Philosophy of Human Nature

Wrightsman‚ 1964
1. Great successes in life‚ like great artists and inventors‚ are usually motivated by forces they are unaware of.
2. Most students will tell the instructor when he has made a mistake in adding up their score‚ even if he had given them more points than they deserved.
3. Most people will change the opinion they express as a result of an onslaught of criticism‚ even though they really don't change the way they feel.
4. Most people try to apply the Golden Rule even in today's complex society.
6. I find that my first impression of a person is usually correct.
7. Our success in life is pretty much determined by forces outside our own control.
8. If you give the average person a job to do and leave him to do it‚ he will finish it successfully.
9. Nowadays many people won't make a move until they find out what other people think.
10. Most people do not hesitate to go out of their way to help someone in trouble.
11. A person's reaction to things differs from one situation to another.
12. People can be described accurately by one term‚ such as "introverted‚" or "moral‚" or" sociable."
14. People usually tell the truth‚ even when they know they would be better off by lying.
15. The important thing in being successful nowadays is not how hard you work‚ but how well you fit in with the crowd.
16. Most people will act as "Good Samaritans" if given the opportunity.
17. Different people react to the same situation in different ways.
18. It’s not hard to understand what really is important to a person.
19. Attempts to understand ourselves are usually futile.
20. Most students do not cheat when taking an exam.
22. "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you" is a motto most people follow.
23. Each person's personality is different from the personality of every other person.
24. I think I get a good idea of a person's basic nature after a brief conversation with him.
25. There's little one can do to alter his fate in life.
26. Most people are basically honest.
27. The typical student will cheat on a test when everybody else does‚ even though he has a set of ethical standards.
29. People are quite different in their basic interests.
30. If I could ask a person three questions about himself (and assuming he would answer them honestly)‚ I would know a great deal about him.
31. If a person tries hard enough‚ he will usually reach his goals in life.
32. People claim they have ethical standards regarding honesty and morality‚ but few people stick to them when the chips are down.
33. Most people have the courage of their convictions.
34. The average person is conceited.
35. People are pretty much a like in their basic interests.
36. I find that my first impressions of people are frequently wrong.
37. The average person has an accurate understanding of the reasons for his behavior.
38. If you want people to do a job right‚ you should explain things to them in great detail and supervise them closely.
39. Most people can make their own decisions ‚ uninfluenced by public opinion.
40. It's only a rare person who would risk his own life and limb to help someone else .
41. People are basically similar in their personalities.
42. Some people are too complicated for me to figure out.
43. If people try hard enough‚ wars can be prevented in the future.
44. If most people could get in to a movie without paying and be sure they were not seen‚ they would do it.
45. It is achievement‚ rather than popularity with others‚ that gets you ahead nowadays.
46. It’s pathetic to see an unselfish person in today's world because so many people take advantage of him.
47. If you have a good idea about how several people will react to a certain situation‚ you can expect most other people to r e act the same way.
48. I think you can never really understand the feeling of other people.
49. The average person is largely the ma‎ster of his own fate.
50. Most people are not really honest for a desirable reason; they're afraid of getting caught.
51. The average person will stick to his opinion if he thinks he's right‚ even if others disagree.
52. People pretend to care more about one another than they really do.
53. Most people are consistent from situation to situation in the way they react to things.
54. You can't accurately describe a person in just a few words.
55. In a local or national election‚ most people se‎lect a candidate rationally and logically.
56. Most people would tell a lie if they could gain by it.
57. If a student does not believe in cheating‚ he will avoid it even if he sees many others doing it.
58. Most people inwardly dislike putting themselves out to help other people.
59. A child who is popular will be popular as an adult‚ too.
60. You can't classify everyone as good or bad.
61. Most people have little influence over the things that happen to them.
62. If you act in good faith with people‚ almost all of them will reciprocate with fairness toward you.
63. It’s a rare person who will go against the crowd.
64. The typical person is sincerely concerned about the problems of others.
65. People are pretty different from one another in what "makes them tick."
67. Most people have an unrealistically favorable view of their own capabilities.
69. Most people have to rely on someone else to make their important decision s for them.
70. Most people with a fallout shelter would let their neighbors stay in it during a nuclear attack.
72. When I meet a person‚ I look for one basic ch‎aracteristic through which I try to understand him.
73. Most persons have a lot of control over what happens to them in life.
74. Most people would cheat on their income tax‚ if they had a chance.
75. The person with novel ideas is respected in our society.
76. Most people exaggerate their troubles in order to get sympathy.
77. If I can see how a person reacts to one situation‚ I have a good idea of how he will react to other situations.
78. People are too complex to ever be understood fully.
79. Most people have a good idea of what their strengths and weaknesses are.
83. Often a person's basic personality is altered by such things as a religious conversion‚ psycho-therapy‚ or a ch‎arm course.
85. Most people vote for a political candidate on the basis of unimportant ch‎aracteristics such as his appearance or name‚ rather than because of his stand on the issues.
86. Most people lead clean‚ decent lives.
87. The average person will rarely express his opinion in a group when he sees the others disagree with him.
88. Most people would stop and help a person whose car is disabled.
89. People are unpredictable in how they'll act from one situation to another.
90. People are so complex it is hard to know what "makes them tick."
92. Nowadays people commit a lot of crimes and sins that no one else ever hears about.
93. Most people will speak out for what they believe in.
94. People are usually out for their own good.
95. When you get right down to it‚ people are quite a like in their emotional makeup.
96. Give me a few fact s about a person and I'll have a good idea of whether I'll like him or not.
Trustworthiness‚ Altruism‚ Independence‚ Strength of Will and Rationality‚ Complexity of Human NatureVariability in Human Nature
agree strongly‚ agree somewhat‚ agree slightly‚ disagree slightly‚ disagree somewhat‚ disagree strongly
Trustworthiness [(Positive items 2‚ 8‚ 14‚ 20‚ 26‚ 62‚ 86); (Negative items 32‚ 38‚ 44‚ 50‚ 56‚ 74‚ 92)]‚ Altruism [(Positive items 4‚ 10‚ 16‚ 22‚ 64‚ 70‚ 88); (Negative items 34‚ 40‚ 46‚ 52‚ 58‚ 76‚ 94)]‚ Independence (Positive items 33‚ 39‚ 45‚ 51‚ 57‚ 75‚ 93); (Negative items 3‚ 9‚ 15‚ 27‚ 63‚ 69‚ 87)]‚ Strength of Will and Rationality [(Positive items 31‚ 37‚ 43‚ 49‚ 55‚ 73‚ 79); (Negative items 1‚ 7‚ 19‚ 25‚ 61‚ 67‚ 85)]‚ Complexity of Human Nature (Positive items 36‚ 42‚ 48‚ 54‚ 60‚ 78‚ 90); (Negative items 6‚ 12‚ 18‚ 24‚ 30‚ 72‚ 96)]‚ Variability in Human Nature [(Positive items 11‚ 17‚ 23‚ 29‚ 65‚ 83‚ 89); (Negative items 35‚ 41‚ 47‚ 53‚ 59‚ 77‚ 95)]
This instrument can be found at: Measures of social psychological attitudes

Wrightsman‚ L. (1964). Measurement of philosophies of human nature. Psychological Reports. 14(3)‚ 743-751.

Robinson‚ John P.‚ Shaver‚ Phillip R. (1969). Measures of Political Attitudes. Institute for Social Research‚ University of Michigan/. Ann Arbor‚ Michigan

Wrightsman‚ L. S. 1992. Assumptions about human nature. 2nd ed. Newbury Park‚ CA: Sage.