To prepare for ETHICS for any competitive exam, aspirants have to know about the Attitude. It gives an idea of all the important topics for the IAS Exam and the Economy syllabus (GS-IV.). Attitude terms are important from Ethical perspectives in the UPSC exam. IAS aspirants should thoroughly understand their meaning and application, as questions can be asked from this static portion of the IAS Syllabus in both the UPSC Prelims and the UPSC Mains exams. Even these topics are also highly linked with current affairs. Almost every question asked from them is related to current events. So, apart from standard textbooks, you should rely on newspapers and news analyses as well for these sections.
WHAT IS ATTITUDE
- “Attitude is the State of mind or a set of views or settled way of thinking or feeling about something in a particular way which has an evaluative feature (Positive, Negative or Neutral)” Attitude is part of social Psychology.
- Attitudes are abstract constructs, not something we can directly observe. We can observe them only with behaviour. To elaborate, whenever a person sees or think about targeted object, the sum of thoughts and emotions that created in a person constitute attitude.
- In our day to day life, our attitude determines our behaviour towards people, situations, events etc. which in turn shapes the larger social interaction in societies.
HOW AN ATTITUDE FORMS?
- In general, attitudes form part of our cognitive system by learning through one’s own experiences and through interaction with others.
- There are three stages in people’s life when most of our attitudes are formed or when we learn how to evaluate things.
- It’s the early childhood and adolescence which are tender stages of attitude formation as the person has no particular attitude toward most of the objects when he is born.
- There are few research studies shows that some inborn aspects of attitude but such genetic factors influence our attitudes indirectly along with learning but not directly. Therefore, to form certain specific attitudes there are few specific conditions required.
- Learning by Association: First level of association happened at the level of Parents and Family. We form our attitudes towards something by learning from parents. Next level of association happened at the school level with teacher and friends. Third level of association at organisational level where we work. If we are company of good people, we develop good attitudes. Or even by associating with books we can learn certain attitudes.
“Positive attitudes learned through positive association between us and associated person”
Learning by being rewarded or punished (Instrumental Conditioning): Rewards and punishments create certain attitudes on basis of their personal experiences. Such attitudes may be positive or negative depends how it influence him/her.
Learning through Modelling (Observing others): Often, it’s not association nor by rewards or punishments but sometimes we learn attitudes by observing celebrities or teachers or parents or role models etc.
Learning attitudes through Cultural Norms: Very often we learn attitudes through norms of our culture. Norms are unwritten rules about behaviour that everyone supposed to be show under specific circumstances. Over time, these norms may become part of our social cognition, in the form of attitudes.
|Example: Offering coconut and fruits and flowers to the god part of some religious behaviour which is approved by society.|
- Learning attitudes through Social comparison: When owns attitude corroborates with those held by significant others, they are accepted as being accurate response to attitude object.
- Learning through exposure to Information: By exposing to information like auto biographies, books and information through various media like newspapers, internet creates opinion formation which in turn leads to attitude.
|Example: If a govt launches any new policy, we develop specific opinion against such policy by influencing trough newspapers editorials, TV debates.|
Attitude Vs. Values
|· What do you like/dislike?
· Attitude is related to a particular thing.
· Super-set of Values
· Attitude may change with the situation
· Attitude is rather weak and unstable
|· What is important for you?
· Whereas values are general in nature.
· Sub-set of Values
· Values are relatively stable and enduring.
· Values are more strong, intense and durable than attitude.
Techniques with which we learn to evaluate attitude objects and hence a particular type of attitude is formed towards them:
|Classical/ Pavlovian Conditioning:
|In this person is exposed to a positive and neutral stimulus repeatedly and after some time the response to neutral stimuli becomes the same as response to positive stimuli.|
|Instrumental Conditioning:||A process in which a positive behavior when rewarded has more chances of repetition unlike the negative behavior which if repeated would lead to punishment and thus less chances of repetition.
Example – Parents celebrating the success of child by praising them among friends will form positive attitude of child towards success. Further, when parents punish the child for their mistakes, it discourage the child to make those mistakes again.
|Social Observation:||This involves learning from our social environment such as family, school, media and its expression.|
FACTORS INFLUENCING ATTITUDE FORMATION:
The following factors provide the context for the learning of attitudes through the processes described above.
- Family and School Environment: Particularly in the early years of life, parents and other family members play a significant role in shaping attitude formation. Later, the school environment becomes an important background for attitude formation. Learning of attitudes within the family and school usually takes place by association, through rewards and punishments, and through modelling.
- Reference Groups: Reference groups indicate to an individual the norms regarding acceptable behaviour and ways of thinking. Thus, they reflect learning of attitudes through group or cultural norms. Attitudes towards various topics, such as political, religious and social groups, occupations, national and other issues are often developed through reference groups. Their influence is noticeable especially during the beginning of adolescence, at which time it is important for the individual to feel that s/he belongs to a group. Therefore, the role of reference groups in attitude formation may also be a case of learning through reward and punishment.
- Personal Experiences: Many attitudes are formed, not in the family environment or through reference groups, but through direct personal experiences which bring about a drastic change in our attitude towards people and our own life.
|Example: A driver in the army went through a personal experience that transformed his life. On one mission, he narrowly escaped death although all his companions got killed. Wondering about the purpose of his own life, he gave up his job in the army, returned to his native village in Maharashtra, and worked actively as a community leader. Through a purely personal experience this individual evolved a strong positive attitude towards community upliftment. His efforts completely changed the face of his village.|
- Media-related Influences: Technological advances in recent times have made audio-visual media and the Internet very powerful sources of information that lead to attitude formation and change. In addition, school level textbooks also influence attitude formation. These sources first strengthen the cognitive and affective components of attitudes, and subsequently may also affect the behavioural component. The media can exert both good and bad influences on attitudes. On one hand, the media and Internet make people better informed than other modes of communication.
CONTENT OF ATTITUDE (ABC OF ATTITUDE)
Cognitive Component of Attitude:
- We develop Cognition through analytical thought process. It is the ability to think and deliberate, basis of which we form our opinions and views. It consists of the following elements:
- Knowledge about the target object
- Awareness about other’s opinion about the object
- Societal opinion
- Cognitive aspect of attitude maybe either positive or negative or even its neutral.
