Attitude Change-The Affective Domain: Part 3

StudyGuide Lines – instructional design tips for Christian teachers and writers.

attitude change, affective domainIn Attitude Change – The Affective Domain: Part 1 and Part 2 I discussed two important components of instruction essential to attitude change:
1st. Knowing How to do the target behavior (the cognitive piece).
2nd. Participation in the target behavior (the behavioral piece).
This blog focuses on the 3rd and final component, Knowing Why the behavior should be engaged in (the affective piece). 

Attitude Change Requires “Knowing Why”

“Knowing Why” focuses on the reward that is associated with the behavior. This reward or reinforcement is linked to the desire to do the behavior the instruction aims at. The reinforcement answers the question, “Why?”

The best instructional method for helping learners achieve this desire is through the use of a respected role model. The role model demonstrates the target behavior and is appropriately reinforced for the behavior.

In Philippians, Paul wanted Christians to look out for their own interests as well as the interests of others with an attitude of humility. Specifically they were to make their “attitude that of Christ Jesus,” Philippians 2:5. After stating his objective, Paul presented Jesus Christ as a role model. Paul communicated to his learners:

  1. the credibility of his role model – Christ existed “in the form of God,” Philippians 2:6, HCSB.
  2. the appropriate attitude together with the target behavior (Christ’s humility in action) demonstrated by the role model: “He emptied Himself by assuming the form of a slave, and taking on the likeness of men” (Philippians 2:7, HCSB) and by becoming obedient to the point of death— even to death on a cross” (Philippians 2:8, HCSB).
  3. the reward the role model (Christ) received – “God highly exalted Him and gave Him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee will bow — of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth — and every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father,” Philippians 2:9-11, HCSB.
  4. the reward the learners should expect to receive for the target behavior: to know Christ, the power of His resurrection (Philippians 2:10-11); and to have a body transformed into the likeness of Christ’s glorious body (Philippians 3:21).


In Attitude Change – The Affective Domain: Part 1,  Paul’s Affective Domain goal was stated as: Learners will choose to act in ways that display genuine Christlike humility. To reach this goal, Paul advised Christians to always choose to participate in the behaviors of “counting others as more significant” than themselves, looking out for the interests of others. The feedback Paul prescribed was the noticeable difference between Christian behavior and crooked, perverted, worldly behavior. Paul then described Christ’s reward, and the reward of believers that was connected to Christ’s reward, to persuade Christ-like behavior.

Application for Instruction

Before learners can choose to engage in a desired action, they must know why. Select a credible role model to demonstrate or describe the desired behavior. Show or describe how the role model is rewarded for the behavior.

Related Blogs

Attitude Change – The Affective Domain: Part 1

Attitude Change – The Affective Domain: Part 2

Motivational Design: Confidence


Smith, Patricia L., & Ragan, Tillman J., Instructional Design, 3rd ed., (John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 2005), p. 262.

Image by Kolbyg at English Wikipedia [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons, accessed September 10, 2015 from

Scripture Quotations are from the Holman Christian Standard Bible(HCSB), Copyright © 1999, 2000, 2002, 2003, 2009 by Holman Bible Publishers, Nashville Tennessee. All rights reserved.