Self-Report Measures of Attitudes

Read Nisbett and Wilson’s (1977) seminal article, “Telling More than We Know: Verbal Reports on Mental Processes.”

1. Two possible implications of the Nisbett and Wilson (1977) article on self-reporting of attitudes.
2. Then, explain how the perspectives in the article might influence how social psychologists conduct attitude research.
3. Finally, provide your position on whether or not individuals are capable of accurately reporting their own attitudes.

Justify your position with references to the Learning Resources and other scholarly literature.


In their seminal article on subjective reporting of mental processes, Nisbett and Wilson (1977) argue that when asked to self-report on mental processes, people report more information than would be possible for them to actually know. This argument has implications for research that relies on introspective awareness for the self-reporting of attitudes and behaviors. As applied to attitude measurement, this argument leads to the question: Which factors influence whether or not you can provide an accurate self-report of your attitudes and behaviors?

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