- Example: If a person sees a snake,
- Positive Cognition – Not to kill them but they are part of biodiversity and few worships as god as part of religion
- Negative Cognition – Snakes are Dangerous and kill them
- Neutral Cognition – Neither kill them nor worship
Affective Component of Attitude:
- Affective component deals with emotional aspect of the Attitude that is moods, feelings associated with targeted object. It is the result of past life experiences for longer periods in life.
- If we grow in a poverty conditions and face hunger in the past, we compassion towards weaker section of people who are facing hunger
- If someone victim of corruption he may blame entire officials and system as corrupt.
|Cognitive Aspect||Affective Aspect|
|Deals with Knowledge and Thought||Emotional part|
|Product of deliberate thought and interpretation||Occurs at sub-conscious level|
|Acquired by a person||Ascribed to a person|
|Product of rationality||Maybe or May not be rational|
Behavioural Component of Attitude:
- This is the action towards the target object. It is the tendency to act in a particular way.
- Any kind of Behaviour exhibition depends on the both Affective and Cognitive component of Attitude.
- Affective component
- Cognitive component
Example: A ‘Green Environment’: The A-B-C Components of an Attitude
Suppose a group of people in your neighbourhood start a tree plantation campaign as part of a ‘green environment’ movement. Based on sufficient information about the environment:
- Cognitive: Your view towards a ‘green environment’ is positive (cognitive or ‘C’ component, along with the evaluative aspect).
- Affective: You feel very happy when you see greenery. You feel sad and angry when you see trees being cut down. These aspects reflect the affective (emotional), or ‘A’ component of the same attitude.
- Behavioural: Now suppose you also actively participate in the tree plantation campaign. This shows the behavioural or ‘B’ component of your attitudes towards a ‘green environment’.
In general, we expect all three components to be consistent with each other, that is, in the same direction. However, such consistency may not necessarily be found in all situations.
For example, it is quite possible that the cognitive aspect of your ‘green environment’ attitude is very strong, but the affective and behavioural components may be relatively weaker. Or, the cognitive and affective components may be strong and positive, but the behavioural component may be neutral. Therefore, predicting one component on the basis of the other two may not always give us the correct picture about an attitude.
- Behavioural component is very much important in making India Open defecation free.
- But it should be noted here that some attitudes don’t need to act in a particular direction. Either they just stop at cognitive/Emotional due to fear or shy feeling.
Example: A person who abide by the traffic rules gets angry if someone violates rules like talking on phone while driving but still, he doesn’t try to caution him or compliant to authorities due to fear or take it as usual mindset.
STRUCTURE OF ATTITUDE:
- Structure of attitude includes how positive and negative evaluation are organised within and among the cognitive affective and behavioural component of attitude.
- The structure often decides the extent to which an attitude in question can affect the behaviour of an individual. People with integrity are less ambivalent.
- Attitude structure answers the question that how positive and negative evaluations are organized within and between the components- cognitive, affective and behavioral.
- In one-dimensional perspective it is assumed that presence of positive belief, emotions and behavior prevents the occurrence of negative beliefs, emotions and behavior. Or in other words they are extreme opposites of a scale.
- This perspective thus implies that there is consistency in a person’s attitude towards the attitude object and there will be no attitudinal ambivalence.
- Two-dimensional view suggest that positive and negative elements are stored along two separate dimensions. One dimension reflects positive belief, emotion and behavior elements, and the other dimension reflects many negative belief, emotion and behaviour elements. The attitude may lie anywhere on this two-dimensional plane.
- This view proposes that people can possess any combination of positivity or negativity in their attitudes. Attitudes may subsume little positivity and high negativity, little negativity and high positivity, or no positivity or negativity (i.e., a neutral position).
Thus, attitude structure represents the attitude content and their combination with respect to attitude object which helps us to predict people’s attitude.
FUNCTIONS OF ATTITUDE :
Knowledge Function – Attitude helps us to understand overwhelming amount of information in the world. They are shortcuts, helping us to simplify our perception of the world so that it becomes more manageable, controllable and safer. However in the absence of knowledge about a person, we may use a stereotyped attitude for judging the person.
E.g. – people who are not familiar with nuclear energy may develop an attitude that it is dangerous and should not be used as an energy source.
Utilitarian Function – The utilitarian function exists in attitudes that maximise rewards and minimise punishments obtained from attitude object. If a person holds or expresses socially acceptable attitude, other people will reward them with approval and social acceptance.
E.g. – politicians show positive attitude towards reservation as in help in getting votes.
- Object-Appraisal Function – It is often considered the most basic function of attitudes. It holds that all attitudes serve to simplify reasoning and behavior by providing guide for how to interact with (i.e. approach or avoid) an attitude object. This function is served by all attitudes which are strong and repetitive in nature and thus easy to retrieve from memory.
- Ego Defence – Ego defence refers to holding an attitude that protects our self-esteem or that justify action that makes us feel guilty. Attitude helps to protect us from ourselves and from other and to explain why we have done something that could be seen undesirable.
- Social-adjustive function – It causes people to like attitude objects (e.g. car, places like restaurants) that are popular among people whom they admire and dislike attitude objects that are unpopular.
- Emotions Experience function – Another basic function of attitudes is that they help people to experience emotions. Emotions themselves fulfill basic psychological needs, and, thus, people go for emotional experiences, even when the experiences are unpleasant (horror movies). One way of experiencing these emotions is through the possession and expression of strong positive or negative attitudes. For example, people can have positive attitude towards pet animals because it helps in fulfilling their emotional need of care, affection, love and loyalty.
- Value expression – Attitudes are manifestation of our values. Attitude helps us to relate to ourselves & to others, presenting a fairly unified image which helps to establish our identity for both ourselves and for others. The attitude we express help communicate who we are & may makes us feel good because we have asserted our identity.
- During the process of attitude formation, and also after this process, attitudes may be changed and modified through various influences.
- Attitudes that are still in the formative stage, and are more like opinions, are much more likely to change compared to attitudes that have become firmly established, and have become a part of the individual’s values.
- From a practical point of view, bringing about a change in people’s attitudes is of interest to community leaders, politicians, producers of consumer goods, advertisers, and others. Unless we find out how attitudes change, and what conditions account for such change, it would not be possible to take steps to bring about attitude change.
The change in attitude can be of because of two types of influences:
|· Informational influence is defined as the change in opinions or behavior that occurs when we conform to people whom we believe have accurate information. We base our beliefs on information given by experts such as scientists as well as our own family and friends.
