Affective Characteristics in School and Corporate Environments: Their Conceptual Definitions

  • D. Betsy McCoachEmail author
  • Robert K. Gable
  • John P. Madura


The importance of the affective domain in school and corporate environments is discussed. The research literature supporting the theoretical base and importance of the following affective characteristics is presented: attitudes, self-efficacy, values, self-concept, and interests. Allport’s (1935) early work identifying attitudes as “the most distinctive and indispensable concept in contemporary social psychology” (p. 798), defined an attitude as “a mental and neural state of readiness, organized through experience, exerting a directive or dynamic influence upon the individual’s response to all objects and situations with which it is related” (Allport 1935, p. 810) is presented. Of all the constructs described in this chapter, self-efficacy is perhaps the most important: it connects human motivation, thought processes, and behavior. As discussed by Bandura (1989), social cognitive theory recognizes the social origins of our thoughts and actions and the important role that cognition and thought play in human motivation, affect, and action. Rokeach’s (1973) extensive work with the construct of values is presented in which he clarifies the difference between an attitude and a value by stating that an attitude refers to an organization of several beliefs around a specific object or situation, whereas a value refers to a simple belief of a very specific kind. Aiken’s work is reviewed, which refers to a value as “the importance or worth attached to particular activities and objects” (Aiken 1980, p. 2). Coopersmith’s work (1967, 1989) with self-concept or self-esteem is reviewed, where he referred to “the evaluation which the individual makes and customarily maintains with regard to himself; it expresses an attitude of approval or disapproval, and indicates the extent to which the individual believes himself to be capable, significant, successful, and worthy” (Coopersmith 1967, pp. 4–5). The early work of Strong and Kuder, where interests were defined as “preferences for particular work activities” (Nunnally and Bernstein 1994), is reviewed. Sample instruments developed to measure each of the constructs are identified.


Construct  Organizational climate  Relational maintenance  Ethical climate  Self-efficacy  Observation  Modeling  Self-directed practice  Affective characteristics  Attitudes  Values  Self-concept  Interest  Instrument  


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© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • D. Betsy McCoach
    • 1
    Email author
  • Robert K. Gable
    • 2
  • John P. Madura
    • 3
  1. 1.Educational Psychology DepartmentUniversity of ConnecticutStorrsUSA
  2. 2.Alan Shawn Feinstein Graduate SchoolJohnson and Wales UniversityStorrsUSA
  3. 3.Department of Educational PsychologyUniversity of ConnecticutStorrsUSA

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