the term attitude
    • Enumerate the various factors responsible for attitude formation and explain them with help of examples
    • Conclude with the need to develop the right attitude in life


    Attitude can be defined as a learned –as opposed to an in-born-tendency to evaluate things in a certain way. This can include evaluations of people, issues, objects or events. Such evaluations are often favourable or unfavourable but they can also be uncertain at times. An attitude is an expression of favour or disfavour toward a person, place, thing, or event (or the attitude object).


    There are numerous factors which contribute to the formation of attitude towards different things. Some of these factors are:

    • Culture: Culture exerts enormous influence on an individual. Culture in itself includes religion, tradition, customs, prohibitions, rewards and sanctions. Socialisation is the process by which culture shapes the attitudes of the people. Culture teaches individual beliefs, attitudes and behaviour that are acceptable in one’s life and society. For example: consuming beef in India is generally considered taboo but in western countries, there is no such restriction.
    • Family: Family is the most important and closest social group for a person. It is the nursery for attitudinal formation. Parents are more influential among the family system who structure and mould the attitude of a child. Extended family and sibling relationships, in particular, play an important role in attitude formation.
    • Social Groups: Several social groups apart from family play an important role in attitude formation which includes friends, peers, colleagues, etc. Consider the voting pattern in India. There are people who do not listen to candidate’s speeches, read newspapers or follow debates. They talk with friends, family, etc. and vote for a candidate. Families, friends and other such social groups most definitely influence the choice of a candidate.
    • Institutions: A man is never alone. From cradle to grave he is under the influence of one institution or the other. For example, educational institutes like schools and colleges act as repositories of knowledge, direct and shape the beliefs, values of a person and thus form attitudes.
    • Familiarity: Familiarity breeds positive attitude. Man generally has a fear of the unknown, so anything familiar might make him or her feel at peace. Familiarity and classical conditioning act on emotions of an individual and therefore shape the affective component of attitudes.


    Developing the right attitude in life is one of the indispensable ingredients for excelling in professional life and growing one’s personality to the maximum extent. As Thomas Jefferson said- “Nothing can stop the man with the right mental attitude from achieving his goal, nothing on earth can help the man with the wrong mental attitude.”

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