· Informational conformity lead to real, long-lasting, changes in beliefs. The result of informational influence is normally private acceptance which refers to real change in attitude of people.
· For instance – Reports on plastic pollution has lead people and respective governments to change attitude towards plastic use rising inclination towards searching for alternative.
|· It occurs when we express opinions or behave in ways that help us to be accepted or that keep us from being isolated or rejected by others. When we engage in normative influence we conform to social norms or socially accepted beliefs about what we do or should do in particular social contexts.
· The outcome of normative influence is public conformity rather than private acceptance.
· Public conformity is a superficial change in behavior that is not accompanied by an actual change in one’s private opinion or attitude. Impact of social influence may appear in our public behavior even though we may believe something completely different in private.
· E.g. A person can treat women at work place as equal colleagues due to norms at work place but in home he may have different attitude towards his wife or sister where the patriarchal and regressive attitude is reflected in his actions.
|Majority influence occurs when the beliefs held by the larger number of individuals in the current social group are adopted by everyone.
Minority influence occurs when the beliefs held by the smaller number of individuals in the current social group prevail.
FACTORS THAT INFLUENCE ATTITUDE CHANGE:
- Characteristics of existing attitude – Positive attitude is easily subjected to change compared to Negative attitude.
- Example: If a person reading about women empowerment after seeing successful women his positive attitude towards women become more positive or his positive attitude may become negative fearful of in future women may become more powerful and dominate men and ignores family responsibilities.
- Source Characteristics – Source credibility affect attitude change. Attitudes more likely to change if a message comes from highly credible source.
- Example: If an Engineering student planning to buy a laptop are more convinced by a computer professional who explains the features than a school child explains the same features.
- Message Characteristics – Attitude will change when the information present in the message is enough but neither too extreme information nor too low information. Also, whether the information has rational or emotional appeal also matters.
- An advertisement for cooking food in a pressure cooker may point out that this saves fuel such as cooking gas (LPG) and is economical (rational appeal). Alternatively, the advertisement may say that pressure-cooking preserves nutrition, and that if one cares for the family, nutrition would be a major concern (emotional appeal). The motives activated by the message also determine attitude change.
- Drinking milk may be said to make a person healthy and good-looking, or more energetic and more successful at one’s job.
- Mode of Spreading the Message – Mode of spreading the message plays a significant role. Face-to-face transmission of the message is usually more effective than indirect transmission, as for instance, through letters and pamphlets, or even through mass media.
- Example: A positive attitude towards Oral Rehydration Salts (ORS) for young children is more effectively created if community social workers and doctors spread the message by talking to people directly, than by only describing the benefits of ORS on the radio.
- Target Characteristics – Qualities of the target, such as persuasibility, strong prejudices, self-esteem, and intelligence influence the likelihood and extent of attitude change. People, who have a more open and flexible personality, change more easily. People with strong prejudices are less prone to any attitude change than those who do not hold strong prejudices. Persons who have a low self-esteem, and do not have sufficient confidence in themselves, change their attitudes more easily than those who are high on self-esteem.
RELATION BETWEEN ATTITUDE AND BEHAVIOUR
Following factors influences relation between Attitude & Behaviour:
- Qualities of a person – Values like courage, integrity etc.
- People who are aware of their feeling display greater attitude behaviour consistently then those people who rely on situational question to decide how to behave.
- People with high level of integrity show high correlation between Attitude and Behaviour.
- People in individual society have more correlation compared to people in collective society.
- Individuals who depend on their own feelings and principles to judge act much more consistently with their attitudes towards moral issue than the people who rely on external standards to determine what is moral.
- Qualities of attitude – Strong and weak attitude show high and low correlation between attitude and behaviour.
- Attitude accessibility – Attitudes which are acted upon on regular basis are more accessible from memory. Such attitudes show higher correlation with behaviour.
- Norms or belief about how one should or is expected to behave in a given situation can exert a powerful influence on behaviour.
- Time pressure results in behaviour as per attitude
- Survival instincts dominate attitude.
STEPS TO INCREASE CORRELATION BETWEEN ATTITUDE AND BEHAVIOUR:
- Development of emotional intelligence.
- Attitude literacy – learn what attitudes are. Identify your good and bad attitudes.
- Connecting with conscience – try to understand the reasons behind holding particular attitude.
- Developing values of integrity and truthfulness.
- Discovering ways to motivate yourself.
- See change as an opportunity to grow.
- Seeing criticism as an feedback and opportunity to achieve excellence.
TYPES OF ATTITUDE:
Though we are having many types of attitudes but mainly we deal with four types of attitudes. They are:
- Moral Attitudes
- Political Attitudes
- Bureaucratic Attitudes
- Democratic Attitudes
Morality refers to righteousness. Moral attitudes are attitudes concerned with righteous manner. Thus, Moral attitudes is not a neutral concept. It is a bias towards righteousness or virtuousness. Some of the moral attitudes are:
- Love & Compassion
- We born with materialistic nature. Any materialistic nature of life consists of three modes, they are – Goodness, Passion & Ignorance. When living entity comes in contact with nature, he is subjected to these three modes.
- Goodness refers to the Good intentions in our actions. This is the Mother of all Moral attitudes. All other moral attitudes derived from this. Good actions start with good intentions.
- Goodness is the pre-condition for inner happiness. Goodness is purer than other modes of life and it frees one from sinful actions. Those who situated in this mode develop knowledge but they become conditioned by the concept of happiness.
- Passion is loaded with unlimited desires and belongings. Because of this one bound to materialistic activities.
|· A person loaded with goodness becomes a good human Being.
· A person loaded with passion leads a materialistic nature of life
· A person loaded with ignorance becomes unnecessary asset to the society.
- Ignorance comes with laziness. It is root cause of suffering and delusion of all living entities. The result will be madness, sleep and unhappy and no purpose to the life.
- Sometime mode of ignorance becomes prominent and defeating the mode of goodness. And sometimes passion prominent over others and similarly goodness defeats other modes of life. There is always competition among them for supremacy.
|Immanuel Kant – Rational human beings should be treated as an end in themselves and not as a means to something else.
- Human beings are having dignity and value. They are autonomous and ends themselves. Every living entity has to be treated with respect, Give Respect And Take Respect.
