The Authoritarian Personality

  • Created by: Katie
  • Created on: 21-02-20 20:40
who conducted research into the authoritarian personality
Adorno et al.
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what influenced his research
the anti-semitism of the holocaust
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what did Adorno set out to investigate
the causes of the obedient personality and unconscious attitudes towards racial groups
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who was his sample
2000 middle class white Americans
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what scale did he develop
the F-scale/ fascism scale
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what did it mean to score highly on the scale
you had authoritarian leanings
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what did Adorno find about those who scored highly
they generally identified as 'strong' and were contemptuous of those they saw as 'weak'
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what kind of cognitive style did these pople have
they had fixed and distinct stereotypes about other groups
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what was there a strong positive correlation between
authoritarianism and prejudice
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what characteristics do people with an authoritarian personality tend to have (4)
1. extreme respect for authority 2. conventional attitudes 3. contemptuous towards the weak 4. inflexible in their outlook
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what are the origins of the authoritarian personality
harsh parenting in childhood - strict discipline and conditional love
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how does this lead to the AP
create resentment and hostility but the child cannot express these feelings to the parent so they tke it out on other kids, those they see as weak
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what kind of explanation is this
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Who's research supports the Authoritarian Personality
Milgram and Elms
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what were Milgram and Elms trying to find link between
the authoritarian personality and obedience
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what did they do to find this correlation
conducted interviews with those who had scored highly on the F-scale
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Though hat limits the application of this research support
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2. why is the authoritarian personality as an explanation limited
doesn't account for peronality differences
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in pre-war Germany the majority of the popuation had racist, obedient behaviour even though their personalities differed greatly - it is unlikely they all had an authoritarian personality
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therefore which explanation s better
social identity theory
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how can it explain obedience in this context
the majority of German people identified with the anti-Semitic Nazi state, and scapegoated the Jews
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3. what kind of Bias is the f-scale likely to be subject to
Political bias
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why is this
the f-scale measures the tendency towards an extreme right wing ideology, a politically iased interpretation of the personality
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what kind of political leaning dos it consequently ignore
extreme left wing extremism like Russian Boshevism
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why is it remiss to ignore this
left wing extremism also emphasises the importance of complete obedience to a legitimate authority
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why does this limit Adorno
his theory is therefore not a comprehensive dispositional explanation
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4. what methodological bias is the f-scale subject to
aquiescence bias
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what does this mean about the AP as an explanation
it's based on flawed methodology
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what influenced his research


the anti-semitism of the holocaust

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what did Adorno set out to investigate


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who was his sample


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what scale did he develop


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