If you experience problems with attribute inheritance on a chef client and watch the chef-client output without knowing what attributes are effective you can either look at the chef GUI or do the same on console using "shef" or in "chef-shell" in newer chef releases.

So run

chef-shell -z
The "-z" is important to get chef-shell to load the currently active run list for the node that a "chef-client" run would use.

Then enter "attributes" to switch to attribute mode
chef > attributes
chef:attributes >
and query anything you like by specifying the attribute path as you do in recipes:
chef:attributes > default["authorized_keys"]
chef:attributes > node["packages"]
By just querying for "node" you get a full dump of all attributes.