20 Types of attitudes of the human being: list and examples


In this article, I will discuss 20 types of human attitudes and some examples. We will also look at the meaning of personal attitude in psychology.

Table of contents

Probably most of us at some point had to hear from family or friends something related to the way we react to situations, without fully understanding what they wanted to tell us.

Perhaps we frequently hear from others "what a bad attitude you have", "what a negative/positive attitude you have today", "I really like their attitudes", "this is the attitude we need".

Perhaps these or many other expressions that we cannot understand, since we do not know very well how to identify the traits of each type of attitude. That is why in this article I share 20 types of attitudes of the human being.

20 Types of attitudes of the human being: list and examples

What are personal attitudes according to psychology?

Each of us has characteristic response traits that make us different from others: some of us are more calm and Stoic in the face of the inescapable misfortunes of our own existence, and perhaps others are their impulsive and irascible counterpart.

These abhorrent traits of impatience or traits of exemplary serenity are structured or formed from that genetic and environmental predisposition to which we are all exposed, without exception.
As the psychologist Floyd Allport (1955) mentions, an attitude is the mental and neurological disposition, which is organized from the experience that exerts a certain influence on the individual's reactions regarding all the objects and all the situations that correspond to them.

How the types of personal attitudes are configured?

According to psychology, the attitude that we present towards the outside (our environment), arises from this interaction between biological and hereditary factors (these responses are favored by the genetics of each subject - their temperament) and environmental factors such as learning throughout life.

The attitude is then the learned and inherited predisposition to respond in certain consistent ways whether in favor or not of the object (ideologies, customs, practices, religions and laws).

This psychic disposition that arises from the assessment made of the external has the objective of generating a disposition that represents the internal foundations (biological and psychological) of the action. Then pursue the decision from that cognitive, affective and biological integration.

What are the functions of personal attitudes?

I think it is necessary to mention something that is eluded by many authors interested in researching the subject of human attitudes, and that is that these attitudes, having action as their objective, having integrated all its components (cognitive, affective, behavioral and biological).

These actions cannot be entirely ego-syntonic (actions that are in tune with the ego), but are also involved in attitudes of an ego-dystonic nature (that do not harmonize with the ego): Attitudes allow us to function and adapt.

For example, I can express some types of "positive" attitudes, as is colloquially recognized as "an optimistic attitude", to certain situations but that, in reality, do not fit or are not in tune with what I have learned or with the characteristic features of my temperament However, only then would I be able to adapt easily.

Acknowledging attitude in this way, we could allude to the fact that sometimes one of its factors (cognitive, affective or biological) is prioritized while the others can be postponed.

20 types of attitudes of the human being: list

The 20 main attitudes that people can present are the following:

1. Manipulative attitude

Whoever presents this type of manipulative attitude begins by turning others into objects or sources of pleasure; These people build or structure their relationships with the aim of making everything work according to their wishes or expectations, managing strategies to convince the other that they are acting under their own will.

2. Pessimistic attitude

This type of attitude is generally related to a high level of tolerance or flexibility, being benevolent begins to value and allow transgressions of their own values.

3. Submissive attitude

In this type of attitude, people postulate themselves as objects, thus allowing others to be the responsible subjects and owners of their decisions. It functions as a survival mechanism by allowing yourself safety through caring and sensitivity to others.

4. Positive attitude

It is frequently the type of attitude that is considered the most flattering of all the others; It is characterized by the useful perception or appreciation of different situations (regardless of whether they are difficult) and allows the person to feel stimulated to act confidently.

5. Negative attitude

This attitude consists of a perception or interpretation of hopelessness, defeat, disappointment or subterfuge of realism. They frequently exacerbate existing difficult or problematic situations and circumvent or detract from any aspect of optimism. It generally produces the opposite of the positive attitude: it stops or represses the action.

6. Aggressive attitude

In this type of attitude, action is usually taken in a matter of seconds and an impulsive act appears that pursues the achievement of the meaning of justice, ignoring that of others.

7. Passive attitude

This type of attitude is characterized by little or no action.

8. Collaborative attitude

This type of attitude enables or requires frequent contact with others. It aims to help others achieve their goals.

9. Altruistic attitude

People who manifest the altruistic attitude carry out actions with objectives that provide benefits or benefit to another person, even when it may generate losses or have no benefit for themselves.

