Adorno's theory- dispositional factors

  • Created by: Syxxx
  • Created on: 20-06-18 12:41


Adorno (1950) looked at the causes of the obedient personality

He looked at 2000 white, middle class Americans and their unconcious attitudes

He developed the Fascist scale (F scale) which is still in use today to measure the authoritarian personality.

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A01-Authoritarian Characteristics


People who scored highly on f scale tended to be :

  • Contemptuous of the weak- Look down on the weak
  • Concious of their own and other peoples's statuses 
  • Especially obedient to authority-extreme respect
  • Very conventional attitudes on sex,gender,race
  • Believe we need strong and powerful leaders 
  • Uncomfortable with uncertainty
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A01-What causes Authoritarian personality?

1.Strict discipline

2.An expectation of complete loyalty

3.Impossibly high standards

4.Severe criticism of perceived failings

5.Conditional love- Parents love & affection for the child depends on how it behaves

Scapegoating-when fears are displaced onyo others that are seen as weaker than them due to resentment and hostility.

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  • Idea of authoritarian personality was based on flawed questionaire 
  • F scale has a response bias-more yeses instead of no to questions would end up with a high authoritarian score
  • It cannot explain all cases of obedience such as the millions of Germans who displayed high obedience and predjudiced behaviour.
  • That would mean they all had the same upbringing and personality.
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The theory showed the importance of childhood and how we shouldn't blindly conform and instead teach our children not to be afraid 

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