Difference Between Values and Attitudes

Values vs Attitudes

Our likes and dislikes for people, things, and issues are often referred to as our attitudes. However, it is not just our feelings or emotions that are included in the definition of attitudes as our thought process and the resultant behaviors are also a part of our attitudes. However, how do we feel or think the way we do is a result of our value system that is ingrained in our minds as we grow up in a particular society. Thus, if a white man has a biased attitude towards a black employee in his organization, that may be a result of his values that he has developed in the course of development. However, there are also similarities between values and attitudes that confuse many. This article attempts to highlight the differences between these two concepts for an easier understanding of the two.


In the course of development, we come across many individuals and groups. We are taught how to behave and interact with others and in general told what is expected of us as a member of the society. We are given a code of conduct that comprises morals that we are supposed to observe. We are also given values that serve as guiding principles and provide us a sense of direction in our lives. The beliefs we develop concerning issues, concepts, people and things as a result of all the cultural and religious influences are referred to as our values.

Some of the common values are honesty, integrity, love, compassion, fairness, justice, liberty, freedom that are mostly imposed from the society but also include our own input to have a stronger belief in them. Some of the values are universal in nature though there is seen a variation in values from culture to culture.


The responses we give to people, objects, events, and actions are collectively referred to as our attitudes. Attitudes are mainly our likes or dislikes, though they do not remain restricted to our emotions and feelings and get spilled over our behavior too. Attitudes are positive or negative feelings we have towards people, objects and issues etc. Attitudes are built up over time, and they remain with us for a long time. With the passage of time, our attitudes become the motive for our actions. However, attitudes are not permanent like our personality, and they change if we have experiences that are strong enough to cause a change in them. Emotions are a strong component of our attitudes and also a big cause of why we behave the way we do.

In general, there are three response components of our attitudes called affective, behavioral, and cognitive and include our emotions, our reactions, and our thought processes. It is our attitude towards a task that decides how successful we eventually will be in performing the task. Thus, it is clear that a positive attitude towards a task makes for a winning combination of motivation, intention, and engagement.

What is the difference between Values and Attitudes?

• Values are belief systems that guide our behavior

• Values decide what we think as right, wrong, good, or unjust

• Attitudes are our likes and dislikes towards things, people and objects

• Attitudes are responses that are a result of our values

• The cognitive component of attitudes is similar to values as both involve beliefs

• Values are more or less permanent while attitudes are a result of our experiences and do change with favorable experiences

• Manifestation of values is seen in the shape of our attitudes