In the study of personality, researchers have often had difficulty generating empirical support for propositions that seem, on the face of them, obviously true. Such has been the case, for example, in research on the relation of opinions to personality. Most researchers and laypeople alike would agree that personality is expressed, at least to some extent, in the opinions an individual holds. That is, we tend to view attitudes as significant expressions of the self: We assume that we have learned something about a person when we know his or her attitudes and assume further that these attitudes should relate, in some lawful way, to other aspects of the person. At a general level, these claims are uncontroversial. But when we move to more specific research questions about how personality is manifested in people’s opinions, which other aspects of the person should be consistent with his or her attitudes, and what the source of any observed consistency might be, answers are

much more difficult to come by. Theories that have addressed these questions about the relationship of opinions to personality have proven very difficult to test, and empirical evidence of consistency between attitudes and other aspects of the person has been elusive.