REACT – A constructivist theoretic framework for attitudes

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This text is devoted to a new theoretical framework for (language) attitudes (REACT) integrating both the traditional idea of attitudes as (more or less stable) cognitive assessment categories and the constructivist view on attitudes as situated evaluative practices. The text discusses five constitutive elements to the theory (Relevance, Evaluation, Activation, Construction, and Targeting) against the background of respective theories: a theory of actional relevance (cf. Schütz 1970), a listener judgment theory (cf. Purschke 2011), a model for cognitive activation (cf. Kroeber-Riel et al. 2009), a constructivist symbol theory (cf. Cassirer 1953–57 |1923–29|), and a model for attitude functions (cf. Katz 1960). The paper then concludes with proposing an integrative definition of attitudes as evaluation routines in social practices that conforms to the constructivist criticism of classic attitude theory, while at the same time taking account of the fundamental structuring patterns of social interaction that also determine the structure and dynamics of attitudes.


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