Love & Compassion
- Love is deep affection towards others and compassion is action oriented sympathetic feeling for someone’s sufferings and misfortunes.
|Feeling of affection towards someone we know personally||Feeling of affection towards someone either we know them personally or don’t know them at all|
|We are ready to sacrifice for them – Self Interest||We act selflessness|
|Love is part of compassion||Compassion is much bigger than Love|
|Defined in terms of relationships||Defined in terms of Humanity|
- Selflessness is willing to act without expecting anything in return. A selfless action is the of basis of all existence. Consciousness is the basis of selfless action.
- Advita Philosophy talks about self-consciousness. It states that we treat other souls as our souls. Then we tend to help each other without expecting anything return which results in positive universal emotions and no negative feelings.
It’s the basic awareness of the emotions and feelings of others. Empathy is the basis of an Emotional Intelligence, ability to use our emotions in a positive way to overcome conflicts and challenges. We can develop this attitude only when we are selfless. It is simply stepping into someone’s shoes.
|Understands others feelings without feeling at yourself||Understanding others feelings by feeling personally||Unconditional love applied towards others sufferings|
|Self – Oriented||Self – Oriented – “I am Hurt too “||Look from Humanity Perspective|
- Political Attitudes are a set of with which an individual approaches a political problem and which determines his line of conduct towards that problem.
- It’s also a set of rules & regulations, customs, traditions, beliefs that influences the political system of that country.
- The sum total of political attitudes of an individual reveals that person’s outlook on the aspect on the political aspect of social living. They define the relationship between the citizen, govt and functions of political system.
1. Voting behaviour of voters in an Elections decided by political attitudes followed by individual and political parties
2. Govt policies were of socialist nature when India got independence but after LPG era in 1990’s India opened its economy and followed pro market policy.
Some of the Political Attitudes are:
|At Individual Level
|Political Attitudes towards specific social issues||At Political Party level
|Attitude of People towards political system – Reactionary, Conservative, Progressive.||Employment, Gender equality, social behaviour, poverty, etc.
|Political attitudes of parties towards state – Leftist , Centrist, Rightist.|
- After the Independence, India adopted western liberal democratic form of government where there is a nominal head instead of hereditary. The Representative form of govt having features such as rule of law, independent judiciary, federal spirit, Unbiased and committed bureaucracy, free and fair elections, Elections based on Universal adult franchise etc
- But even after seven decades of independence, these democratic institutions failed to perform to the expected level where as western democracies was successful. It’s the country’s political system that determines and influences the functioning of these institutions and in turn decides the success of other institutions like economic progress, fiscal discipline, administration and elections.
- Our political system in structure wise on lines of western liberal democracy but in reality, it’s in feudal in nature resulting in their failure. This is true in case of functioning of political party system. It’s based on the multi-party system, FPTP voting system and Universal adult franchise etc. But outcomes of elections and functioning of political parties not determined by cognitions. They appeal to public’s emotions rather than their progress.
- Western democracies and Indian democracy, main difference lies in the political attitudes of the people.
- Voting Behaviour of public decided by emotions, ideology and progress and development report card of the govt.
|Least developed democratic culture.||Stick to particular ideology irrespective or democratic or not.||Most developed democratic culture|
|Appeals to vote based on emotions of the public.||Appeals votes based on ideology||Appeals votes based on progress report of the govt|
|Social issues like poverty, unemployment, economy having no role to play here||Ideology overshadows the social issues||Social issues play major role in winning|
|Caste support, votes based on religion, region etc, sympathy votes if any particular leader of a community dies||Leftist, centrist and Right-wing ideology||Development and economic progress, political stability etc|
We have constitution but we lack “constitutionalism” in the country. We should take steps to strengthen the democratic institutions in letter and spirit.
Some of the Bureaucratic attitudes which an official should possess are (Which will discuss in detail in the next chapter)
- Commitment to the ideals of the Constitution
- Transparency & Accountability
- Abide to the rules & regulations but one should possess empathy and compassion also
- Courage of Conviction
- 4E – Economy, Efficiency, Effectiveness & Equity
- Non – Partisanship
- Proactive & Dynamic
Democratic attitudes are a set of values which strengthens the democracy. Some of the common examples of democratic attitudes are,
- Freedom and Liberty
- Equality & Rule of law
- Rights and Duties etc.
Freedom And Liberty:
- The term liberty means absence of restraints on the activities of individuals and at the same time, providing opportunities for the development of individual personalities.
- Constitution of India secures the citizens liberties by putting them under its preamble mentioned as:
“Liberty of thought, expression, belief, faith, and worship”
- Every individual freedom to enjoy his liberty as sanctioned by the law. The duty of the law is to safeguard one’s personal liberty.
- Law and Liberty: The law and liberty are twins and are connected to each other to sanction equal treatment equally for all.
- Understanding the concept of liberty begins in the classroom by the conduct and attitude of student towards his teacher and his classmates. Raising questions to clarify doubts to his class teacher is his/her right, but the sanction of it becomes liberty.
- Liberty is just the sanction of law and the restrictions imposed are also a kind of liberty. Conducive learning environment of classroom, conditions the student to understand the meaning and the purpose of liberty. The basic fact of liberty is that law is the condition of liberty.
Two Phases of Liberty:
|Positive liberty:||Negative Liberty:|
|Positive liberty mean freedom to do something that the individual should have rights and opportunities to develop his personality.
|For J.S. Mill, liberty means Negative liberty He submitted that there should not be any restraint imposed upon man and his actions. He also asserted that there should not be any hindrance in the path of man.|
|· John Locke: Where there is no law there is no freedom.
· John Stuart Mill’s Harm Principle:
Ø Self-regarding actions – Affects no other persons: Here state no role to interfere
Ø Other regarding actions – Causes harm to others: External/state interference
· Rousseau: Man was born free, but everywhere he is in chains.
· Harold J. Laski: Liberty is the eager maintenance of that atmosphere in which men have the opportunity to be their best selves.
· Gettel: Definite laws, sure enforcement and equality before law marked the advance of civil liberty of man to man
· Hegel: State is a March of God upon earth and it is the highest expression and organ of social morality.
How does law protect liberty?
- Provides congenial atmosphere for the smooth running of civilized life in society. Law punish criminal and defends the rights of the individuals.
- Law guarantee the enjoyment of individual rights and duties and protect them. The state punishes the individual who causes harm to others and hinders path of others.
- Constitution is custodian of liberty and it confines the authority of the state and protects the fundamental right of the people.
|How Liberty is safeguarded?
