Tip #444: Bloom’s Affective Domain

“Attitudes are more important than facts.” Karl A. Menninger

For years, I have designed learning objectives by using a three step process: (1) identify the key content using a template for either skill-building or attitude-changing training; (2) determine the desired level of learning; and (3) add an active verb. The levels of learning and the active verbs have both been based in Bloom’s Cognitive Domain.

However, in designing a training program devoted to the design and delivery of attitude-changing training, I finally became acquainted with Benjamin Bloom’s Affective Domain.

The Affective Domain consists of five learning levels:

1.  Receive:        Listen, take an interest in, and passively participate
2.  Respond:      React, question and probe ideas, and actively   participate
3.  Value:            Decide the worth and relevance of ideas, accept or commit to a particular stance or action
4.  Organize:      Reconcile internal conflicts, integrate a new value
5.  Internalize:    Act consistently with the new value

These are the learning levels that should be achieved by the learning objectives in attitude-changing training.

There are certain active verbs that can be used to indicate each of these learning levels:






acknowledge aid accept adhere act
ask answer argue alter apply
attend assist challenge arrange arrive
develop cite confront build change
identify clarify criticize choose characterize
listen complete debate codify influence
locate comply defend combine internalize
name conform demonstrate compare perform
observe contribute differentiate contrast plan
realize cooperate enable crystalize practice
recognize describe explain discriminate propose
discuss follow display qualify
do grow elaborate ready
engage initiate formulate relay
examine invite generalize revise
exhibit join integrate serve
help justify judge solve
interpret persuade modify view
participate prefer prepare verify
perform pursue prioritize
present refute order
question seek organize
react select reconcile
read study regulate
reply work relate
report systematize
respond synthesize
review transform
select weigh

Using the Affective Domain, the learning objectives for an attitude-changing training might look like this:

Title: Cultural Awareness
Learning Goals:

The participants will recognize the importance of being aware of cultural differences [what] to ensure effective customer service [why].

Learning Objectives: During this session, the participants will:
Learner Action Learning Level:
1 [present] what it means to be culturally aware

[active verb]  What it is

(definitions of terminology or standards)


2. [examine] how it affects the participants or those they care about [active verb]  Why care about it

(benefits or consequences of the content from the learners’ perspective)


3. [justify] federal and state law, company rules

[active verb]  Why it is important

(moral, ethical, legal or conceptual requirements or guidelines)


4. [elaborate on] examples of cultural differences

[active verb]  How to recognize or accomplish it



5. [plan] what to do in different situations that        require cultural awareness

[active verb] What to do in different situations


In next week’s Tip, we’ll look at the learning activities that might be appropriate for each of these five affective learning levels.

May your learning be sweet.


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