“The problem is not the problem.  The problem is your attitude about the problem.”


Which are easier to prove:  Attitudes or Behaviours? 


Attitude Stated:  Speed kills, so I always obey the posted speed limit.

Behaviour Recorded:  I got a speeding ticket in a playground zone.


Which are easier to change:  Attitudes or Behaviours? 


Air Disasters:  Bad Attitude


How consistent are Attitudes with Behaviours?

Consider the JoJo Scenario:

It is flu season.  You notice a worker, named JoJo, eating sunflower seeds while he is at work.  JoJo removes the split shells from his mouth with his fingers.  You see JoJo touching many surfaces on his way to and from the cafeteria, and while he is in the cafeteria.  Other workers are touching the same surfaces soon after JoJo has been there.

What is YOUR attitude about what should be done in this scenario?   What behaviour would YOU undertake?

A.   JoJo should be allowed to eat sunflower seeds at work if he wants to.

B.   Eating sunflower seeds at work should be banned.

C.    Posters about hand washing should be put up.

D.   Common Surfaces should be disinfected once a day.

E.    All workers should wear rubber gloves at all times to prevent disease transfer.

F.    It’s not my responsibility to say or do anything about JoJo’s behaviour.

G.   JoJo is endangering the health of other workers and he should be fired for this.


Does knowledge affect Attitudes and/or Behaviours?

Re-consider the JoJo scenario, with the addition of the information below:

Seasonal Influenza, Avian Influenza and Pandemic Influenza   …   Influenza is spread from person to person through droplets (e.g. saliva, sneezing) and by touching objects and surfaces that are contaminated with the virus (e.g. doorknobs, telephone receivers). The influenza virus may persist for hours in dried mucus and be transmitted by direct contact.  …  Influenza typically lasts a week to 10 days.  …  The death rate for influenza in Canada is 500 to 1500 cases per year.

1918 Influenza: the Mother of All Pandemics   …   An estimated one third of the world’s population (or ≈500 million persons) were infected and had clinically apparent illnesses (1,2) during the 1918–1919 influenza pandemic. The disease was exceptionally severe. Case-fatality rates were >2.5%, compared to <0.1% in other influenza pandemics (3,4). Total deaths were estimated at ≈50 million (57) and were arguably as high as 100 million (7).

Association between handwashing practices and illness symptoms among college students living in a university dormitory.   …   Only a small proportion of males (10%) and females (7%) reported “always” washing their hands before eating.  Females were more likely than males to always wash their hands after urinating (69% vs 43%; P < .0001) and after a bowel movement (84% vs 78%; P = .14). 

Can a Work Organization Have An Attitude Problem?   …newly hired workers adopt the favourable or unfavourable attitudes that the branches exhibited before they arrived. These workplace attitudes also have significant effects on economic outcomes. Branches with less favourable attitudes have higher turnover, lower levels of sales, and lower rates of sales growth than branches where workers have more favourable attitudes. Less favourable branch attitudes are also a significant predictor of subsequent branch closings.


What is the actual state of our Attitudes in practice, and how can we improve these?


Jericho (There Ain’t No Easy Road) Fred J. Eaglesmith & The Flying Squirrels