Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


School of Education


Educational Psychology, Ph.D.

First Advisor

Conrad A. Reichert

Second Advisor

Bernard M. Lall

Third Advisor

Wilfred Futcher


Purpose. The purpose of the study was to present a theoretical framework for the concept of attitude and to examine the attitudes of selected subjects within this frame of reference. It was hoped that the results would clarify the concept of "attitude” and that they would provide solutions for problems in education.

Method. A theoretical framework which consisted of sixteen propositions dealing with organization, structure, function, and change of attitudes was presented as the frame of reference. The 180 subjects who responded to the questionnaire that was prepared for this study were selected f±om the student body of Andrews University, Michigan. They included male and female students in the first and third years of college and in graduate school. They responded to attitude statements which measured the affective, the cognitive, and the action components of their attitudes toward national defense, politics, and religion. The scores were used to determine component loadings and the intercorrelations between the components. These were used to locate the attitude objects in the attitude space, to draw the attitude structures, and to examine attitude changes. Eleven hypotheses were formulated. The first four hypotheses dealt with the usefulness of the framework and formed the first part of the analysis of the data. They dealt with the organization of attitudes, the hierarchical order of the components, and the role of arousal in attitude study. The remaining hypotheses considered the differences in subject groups, in terms of the theoretical frame of reference, and formed the second part of the analysis of the data.

Results. The following results were obtained: 1. The organization of attitudes toward religion is not more consistent than attitudes toward the other two areas. 2. The attitude components are hierarchical. 3 . Attitudes of subjects who have aroused attitudes are better organized than those in groups with non-aroused attitudes. 4. The arousal scores in related eureas correlate with each other. 5. The value profiles of the subjects are very similar. 6. Female subjects' attitudes tend tc be mere expressive than males'. 7. Male subjects' attitudes are more instrumental than those of female subjects. 8. The attitudes of graduate students toward religion are more positive than those of students in the college levels. 9. There is no difference between males and females in the degree of positiveness in attitudes toward national defense and politics. 10. There is no difference in males' and females' attitudes toward religion. 11. The various attitude areas have a higher correlation in the groups of college students than in the groups of graduate students.

Conclusions. The theoretical framework proved useful in the study of attitudes. It permitted the investigator to gather information about structures of attitudes ; structural changes ; differences in attitude structures between groups; and the relationships between different attitude components. This information can be useful in clarifying the concept of "attitude" and in finding solutions to problems in education, the behavioral sciences, and so forth.

Subject Area

Attitude (Psychology), College students--Attitudes, Attitude (Psychology)--Testing

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