Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)




Faculty of Science

First Advisor

Mark Pancer

Advisor Role

Thesis Supervisor


This thesis describes the psychometric evaluation and validation of a scale assessing people's tendency to use others’ opinions in order to assess the correctness of their own opinion. In study 1, 320 introductory psychology students completed the 12-item Need for Social Validation scale (N SV), as well as the Need to Evaluate and Self-Monitoring scales. The NSV scale was demonstrated to possess good internal consistency (Cronbach’s alpha=.85), a two factor structure, and high test-retest reliability after 22-weeks (r = .76). The NSV was found to be negatively related to the Need to Evaluate scale (r = -.49) and unrelated to the Self-Monitoring scale (r = .11, n.s.). Two additional studies supported the predictive validity of the NSV. In one study, 96 introductory psychology students were asked to give an opinion about a social issue and were then offered the opportunity to see how other people responded to the issue. It was found that high-NSV participants were more likely to read other people's opinions than were low-NSV participants. In another study, 40 male introductory psychology students were led to believe that attractiveness was either "subjective" or "objective", and were then asked to rate how attractive they found a woman in a photograph to be. They were then told that they would be rating the woman's attractiveness again and were asked how interested they were in seeing more photographs of the woman and other male participants’ ratings of the woman's attractiveness. Participants who scored high on the NSV were more interested in seeing other participants’ ratings than were participants who were low in NSV. Implications for research in social and personality psychology are discussed.

Convocation Year


Convocation Season