According to research, people with a positive dispositional attitude have a strong tendency to like things, whereas people with a negative dispositional attitude have a strong tendency to dislike things.
Justin Hepler, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and Dolores Albarracin, Ph.D., the Martin Fishbein Chair of Communication and Professor of Psychology at Pennsylvania, wrote that the dispositional attitude construct represents a new perspective in which attitudes are not simply a function of the properties of the stimuli under consideration, but are also a function of the properties of the evaluator.
They note that there is still one critical factor that an individual's attitudes will have in common: the individual who formed the attitudes.
Hepler asserted that some people may simply be more prone to focusing on positive features and others on negative features.
To discover whether people differ in the tendency to like or dislike things, Hepler and Albarracin created a scale that requires people to report their attitudes toward a wide variety of unrelated stimuli, like architecture, cold showers, politics, and soccer.
Upon knowing how much people (dis)like these specific things, the responses were then averaged together to calculate their dispositional attitude (i.e., to calculate how much they tend to like or dislike things in general).
The theory is that if individuals differ in the general tendency to like versus dislike objects, attitudes toward independent objects may actually be related. Throughout the studies the researchers found that people with generally positive dispositional attitudes are more open than people with generally negative dispositional attitudes.
In day-to-day practice, this means that people with positive dispositional attitudes may be more prone to actually buy new products, get vaccine shots, follow regular positive actions (recycling, driving carefully, etc.)
The research has been published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology.
--ANI (Posted on 27-08-2013)