Attitudes & beliefs stem from emotions

The business community and marketers have used surveys to understand customers' attitudes & beliefs towards brands as they are known to have an impact on their future intentions. Consumers are well-trained to express their attitudes and beliefs as our education system has taught us how to express them in speech and writing. There are lots of adjectives and metaphors in our vocabulary to help us do so. But our abilities to explain the formation of our attitudes and beliefs are flawed. So what we articulate may not always be reflective of our feelings and experiences.

As Daniel Kahneman theorised (Kahneman, 2011), our brain first reacts to events with one of the two thinking systems. The more intuitive one is called System 1 and the more cognitive counterpart is called System 2.

When we are faced with events we are not anticipating, like being exposed to a piece of advertising in the middle of a TV drama or greeted impolitely in a retail store, our System 1 is first to react with feelings, intuition, impressions and impulses, all of which are fleeting and involuntary in nature. However, when the reasoning is important to us, System 2 shifts into higher gear to help us make sense of the situation and reconcile with our reactions.

Rationalisation stigmatises measurement of attitudes and beliefs