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Perspectives in Psychology: XXIII Definition of Opinion, Attitude and Belief

Abstract

Redefinition of the terms opinion, attitude, and belief is recommended to fit operational possibilities. Opinions are synthetic self-referent statements which can be composed for a Q-sample; a Q-sort models a person’s attitude of mind about a situation. Factors are attitudes of mind held in common by many people. Their explanation reaches into latent belief-systems, requiring explanation in psychodynamic terms. Thus, there may be innumerable opinions, few attitudes of mind, and very few belief-systems. Attitudes of mind are immediate and concern self-psychology; beliefs are early internalizations and concern ego-psychology.

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Stephenson, W. Perspectives in Psychology: XXIII Definition of Opinion, Attitude and Belief. Psychol Rec 15, 281–288 (1965). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF03393596

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/BF03393596