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bdamomma Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-12-06 10:19 AM
Response to Original message
1. I had to bring this thread forward
Edited on Wed Jul-12-06 10:19 AM by alyce douglas
please read about RW Authoritarian Personality traits

this is exactly what we are dealing with.

Significant Correlations
Altemeyer discovered a wide range of correlations over the years, which can be organized into four general categories.

1: Faulty reasoning -- RWAs are more likely to:

Make many incorrect inferences from evidence.
Hold contradictory ideas leading them to speak out of both sides of their mouths.
Uncritically accept that many problems are our most serious problem.
Uncritically accept insufficient evidence that supports their beliefs.
Uncritically trust people who tell them what they want to hear.
Use many double standards in their thinking and judgements.
2: Hostility Toward Outgroups -- RWAs are more likely to:

Weaken constitutional guarantees of liberty, such as the Bill of Rights.
Punish severely common criminals in a role-playing situation.
Admit they get personal pleasure from punishing such people.
Be prejudiced against many racial, ethnic, nationalistic, and linguistic minorities.
Be hostile toward homosexuals.
Volunteer to help the government persecute almost anyone.
Be mean-spirited toward those who have made mistakes and suffered.
3: Profound Character Flaws -- RWAs are more likely to:

Be dogmatic.
Be zealots.
Be hypocrites.
Be bullies when they have power over others.
Help cause and inflame intergroup conflict.
Seek dominance over others by being competitive and destructive in situations requiring cooperation.
4: Blindness To Ones Own Failings -- RWAs are more likely to:

Believe they have no personal failings.
Avoid learning about their personal failings.
Be highly self-righteous.
Use religion to erase guilt over their acts and to maintain their self-righteousness.
RWA is also correlated with political conservatismnot so much at the level of ordinary voters, but with increasing strength as one moves from voters to activists to office holders, and then from lower to higher-level officeholders.

Altemeyer's own statement about this may be worth noting (From p. 239 of "Enemies of Freedom"):

"right-wing authoritarians show little preference in general for any political party".

So the type of conservatism studied by Altemeyer is a rather peculiar subset of it -- one with virtually no everyday political relevance. Like the Adorno F scale which was its ultimate inspiration, the RWA scale would seem to tap a particularly old-fashioned type of conservatism
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