· Liberty is safer in the Democratic form of govt than any other form of govt
· Rule of law
· Fundamental rights
· Independent judiciary
· Decentralisation of powers
· Economic security – It creates a equity based society where everyone gets equal opportunity.
· Political education and vigilance
- Equality is a powerful moral and political ideal that has inspired and guided human society for many centuries. Concept of equality invokes the idea that all human beings have an equal worth regardless of their colour, gender, race, or nationality. It maintains that human beings deserve equal consideration and respect because of their common humanity. Shared humanity lies in the universal human rights.
- Liberty and rights lead to a third principle in political theory, which is of equality. Equality determines how rights are to be distributed amongst the individuals as citizens and groups, both whether equally or unequally.
- Equality, which means state of being equal. It signifies ‘having the same rights, privileges, treatments, status, and opportunities. Equality is treated as something that relates to distributive principle because of which rights, treatments, and opportunities are distributed amongst the beneficiaries in a fair manner.
- Fairness does not mean all to be treated equally in all circumstances. In fact, it very well means unequal treatment for those who are unequal. Essentially it relates to the principle of justice, because it requires fair distributive principle. However, those who are equal should not be treated as unequal and the unequal as equal.
How equality can be achieved?
- It is necessary sometime to treat people differently in order to ensure that they can enjoy equal rights. Certain differences may have to be taken into account for this need. Some special consideration for the disabled and protection for women employees especially in the corporate and IT industries when they travel amidst work in the night are provided.
- These acts should not be treated as an infringement of equality but an enhancement of equality. Similarly, some of the policies are needed to overcome the hindrances of equality by the government. For example, India follows the principle of reservation and other countries follow affirmative action.
Establishing a Formal Equality: This is the first step towards the ending inequality in the society. Political, economic, social inequalities can be reduced by customs and legal system. In India, our constitution provided equality in the form of fundamental rights and Directive principles of state policy and various other sections of the constitutions and other statutes.
|Civic Equality||Economic Equality||Political Equality|
|· Equality before law (Article 14)
· Prohibition of discrimination on grounds of religion (Article 15)
· Equality of opportunity in matters of public employments (Article 16)
· Abolition of Untouchability (Article 17)
· Abolition of titles (Article 18)
|· Men and women equal right to livelihood and equal pay (Article 39)
· To minimise inequalities in income status, opportunities (Article 38)
|· Universal adult franchise (Article 325 and 326)
Differential Treatment – Formal equality or equality before law not sufficient to make principle equality in reality. Sometimes it necessary to treat people differently in order to ensure that they can enjoy equal rights. For example, Reservations.
Affirmative Action – Affirmative action implies that it is not sufficient to establish formal equality by law. In order to eliminate deep rooted inequalities, some positive measures are necessary and such positive measures could minimize and eliminate slowly the entrenched forms of social inequalities.
Affirmative action Vs Reverse discrimination:
|Affirmative Action:||Reverse Discrimination:|
|Rationale is to enable qualified targeted groups to catch up the effects of past discrimination in the workplace.
|Giving preferential treatment to targeted groups, usually by excluding better-qualified candidates who are not part of the preferred group. Except under unusual circumstances, reverse discrimination is not legal.
Thomas Hobbes: “What good is freedom to a starving man? He cannot eat freedom or drink it”.
Fraternity means a sense of brotherhood. The constitution promotes this feeling of fraternity by the system of single citizenship and fundamental duties promotes harmony and common brotherhood.
- Behaviours are responses/reactions we make or activities we engage in. Behaviours are simple or complex and some behaviours are short and enduring. Some behaviours are overt. Few behaviours are Internal or covert.
- All Behaviours covert or overt are associated with or triggered by some stimulus in the environment or changes that happen internally. Therefore, Behaviour as an association between stimulus and response.
1. When a tiger is walking Infront of you, your heartbeat rises and response should be run from that place
2. During UPSC prelims exam, few aspirants suffers with stress and anxiety
Mind & Behaviour:
- Brain is the most essential part of human body for its survival. Brain controls our thoughts, stores the information required for function of our organs.
- But the mind is the set of faculties including cognitive aspects such as consciousness, imagination, perception, thinking, intelligence, judgement, language and memory, as well as non-cognitive aspects such as emotion and instinct.
- Mind can’t exist without brain but mind is separate entity. There is a relation between mind and behaviour.
- Mind causes a Behaviour. Any particular kind of behaviour depends on our mind responds to the stimulus and environment where we were in.
- By using positive visualisation techniques and feeling positive emotions one can bring significant changes in bodily processes which will reflect in our behaviour.
- Blind people able to imagine the context with mind’s imaginary power and they tend to act according to the situation
- A study proved that a person with blocked arteries was made to visualise that blood was flowing through her/ his blocked arteries. After practicing this over a period of time, significant relief was obtained by these patients as the degree of blockage became significantly less. Use of mental imagery, i.e. images generated by a person in her/his mind, have been used to cure various kinds of phobias (irrational fears of objects and situations).
What causes Human Behaviour?
- The way Human evolved tend to behave in a particular way àAncient humans started their early life with hunting food later they practised settled agriculture. But still some of the tribes following such hunting behaviour.
- Historically Constructed Behaviour à After Aryans invasion caste system started evolving. Now its surviving in matured form of caste hierarchy.
- Culturally Constructed Behaviour à Some cultures treat women as family elder (Matriarchy) and some cultures treats women as subordinate to men (Patriarchy).
- Biological shaping of Behaviour à Genes and Heredity – Maldhari community in Gujarat and Bishnoi community in Rajasthan are protecting animals’ lions and blackbuck from so many generations
- Socio-Cultural shaping of Behaviour à Different behaviour exhibition in food habits: Eating Veg and Non vegetarian food part of socio-cultural shaping of behaviour in India.
ATTITUDE & BEHAVIOR:
Attitude is a set of features which is in evaluation feature and Behaviour is a tendency to act in particular direction. End result of attitude is Behaviour but it can’t be always true. Sometimes we failed up to act to the particular issue.
Is attitude & behaviour will move in same direction?
|Cases where attitudes and behaviour will go hand and hand:
|· If our attitudes are negative our behaviour will never be positive.
