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Mentor

Dr. Doan Modianos

Abstract

Despite the existence of multiple scales purporting to measure degree of authoritarianism as a personality trait, there exists disagreement within current research as to whether these measures reliably measure the three hypothesized domains of authoritarian submission, aggression, and traditionalism. This study focuses on the development of a new scale in response to methodological and validity concerns of previously-used measures. The new scale provides a reliable measure of authoritarian belief within the tested sample of college-aged students. Factor analysis of responses to the items of the new measure also provides evidence of the multidimensionality of authoritarianism as a construct. Further, significant correlations are found between Graham and Haidt's Moral Foundations model and the dimensions of authoritarianism as measured by this scale. Analysis also reveals a significant relationship between authoritarianism and vertical collectivist and individualist belief. These findings reaffirm current theoretical belief in the tridimensional model of authoritarianism and provide a new, reliable measure of the authoritarian personality.

About the Author

Melodie Spiegel is a third-year student at the University of Central Florida double-majoring in Political Science and Psychology. She is also pursuing a minor in cognitive science and a certificate in intelligence and national security. Her research interests include political psychology and psycholinguistics. She hopes to attend graduate school in the future to focus on cognitive psychology.

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