Debate Magazine

How Authoritarian ARE YOU?

Posted on the 28 April 2014 by Doggone

How Authoritarian ARE YOU?

new style, above:
old style, below:

How Authoritarian ARE YOU?
Take the Altmeyer Authoritarian Quiz here. (reputed to be the latest version).
It should be pretty obvious that fascists and other authoritarians tend to reflect a conservative bias, as you read below, or if you take the quiz above.
And if you are unfamiliar with authoritarian personalities, or with right wing authoritarianism, it is defined by the psychologydictionary.org as:

What is AUTHORITARIAN PERSONALITY?

a distinct personality pattern that is characterized by (a) a preoccupation with power and status, (b) strict adherence to simplified conventional values, (c) an attitude of great deference to authority figures while demanding subservience from those regarded as lower in status, and (d) hostility toward minorities or other outgroups and to people who deviate from conventional moral prescriptions.
AUTHORITARIAN PERSONALITY: "An authoritarian personality is characterized by the need for power and subservience from others. "

You can read about it and Robert Altmeyer here, and  here; and then more here, which explains and demonstrates some of the work which preceded Altmeyer:

Authoritarian Personality

Adorno et al. (1950) proposed that prejudice is the results of an individual’s personality type.
They piloted and developed a questionnaire, which they called the F-scale (F for fascism). Adorno argued that deep-seated personality traits predisposed some individuals to be highly sensitive to totalitarian and antidemocratic ideas and therefore were prone to be highly prejudicial.  The evidence they gave to support this conclusion included:
    Case studies, e.g. Nazis
    Psychometric testing (use of the F-scale)
    Clinical interviews revealed situational aspects of their childhood, such as the fact that they had been brought up by very strict parents or guardians, which were found of participants who scored highly on the F-scale not always found in the backgrounds of low scorers.
Those with an authoritarian personality tended to be:
• Hostile to those who are of inferior status, but obedient of people with high status
• Fairly rigid in their opinions and beliefs
• Conventional, upholding traditional values Adorno concluded that people with authoritarian personalities where likely to categories people into “us” and “them” groups, seeing their own group as superior. Therefore, the study indicated that individuals with a very strict upbringing by critical and harsh parents were most likely to develop an authoritarian personality. 
Adorno believed that this was because the individual in question was not able to express hostility towards their parents (for being strict and critical).  Consequently, the person would then displace this aggression / hostility onto safer targets, namely those who are weaker, such as ethnic minorities.
Adorno et al. felt that authoritarian traits, as identified by the F-Scale, predispose some individuals towards 'fascistic' characteristics such as:
• Ethnocentrism, i.e. the tendency to favor one's own ethnic group:
• Obsession with rank and status
• Respect for and submissiveness to authority figures
• Preoccupation with power and toughness.
In other words, according to Adorno, the Eichmanns of this world are there because the have authoritarian personalities and therefore are predisposed cruelty, as a result of their upbringing.
There is evidence that the authoritarian personality exists. This might help to explain why some people are more resistant to changing their prejudiced views.
Go ahead, take the test; I bet you will find the results coordinate strongly with the political ideology you favor.

Back to Featured Articles on Logo Paperblog

Magazines