· Strong attitude causes tendency to show rigid behaviour
· When there is no external pressure to change our attitudes, behaviour
· When your behaviour not watched by no one your attitudes will be same as behaviour
|Cases where our behaviour different from our attitudes:||· If something rewarding in nature and beneficial to us
· Weak attitudes will eventually cause different behaviour
1. Political parties during campaigns preaches about women empowerment but when it comes to reality no party willing to support women reservation bill in parliament
2. USA & Russia openly supports India’s candidature in security council seat but they are not in favour of security council reforms in reality.
Therefore, Attitudes are not behaviours but they represent a tendency to behave or act in a certain way.
Social behaviour is how social environment influences our thoughts, emotions and behaviour. A pro social behaviour builds a harmonious society but an anti-social behaviour drags country to bottom of the table in the development indices
What causes anti – Social Behaviour:
- Illiteracy and poor level understanding on social issues even among educated people
- Disturbed peace of mind
- Family and health issues
Best way to reduce anti-social behaviour is by providing early intervention services by indulging them in pro social activities. Early Intervention services can help measure anti-social behaviour and effectively teach children and young adults the positive behaviours that should be adopted which they will carry into adulthood and provide a positive social impact on their local society.
In addition to this, by addressing potential challenges at an earlier stage it gives charities the chance to prevent them becoming serious issues that could become a strain on society. A pro social behaviour is the only way to address the anti-social activities.
- Throughout the world, doing good to others and being helpful is described as a virtue. All religions teach us that we should help those who are in need. This behaviour is called helping or pro-social behaviour.
- Pro- social behaviour is very similar to ‘altruism’, which means doing something for or thinking about the welfare of others without any self-interest (in Latin ‘alter’ means ‘other’, the opposite of ‘ego’ which means ‘self’).
1. During recent airplane crash at Kerala airport, local people offered helping hand before the rescue teams arrived. It saves many lives on time.
2. Sharing things, cooperating with others, helping during natural calamities, showing sympathy, doing favours to others, and making charitable donations.
Pro-social behaviour has the following characteristics:
- Aim to do good to others
- To be done without any expectations in return
- Voluntarily gives lending hand where there is no external pressure
- Involves some difficulty or cost to the person. For instance, a person who earns illegally wanted to donate some money to get reputation and his photograph will publish on newspaper. This attitude can’t be called as pro social behaviour.
Immediately after the Mumbai blasts on 11 July, 2006, the community stepped forward to help the blast victims in any way they could. By contrast, on an earlier occasion, nobody came forward to help a girl on a moving suburban train in Mumbai, when her purse was being snatched. The other passengers did nothing to help, and the girl was thrown out of the train. Even as the girl was lying injured on the railway tracks, people living in the buildings around the area did not come to help her.
The question then is: under what conditions, and with what motives do people help others? Still need to study on such behaviour.
But under what circumstances people show their pro-social attitude, it’s difficult to assess such behaviour by looking at the following case study.
Factors Influencing Social Behaviour
- In born attitude of helping others
- Influenced by learning
- Cultural factors
- Value education
- Learning from the lives of great reformers
Norms which conditions Pro Social Behaviour:
- Norm of social Responsibility: We should help anyone who needs help, without considering any other factor.
- Norm of reciprocity: We should help those persons who have helped us in the past.
- Norm of equity: We should help others whenever we find that it is fair to do so.
Example: Many of us may feel that it is fairer to help a person who has lost all belongings in a flood, than to help a person who has lost everything through gambling.
- Pro-social behaviour is affected by the expected reactions of the person who is being helped. E.g. People might be unwilling to give money to a needy person because they feel that the person might feel insulted, or may become dependent.
- Pro-social behaviour is more likely to be shown by individuals who have a high level of empathy, that is, the capacity to feel the distress of the person who is to be helped. E.g. Baba Saheb Amate and Mother Teresa.
Pro-social behaviour may be reduced by factors such as a bad mood, being busy with one’s own problems, or feeling that the person to be helped is responsible for her/his own situation (that is, when an internal attribution is made for the need state of the other person).
Pro-social behaviour may also be reduced when the number of bystanders is more than one. For example, the victim of a road accident sometimes does not get help because there are many people standing around the scene of the accident. Each person thinks that it is not her/his responsibility alone to give help, and that someone else may take the responsibility. This phenomenon is called “Diffusion of Responsibility”. On the other hand, if there is only one bystander, this person is more likely to take the responsibility and actually help the victim.
Therefore, studying of social behaviour is very much important in implementing any scheme or policy to understand the how people socially involved.
SOCIAL INFLUNCE & PERSUASION:
- Social influence is the process through which a person’s Behaviour, attitudes, views or thoughts gets influences by social communication.
- Persuasion is just method of social influence. Social influence and persuasion, both are same but social influence at group/community level influencing one’s views or beliefs or attitudes and persuasion at individual level to pursue him to believe in something.
- Social behaviour helps us in opinion formation, impression formation and which in turn guide us to influence others. But either we obey or defy social influence on others to adopt it from our own point of view.
|Example: College institution brought a rule to ban on brining mobile phones to college. Students collecting signatures of students to remove the ban. If I sign it will go against my own opinion but if I don’t sign it disturbs student’s unity.|
- Social Influence
- Social Facilitation
- Social Loafing
The nature of influence on Individual can be defined from two perspectives:
Social Facilitation – Behaviour in the Presence of others
Performance of specific actions or tasks is influenced by the mere presence of others. This is Called Social facilitation.
1. Public speech Vs speech practice at home alone
2. Writing UPSC prelims on exam day Vs Giving mock test at home
As early as 1897, Norman Triplett observed that individuals show better performance in the presence of others, than when they are performing the same task alone. For instance, cyclists racing with each other perform better than when they cycle alone.
Why Such Behaviour?
- Arousal: Person experiences arousal, which makes the person react in a more intense manner. Arousal because person feels he or she being evaluated.
- Nature of Task: The nature of the task to be performed also affects the performance in the presence of others. A simple or familiar task, the person is surer of performing well, and the eagerness to get praise or reward is stronger. So, the individual performs better in the presence of others than s/he does when alone. But in the case of a complex or new task, the person may be afraid of making mistakes. The fear of criticism or punishment is stronger. So, the individual performs worse in the presence of others than s/he does when alone.
- Co-Action: If the others present are also performing the same task, this is called a situation of co-action. In this situation, there is social comparison and competition.
- An individual performing an activity along with the others as part of a larger group. Task performance can be facilitated and improved, or inhibited and worsened by the presence of others. Many other kinds of social influence have been noticed.