10. Emotional attitude

This type of attitude is frequently observed in people who base their relationships on the quality of their affection and that of others. This type of attitude is also characterized by the value or priority given to the emotional area, thus leading them to live each of their emotions with more intensity.

11. Neutral attitude

This type of attitude is one of those that occurs infrequently and is characterized by not being outlined by affectivity or rationalities (neither pessimistic nor positive) they are usually objective with their decisions.

12. Rational/analytical attitude

This type of attitude generates in people a use of judgment or logic when estimating or evaluating situations. Often, this type of attitude leads to attempts to hide or ignore emotions under rational (cognitive) justifications. However, managing emotions positively involves learning to feel and express them.

13. Reliable attitude

This type of attitude is observed in people who show an acceptance of their own characteristics. Generally, this attitude allows perceiving the stimuli of pleasure or pain as a pedagogical intention. Confidence can be worked on and improved. Try the following tips to gain self-confidence.

14. Flexible attitude

People with a flexible attitude express acceptance of other people's qualities or criteria without getting rid of their own. This attitude facilitates awareness of the reality principle; people recognize that life can take a very different course from what was planned and act in favor of themselves and their exterior. Allows rapid adaptation to changes.

15. Empathic attitude

This attitude of empathy is characterized by people who are aware of the existence of the other and therefore understand, thanks to their own self-assessment or introspection, that the behavior of others also has an origin. They allow other people to listen and facilitate dialogue due to their understanding, among many other benefits of developing an empathic attitude.

16. Suspicious attitude

This type of attitude is characterized by an excessive mistrust of any type of stimuli, generally these people are alert to any type of grievance or attempted perjury.

17. Sardonic attitude

The sardonic attitude is characterized by a biting and incisive contact with others. They fill the conversations they have with others with sarcasm or irony.

18. Uncompromising attitude

It is characterized by a rigid pattern of behavior and thought where it is intended that the rest is in tune with what is sought and suffers terribly when it is not.

19. Self-righteous/prejudiced attitude

This type of attitude is characterized by concern for the ethical weight of one's own actions and those of others. Generally, the person with a moralistic attitude is dedicated to monitoring the actions of others so that they do not incur the lack of the principles or precepts that he handles.

20. Nihilistic attitude

In this type of attitude, all moral principles or social structures are rejected, maintaining the belief that existence itself and everything lacks intrinsic meaning or purpose.

Some examples of types of attitudes of the human being

To better understand some attitudes, we will show examples of 3 types of attitudes that are sometimes difficult to identify:

1. Manipulative attitude

The determination to fulfill one's own desires (egosyntonic), can even be quite hidden by actions that favor or appear to be of benefit to the other person.

For example, in a relationship between a mother and her children, it can be observed that in those attitudes of protection, crying and abnegation of the mother, the interests of keeping aside from her own demands are hidden «-I sacrifice my needs so that you are well, in no other place will you be as safe as you are with me».

The manipulative attitude has this characteristic of acting for the apparent benefit of the other person. Here you can act in an egodystonic way to achieve the opposite.

2. Suspicious attitude

This attitude of generalized mistrust can become serious pathologies such as delusions, hiding it with the same inflexibility and security of their own beliefs. For example, in a family, there may be a member who insists that the other members do not appreciate him or do not value him enough and therefore seek to harm him and frustrate all her plans.

This attitude is usually accompanied by aggressive attitudes, where the person fights back or defends himself against alleged attacks on him.

3. Empathic attitude

This attitude of empathy is characterized by people who are aware of the existence of the other and therefore understand, thanks to their own self-assessment or introspection, that the behavior of others also has an origin.

For example, being aware that the partner feels a lot of pain due to farewells or absence, one acts not in favor of complying with their demands for constant presence, but respects and accompanies oneself so that she or he can heal and thus be more independent.

Now that you know what the types of attitudes are in the human being, you may be interested in knowing the difference between attitude and aptitude.


  • Floyd H. A. (1955). Theories of perception and the concept of structure with an introduction to a dynamic structural theory of behavior. Editorial Wiley. New York.

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Disclaimer: This article is purely informative, I have no authority to make a diagnosis or recommend treatment. I invite you to visit a psychologist to treat your particular case.