F-Scale and Authoritarian Personality

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  • F-Scale and Authoritarian Personality
    • F-scale
      • Measures the authoritarian personality
      • Questionnaire by Adorno (1950)
        • Made up of statements
        • Ppts marked strongly agree - strongly disagree
      • The higher the score, the more authoritarian the participant is
    • Authoritarian Personality
      • More likely to obey authority
      • Less flexible in opinions
      • Contempt for those they view as inferior
      • Generally submissive to authority
      • People with AP were more likely to deliver hig shocks in Milgrams study
    • Evaluation: Supports Milgram (1963)
      • Elms and Milgram interviewed ppts of Milgram's original study
      • More obedient ppts scored higher on the F-scale
      • Shows a link between obedience and AP
    • Evaluation: Correlation and causation
      • Link between AP and obedience is a correlation
      • Correlation of the 2 variables doesn't imply causation
      • A third factor could be involved
        • Hyman and Sheatsley (1954)
        • Obedience and authoritarian personality are associated with lower levels of education
        • AP and obedience are not directly linked with each other at all
        • The correlation could be misinterpreted
    • Evaluation: Methodology
      • Based on a flawed methodology
      • Greenstein (1969): "A comedy of methodological errors
      • Every statement is worded in the same 'direction'
        • Possible to get a high score by ticking all boxes down one side of the page
        • Aquiescence bias (tendency to agree with everything)
      • Ppts may have unintentionally responded untruthfully
      • Response bias means findings are meaningless


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