Individual differences in need for precision

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This article develops and validates a measure of the construct of need for precision (NFP), defined as a preference for engaging in a relatively fine-grained mode of processing, and studies its relationship to several constructs. NFP is argued to have a motivational influence on several facets of social cognition. The nature of the NFP construct is discussed in the theoretical context of the five-factor model from personality research. A measure of NFP was developed and modified on the basis of tests of reliability and unidimensionality across several studies. The scale was also tested for different forms of validity across several studies using self-reports and behavioral tasks. NFP was related to several constructs from past research including breadth of categorization, unit of perception, need for cognition, tolerance for ambiguity, intelligence, field dependability, and attitudes toward numerical information, statistics, and mathematics.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)717-735
Number of pages19
JournalPersonality and social psychology bulletin
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 1997

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology


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