Researchers have proposed a number of theories that outline processes thought to occur when a participant responds to a self-report measure. These theories are described elsewhere in great detail (e.g., Schwarz, 1999; Schwarz et al., 1998; Schwarz & Sudman, 1996; Strack & Martin, 1987; Sudman, Bradburn, & Schwarz, 1996; Tourangeau et al., 2000), and a comprehensive review of these theories is beyond the scope of this chapter. Instead, we provide an overview of some of the major processes that underlie self-reports, focusing on ways that these processes can influence self-reports. In addition, we examine the evidence that exists about the extent to which artifacts and unwanted method effects can influence the validity of self-reports of various constructs.
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