An attitude’s affective component is the emotional or feeling part of the attitude. This component can lead to behavioral outcomes.
An attitude’s affective component refers to the emotions and feelings such as excitement, anxiety, or sorrow about the attitude object.
The affective component is focused on the emotional reactions of the customers and includes the questions like: Is the brand good or bad? Is it likable? Is it desirable? It also includes judgments like: “The Japanese are not experts in making luxury cars”; “I love BMWs”. The first emotional reaction can be based upon some cognitive information. The second can be based upon ten years’ experience with BMWs. This component of an attitude doesn't need to be based on experience.
Let’s take an example. Alice, a varsity student, has been a vegetarian since her age was 13 years. During that time, she watched a movie on factory farming. She came to know that cows and other animals are raised in terrible conditions, just to be slaughtered so humans can eat them. Alice was so upset by the images and information. She turned to be a strict believer in animal rights and promised herself never to have meat again. It is difficult for her to remain sitting beside friends at the canteen when they have beef burgers or chicken.
Alice’s friend, John who is of her same age has been a vegetarian since his birth and his family is very careful regarding food habits for health causes. Avoiding meat is quite natural to him and he is so used to seeing his friends and others having meat and usually doesn’t mind.
Here, Alice and John have similar attitudes regarding having meat. But the affective component of Alice’s attitude is stronger than John’s attitude.
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