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The major purpose of the present investigation was to reconsider some of the research on the personality correlates of liberalism-conservatism (b-C) by employing a criterion-index measure of L-C, the Conservatism Index (CI). The CI was derived from the subjects' preferences for political candidates with liberal to conservative leanings. Six hundred and four questionnaires were completed in four surveys. Questionnaires for each survey consisted of one or more inventories followed by a straw ballot representing the CI. The ballot included all announced candidates in the 1972 United States presidential primary campaign, plus Edward Kennedy. The CI correlated significantly with two conventional measures of L-C, and showed a similar pattern of correlates. Conservatism, especially as measured by the CI, also correlated significantly with low self concept, conformism, materialism, provincialism, intolerance for ambiguity, traditional family ideology, and authoritarianism. The conservative was not found to be less trustful of people, nor less socially responsible, as reported by previous research. The possibility of the CI serving as a substitute measure of b-C with advantages of brevity, currency, uniformity, and unobtrusiveness, was discussed.

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.2224/sbp.1974.2.1.43

Publication date: January 1, 1974

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