In This Chapter

Attitudes in the 21 st Century

Accomplishments, Challenges, and Gaps

Authored by: Blair T. Johnson , Asheley R. Landrum , Kiran McCloskey

The Handbook of Attitudes

Print publication date:  September  2018
Online publication date:  September  2018

Print ISBN: 9781138648258
eBook ISBN: 9781315178103
Adobe ISBN:


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A century has passed since W. I. Thomas and Florian Znaniecki (1918) published five volumes documenting the experiences of Polish immigrants in Europe and North America; they interviewed countless immigrants and richly explored topics that would become the standard stock of modern attitudes research. This seminal work illustrated the immigrants’ complex of beliefs and documented how they assimilated or shunned the attitudes and fashions of the communities they joined. Thomas and Znaniecki’s study stimulated a new generation of researchers who, building from the authors’ initial qualitative methodology, gradually turned toward quantitative methods. Over time, researchers adopted a definition of attitudes as evaluations, that is, some tendency to like or dislike a person, object, or other entity; we also follow this definition in this chapter. At their core, positive attitudes are held toward things that please or otherwise reward us and negative attitudes are held toward the opposite.

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