- Diffusion of responsibility, which is often the basis of social loafing, can also be frequently seen in situations where people are expected to help. We will look into this aspect and other factors in helping behaviour in the section that follows.
Why such behaviour?
- Efforts of an individual in a group are pooled so that you look at the performance of the group as a whole. It has been found that individuals work less hard in a group than they do when performing alone.
- Social loafing is a reduction in individual effort when working on a collective task, i.e. one in which outputs are pooled with those of other group members.
- It is not possible for you to identify how much force each member of the team has been exerting. Such situations give opportunities to group members to relax and become a free rider.
- If we are working together in a group, the larger the group, the less effort each member puts in
- Game of tug-of-war – Pulling rope against each other
- Political parties promising freebies during election campaign which will make citizens free rider
- One of the strong criticisms against Universal Basic Income is, it will make people lazy attitude and free money will spent on buying luxury items than their capacity will eventually makes people free rider.
- Social influence can be seen indirectly by conformity with majority opinion by compliance with request from others and obedience from the direction/order/instruction of person/institution in authority.
· Corona Virus lockdown – PM/CM addressing the nation/state directly on importance of social distancing and stay healthy by cooperating with lockdown instead of assigning the task to some other Minister.
· Cabinet meeting during lockdown – Cabinet set an example by maintaining social distance during the meeting. Frequent addressing and campaigns helped India successfully tackling the pandemic and lockdown.
Nature of Social Influence:
- It can be Positive or Negative
- It can be consciousness or Unconsciousness
- Nature of influence varies according to the context and depends on the person who getting influence and who influencing. Example: ISIS influencing youth across the world to choose the militancy
- Influence getting exhibited when you alone and when you are in public
- Nature of Influence can be varying from shorter to longer duration. Example: Most of the motivational sessions generally lasted not more than one day.
How to get Social Influence:
- By strong Leadership
- Political campaigns to influence our attitudes
- Person in the authority – The person who at higher hierarchy influences like Boss subordinate relationship
- External Pressure
- Social influence and persuasion both are interchangeable, so whatever the concepts applicable to social influence same applicable to persuasion also.
- Persuasion is part of civil servants’ day to day activities. He/she has to persuade various sections of people, his/her subordinate officials in his/her office, public he/she interacted on daily basis and his/her superior officers and persuade govt on any particular scheme or policy etc.
|APPLICATIONS IN DAILY LIFE & ADMINISTRATION|
An attitude formation is very much important towards any particular social issue, political issue, environmental issue or an economical issue. Its area of applications ranging from personal life to bringing good governance in the country. Some of the applications are:
Making a Good Citizen: To create a good citizen, it’s a two-way process:
- Rule of Law – Responsibility of the govt to respect each and every community and giving unbiased attitude towards every individual.
- Social Responsibility – An individual, instead of solely waiting for the govt to things gets done better to take initiation and solve their own problems. A sense of social responsibility creates a social harmony in the society. Socially and morally responsible as a first step towards in making a good citizen.
A Good citizen makes the society a better place to live in then we can find the solutions to the challenges facing by the society.
|Aristotle – Mere residing in country, enjoying a legal right does not make him a good citizen. A good citizen is one who’s participation for social cause and able to partake in decision making process of the govt.|
Creating a sense of Patriotism: A standard dictionary defines patriotism as reads “love of one’s country.” But in wider sense it defined as:
- Special affection for one’s own country
- A sense of personal identification with the country
- Special concern for the well-being of the country
- Willingness to sacrifice to promote the country’s good
Accordingly, patriotism can be defined as love of one’s country, identification with it, and special concern for its well-being. This is only a definition. A fuller account of patriotism is having a bigger scope. Such an account would say something about the patriot’s:
- Beliefs about the merits of his country
- To be related to a past and a future that transcend the narrow confines of an individual’s life and its mundane concerns
- Social and political conditions that affect the ebb and flow of patriotism, its political and cultural influence.
Moral Standing of Patriotism:
- Many thinks of patriotism as a natural and appropriate expression of attachment to the country in which we were born and raised and of gratitude for the benefits of life on its soil, among its people, and under its laws.
- They also consider patriotism an important component of our identity. Some go further, and argue that patriotism is morally mandatory, or even that it is the core of morality. There is, however, a major tradition in moral philosophy which understands morality as essentially universal and impartial, and seems to rule out local, partial attachment and loyalty.
- Adherents of this tradition tend to think of “one’s own” at odds with demands of universal justice and common human solidarity. There is nothing wrong in Love of one’s own country and loyal to it, but extreme form of patriotism creating new kind of social problems globally and creating hostility towards other countries. It tends to encourage militarism, and makes for international tension and conflict.
- Patriotism has had a fair number of critics. The harshest among them have judged it deeply flawed in every important respect.
- In the 19th century, Russian novelist and thinker Leo Tolstoy found patriotism both stupid and immoral.
- It is stupid because every patriot holds his own country to be the best of all whereas, obviously, only one country can qualify.
- It is immoral because it promotes our country’s interests at the expense of all other countries and by any means, including war, and is thus at odds with the most basic rule of morality, which tells us not to do to others what we would not want them to do to us.
- Some of these objections can easily be countered. Even if full-fledged patriotism does involve a belief in one’s country’s merits, it need not involve the belief that one’s country is better than all others. And the fact that a country is not a collection of “discernible individuals” and that the social ties among compatriots are “largely invisible or impersonal,” rather than palpable and face-to-face, does not show that it is unreal or imaginary.
- However, there is another, more plausible line of criticism of patriotism focusing on its intellectual, rather than moral credentials. Moreover, Tolstoy’s arguments questioning the moral legitimacy of patriotic partiality and those highlighting the connection of patriotism with international tensions and war cannot be so easily refuted.
|Rousseau: “General will” is greater than “Private will” so for any policy to be successful administration should consider general will. Here General will means social will for greater good of society.|
To solve social problems:
- Developing particular attitude towards particular a social issue helps in solving the social problems.
- India is a developing country facing many social issues. Poverty, Gender inequality, well-being of vulnerable sections of society, Sex ratio, Corruption as a social issue instead of looking it as an administration issue, open defecation, racial discrimination etc.
- A social problem can also look from the perspective of Behavior to be addressed. It has both objective and subjective components. The objective component involves empirical evidence of the negative consequences of a social condition or behavior, while the subjective component involves the perception that the condition or behavior is indeed a problem that needs to be addressed, belief that particular social condition which is harmful to the society.
