Attitudes are general evaluations that people hold regarding a particular entity, such as an object, an issue, or a person. An individual may hold a favorable or positive attitude toward a particular political candidate, for example, and an unfavorable or negative attitude toward another candidate. These attitudes reflect the individual's overall summary evaluations of each candidate.

Attitude measures are commonplace in survey research conducted by political scientists, psychologists, sociologists, economists, marketing scholars, media organizations, political pollsters, and other academic and commercial practitioners. The ubiquity of attitude measures in survey research is perhaps not surprising given that attitudes are often strong predictors of behavior. Knowing a person's attitude toward a particular product, policy, or candidate, therefore, enables one to anticipate whether the person will purchase the product, ...

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