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Different Ways of Being Authoritarian: The Distinct Effects of Authoritarian Dimensions on Values and Prejudice

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The traditional and still dominant approach to authoritarianism measures it as a unidimensional construct. However, in the past few years some studies have assessed the three hypothesized authoritarianism components (i.e., authoritarian submission, authoritarian aggression, and conventionalism) separately. The aims of this study are to verify that the three‐correlated‐factor structure fits the data better than the one‐factor model and to analyze the distinct effects of the three dimensions of authoritarianism on values and prejudice. A total of 169 Italian citizens responded to a questionnaire. As hypothesized, a structural equation model shows that the dimension of authoritarian submission is mainly related to the openness to change vs. conservation values opposition; the dimension of authoritarian aggression is more characterized on the self‐transcendence vs. self‐enhancement values opposition; conventionalism is mainly linked to traditional values. As concerns prejudice, this variable is predicted just by authoritarian aggression. Theoretical implications as concerns the conceptualization of authoritarianism are discussed.
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Keywords: aggression; authoritarianism; prejudice; submission; values

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: February 1, 2017

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