· Objective view: Climate change is real and happening
· Subjective view: Climate change is myth
· Swachh Bharath Mission – Success of this mission because of behavioral change and govt campaigning
· Poverty, Employment & Gender equality should be treated as integrated social problem instead of looking independently.
To eliminate prejudice and discrimination:
- Prejudices are examples of attitudes towards a particular group. They are usually negative, and in many cases, they are based on stereotypes (the cognitive component) about the specific group.
- Stereotype is a cluster of ideas regarding the characteristics of a specific group. Often, stereotypes consist of undesirable characteristics about the target group, and they lead to negative attitudes or prejudices towards members of specific groups.
- The cognitive component of prejudice is frequently accompanied by dislike or hatred, the affective component.
- The behavioural component, when a Prejudice get translated into discrimination, whereby people behave in a less positive way towards a particular target group compared to another group which they favour.
|Example: The genocide committed by the Nazis in Germany against Jewish people is an extreme example of how prejudice can lead to hatred, discrimination and mass killing of innocent people.|
Prejudices can exist without being shown in the form of discrimination. Similarly, discrimination can be shown without prejudice. Yet, the two go together very often. Wherever prejudice and discrimination exist, conflicts are very likely to arise between groups within the same society. Our own society has witnessed many deplorable instances of discrimination, with and without prejudice, based on gender, religion, community, caste, physical handicap, and illnesses such as AIDS. Moreover, in many cases discriminatory behaviour can be curbed by law. But, the cognitive and emotional components of prejudice are more difficult to change.
Prejudice has one or more of the following sources:
- Learning: Like other attitudes, prejudices can also be learned through association, reward and punishment, observing others, group or cultural norms and exposure to information that encourages prejudice.
- The family, reference groups, personal experiences and the media may play a role in the learning of prejudices
A strong social identity and in-group bias:
Individuals who have a strong sense of social identity and have a very positive attitude towards their own group boost this attitude by holding negative attitudes towards other groups. These are shown as prejudices.
- Scapegoating: This is a phenomenon by which the majority group places the blame on a minority outgroup for its own social, economic or political problems. The minority is too weak or too small in number to defend itself against such accusations. Scapegoating is a group-based way of expressing frustration, and it often results in negative attitudes or prejudice against the weaker group.
- Kernel of truth concept: Sometimes people may continue to hold stereotypes because they think that, after all, there must be some truth, or ‘kernel of truth’ in what everyone says about the other group.
- Self-fulfilling prophecy: In some cases, the group that is the target of prejudice is itself responsible for continuing the prejudice. The target group may behave in ways that justify the prejudice, that is, confirm the negative expectations. For example, if the target group is described as ‘dependent’ and therefore unable to make progress, the members of this target group may actually behave in a way that proves this description to be true. In this way, they strengthen the existing prejudice.
Strategies for handling prejudice:
Knowing about the causes or sources would be the first step in handling prejudice. Thus, the strategies for handling prejudice would be effective if they aim at:
- Minimising opportunities for learning prejudices
- Changing such attitudes
- De-emphasising a narrow social identity based on the ingroup
- Discouraging the tendency towards self-fulfilling prophecy among the victims of prejudice.
These strategies can be accomplished through:
- Education and information dissemination, for correcting stereotypes related to specific target groups, and tackling the problem of a strong ingroup bias
- Increasing intergroup contact allows for direct communication, removal of mistrust between the groups, and even discovery of positive qualities in the outgroup. However, these strategies are successful only if the two groups meet in a cooperative rather than competitive context
- Highlighting individual identity rather than group identity, thus weakening the importance of group (both ingroup and outgroup) as a basis of evaluating the other person.
Ethical & Good Governance:
- According to World bank Good governance defined as “the manner in which power is exercised in the management of a country’s economic and social resources for development”.
- Good Attitudes and Morally social behaviour towards public institutions and social institutions makes a governance a good governance.
- The objectives of good governance can be achieved only through Ethical governance, which is a governance carrying out according established standards. In India initiatives like citizen charter, RTI etc failed because there is a missing component of ethical governance in the governance or public administration. Bureaucracy with Colonial attitudes has failed to understand the importance of this revolutionary reforms in the public administration.
- To achieve ethical governance, we need a committed bureaucracy which is committed to the ideals of constitution, honesty and integrity and behavioral reforms in the bureaucracy.
- Attitudes and Behavioral norms play a very important role in conflict resolution either it is ethnic conflicts or communal violence or caste violence or son of soil theory. Sense of love towards own community or land creates “We Vs Others Feeling”.
- Nothing can be achieved unless and until you believe in yourself and have a positive attitude. An individual must avoid finding faults in others. Individuals tend to lose control on their emotions and overreact hurting the sentiments of the other person.
Ways to solve conflicts:
- Intergroup meetings, deliberations and consultations.
- Joint celebration of festivals
- Strict law and order enforcement and harsh punishment for those who disturbs social harmony with hidden motives
- Peaceful talks and discussions at govt level and civil society level
- Giving protection and protecting minorities and Tribals and their customs and traditions
Examples: Naga peace talks held by govt to end decades old ethnic conflicts among Naga tribes
Previous Year Questions:
|Young people with ethical conduct are not willing to come forward to join active politics. Suggest steps to motivate them to come forward.||2017|
|What factors affect the formation of a person’s attitude towards social problems? In our society, contrasting attitudes are prevalent about many social problems. What contrasting attitudes do you notice about the caste system in our society? How do you explain the existence of these contrasting attitudes?||2014|
|Moral and political attitudes
|In the context of defense services, ‘patriotism’ demands readiness to even lay down one’s life in protecting the nation. According to you, what does patriotism imply in everyday civil life? Explain with illustrations and justify your answer.||2014|
|Moral and political attitudes||It is often said that ‘politics’ and ‘ethics’ do not go together. What is your opinion in this regard? Justify your answer with illustrations.||2013|
|Content, structure, function of Attitude
|Two different kinds of attitudes exhibited by public servants towards their work have been identified as the bureaucratic attitude and the democratic attitude. A) Distinguish between these two terms and write their merits and demerits. B) Is it possible to balance the two to create a better administration for the faster development of our country?||2015|
|Social influence and persuasion||How could social influence and persuasion contribute to the success of Swatchh Bharat Abhiyan?||2016|