Despite the existence of multiple scales designed to measure authoritarianism as a personality trait, current research disagrees as to whether current measures reliably measure all three dimensions of authoritarianism: submission, aggression, and traditionalism. This study focused on the development of a new scale in response to methodological and validity concerns of previously-used measures. This new scale was found to be a reliable measure of authoritarian belief in two subsequent studies of college-aged adults. Factor analysis of responses to the items of the new measure also provided evidence of the multidimensionality of authoritarianism as a construct. Further, significant correlations were found between the Graham and Haidt’s Moral Foundations model and the dimensions of authoritarianism as measured by this scale. Analysis also revealed a significant relationship between authoritarianism and measures of social hierarchical belief, as well as salient political variables. These findings reaffirm current theoretical belief in the tridimensional model of authoritarianism and provide a new, reliable measure of the authoritarian personality. This has implications for the creation of a more productive dialogue between politically-divided groups, though further research is needed on the exact nature of authoritarianism itself.
Bachelor of Science (B.S.)
College of Sciences
Spiegel, Melodie, "A New Measure Of The Authoritarian Personality: Untangling The Personal And The Political" (2019). Honors Undergraduate Theses. 586.