An attitude determines a certain expectation; if the events are in line with these expectations then there is satisfaction. But if the events are contrary to the attitude then there will be dissatisfaction. Attitudes could be formed to the social as well as economic aspects of the environment.
People in different cultures form definite attitudes towards what is desirable and what is undesirable. In other words, social attitudes involve values. There is a readiness to do or not to do certain things.
For example, a Hindu Brahmin considers trade or business as an inferior profession. People in different cultures have definite attitudes about what is desirable to eat and at what time food should be taken. Thus the attitude sets a person for or against persons, groups, things and institutions.
It is now generally accepted that a social attitude determines the characteristic mode of behaviour.
Our attitudes influence our judgment regarding the behaviour and the desirability of the individuals around us. If we like people, we overlook their defects but if we dislike people we tend to exaggerate their defects.
In recent years there has been a widespread interest in actively changing the attitudes of people within the country and towards people in other countries. Groups within the country as well as the government are engaged in changing the attitudes of people towards various problems.
For example, all the highly developed countries like USA, UK, and Germany are now feeling it their duty to help the third world countries so that they become economically prosperous. This is something absolutely new in the history of man.
From plunder, conquest and colonialism, there is this change towards helping the poor and underdeveloped countries to become self-reliant and economically prosperous. In India, for example, attempts are being made to change the attitude of farmers and peasants so that they take up new methods of agriculture, chemical fertilizers, co-operative farming etc.
Similarly attempts are being made to change the attitude of the industrialists so that they work not only for their own profit but also for the wellbeing and economic prosperity of the country as a whole.
Likewise, attitudes of the businessmen are being changed so that they do not make a profit at the cost of the helpless customers. Thus in every country active steps are being taken to bring about attitudinal changes.
The rate of social change in our time is due to many economic factors. It is accepted that in every country the poorest groups must have the right to live in comfort. Consequently attempts are being made to raise the standard of living so that no family is without resources for decent living conditions.
The great advances made in technology have now brought the whole world very close so that with the radio, TV, we know what is happening anywhere in the world within a few minutes and we can travel to any part of the world within a few hours by air.
All these developments have forced the pace of change in every part of the world. Consequently attempts are being made to change the outlook of the people everywhere so that they can have faith in themselves, work hard and change their living conditions in order to reduce disparity in the standards of living from group to group within a country or between countries.