Attitude Inoculation By Kelsey Lemmon

Attitude Inoculation is a practice used to prepare individuals to defend their position or attitude. The process teaches individuals how to respond when their opinion is being threatened, and how to maintain their ground. This is done through exposing them to weak attacks on their beliefs so that when a real, or stronger attack comes, the individual will be prepared.

I remember when I was very young, my parents would sit down with us during  Family Night and we would practice defending what we knew was right. We dealt with everything from saying no to someone who asked to cheat, to someone asking us to do drugs. We talked about the importance of these things, and practiced what we could say in those situations. I remember that it was an effective way to teach, and it was effective in practice. In third grade, a classmate asked me if they could copy my homework. Without having to think about it too much, the practiced response came out of my mouth. I was able to stand up for what I believed in, and I attribute that to practicing it before hand.

I was able to say no because of attitude inoculation. My parents recognized the value of practicing our responses to situations before we were ever exposed to them. I was taught from a small age to defend my beliefs, because of the weak attacks my parents practiced with us during family night. This can be applied to more situations than just cheating. I think this is a valuable tool to help kids learn to say no to drugs, and other unsafe situations.

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