Attitudinal research methods focus on self-reported thoughts, beliefs, and needs from users (i.e. what users say, rather than what they do). Attitudinal research methods can be either quantitative or qualitative, and include interviews, focus groups, diary studies, and surveys.
Anthropologist Margaret Mead once said, “What people say, what people do, and what people say they do are entirely different things.” User researchers need to develop strong interpretive and creative skills to get to the core of why people behave the way they do. It’s important to combine attitudinal research with behavioral research for a full understanding of user behavior.