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Author Topic:   Are You an Authoritarian?
RAZD
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Posts: 19869
From: the other end of the sidewalk
Joined: 03-14-2004
Member Rating: 5.5


Message 46 of 181 (501874)
03-08-2009 11:37 AM
Reply to: Message 29 by subbie
03-08-2009 1:20 AM


Re: 65
Hi Subbie, from the grave position taken ...

quote:
is also authoritarian in reactionary ways. Or as Subbie implies, black and white thinking.

I'd be curious to hear your reasoning on that.

Simple, rather than come to one's own conclusions, to adapt those of radicals, accepting them as authorities.

Perhaps I just distrust certainty. But why I had a lot of 3's instead of 4's

{abe}

I couldn't completely agree 100% with statement 13, because some animal rights activists are dangerous morons.

And this is why I had a lot of 3's

Enjoy.

Edited by RAZD, : abe


we are limited in our ability to understand
by our ability to understand
Rebel American Zen Deist
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This message is a reply to:
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subbie
Member
Posts: 3509
Joined: 02-26-2006


Message 47 of 181 (501879)
03-08-2009 11:43 AM
Reply to: Message 46 by RAZD
03-08-2009 11:37 AM


Re: 65
But that just assumes that I'm simply adopting radical positions because radicals espouse them. What if these are all positions I've taken on my own, based on my own reasoning?


For we know that our patchwork heritage is a strength, not a weakness. We are a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus -- and non-believers. -- Barack Obama

We see monsters where science shows us windmills. -- Phat


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Modulous
Member (Idle past 267 days)
Posts: 7789
From: Manchester, UK
Joined: 05-01-2005


Message 48 of 181 (501881)
03-08-2009 12:20 PM
Reply to: Message 46 by RAZD
03-08-2009 11:37 AM


LWAs
Simple, rather than come to one's own conclusions, to adapt those of radicals, accepting them as authorities.

Perhaps I just distrust certainty. But why I had a lot of 3's instead of 4's

Does this mean you are not accepting the authorities of those who very strongly disagree or very strongly agree with certain ideas, but instead you are accepting the authorities that only 'strongly agree/disagree' with certain ideas?

The scale under question only measures Right Wing Authoritarianism. While it is presumably true that LWAs would score low on this scale, it doesn't follow that scoring low makes you an LWA. You would have to also score high on an LWA scale.

In other words, if you score high on one of the scales, it would be expected you would score low on another. But it doesn't follow that if score low on one scale you must therefore score highly on another scale. A person that is not any kind of follower of authority would presumably score low on both.

Unfortunately, developing an LWA scale has proven difficult to date, though several have tried.


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Larni
Member
Posts: 3976
From: Liverpool
Joined: 09-16-2005


Message 49 of 181 (501883)
03-08-2009 12:33 PM
Reply to: Message 44 by Percy
03-08-2009 8:11 AM


Re: Bob Altemeyer
Bang on, Percy.

The ghost of the idea that psychology is not science still riles me; I blame psychoanalysis.


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roxrkool
Member (Idle past 1060 days)
Posts: 1493
From: Nevada
Joined: 03-23-2003


Message 50 of 181 (501913)
03-08-2009 3:22 PM
Reply to: Message 15 by Larni
03-07-2009 3:31 PM


I agree. Being a strong atheist, the religious nature of many of the questions made me feel more strongly about the answers. Politically, I consider myself a moderate... except when it comes to social issues.

I scored a 34.


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Theodoric
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Posts: 6264
From: Northwest, WI, USA
Joined: 08-15-2005
Member Rating: 3.5


Message 51 of 181 (501934)
03-08-2009 5:50 PM


30 here
I guess a 30 is a raging atheist,liberal or something.

I was very sure of all my answers. I guess I just feel that the gold old days weren't really that good and I have no desire to have some pompous right winger try to take us back to them.

The thing that stands out to me is these questions seem to validate my fear that religious people think atheist like I have no morals. Then again they think anyone that believes or acts differently than they do has no morals.


Facts don't lie or have an agenda. Facts are just facts
    
Rrhain
Member (Idle past 36 days)
Posts: 6349
From: San Diego, CA, USA
Joined: 05-03-2003


Message 52 of 181 (501945)
03-08-2009 7:50 PM
Reply to: Message 48 by Modulous
03-08-2009 12:20 PM


Modulous writes:

quote:
The scale under question only measures Right Wing Authoritarianism. While it is presumably true that LWAs would score low on this scale, it doesn't follow that scoring low makes you an LWA. You would have to also score high on an LWA scale.

I think you need to go back and read the paper. His use of "right" is not the political "right." Rather, it is the use of "right" as in "correct," "proper," "expected." Following "liberal" leaders is just as much "RWA" as following "conservative" leaders. It's just a question of what the status quo is.

His use of "left" is more to do with upsetting the status quo, the revolutionaries. Thus, those who are trying to destroy authority would score high on an "LWA" test. His comments are that there aren't any LWA's left and when they do exist, they tend to bicker amongst themselves.

In North America people who submit to the established authorities to extraordinary degrees often turn out to be political conservatives, 2 so you can call them “right-wingers” both in my new-fangled psychological sense and in the usual political sense as well. But someone who lived in a country long ruled by Communists and who ardently supported the Communist Party would also be one of my psychological right-wing authoritarians even though we would also say he was a political left-winger. So a right-wing authoritarian follower doesn’t necessarily have conservative political views. Instead he’s someone who readily submits to the established authorities in society, attacks others in their name, and is highly conventional. It’s an aspect of his personality, not a description of his politics. Rightwing authoritarianism is a personality trait, like being characteristically bashful or happy or grumpy or dopey.

You could have left-wing authoritarian followers as well, who support a revolutionary leader who wants to overthrow the establishment. I knew a few in the 1970s, Marxist university students who constantly spouted their chosen authorities, Lenin or Trotsky or Chairman Mao. Happily they spent most of their time fighting with each other, as lampooned in Monty Python’s Life of Brian where the People’s Front of Judea devotes most of its energy to battling, not the Romans, but the Judean People’s Front. But the left-wing authoritarians on my campus disappeared long ago. Similarly in America “the Weathermen” blew away in the wind. I’m sure one can find left-wing authoritarians here and there, but they hardly exist in sufficient numbers now to threaten democracy in North America. However I have found bucketfuls of right-wing authoritarians in nearly every sample I have drawn in Canada and the United States for the past three decades. So when I speak of “authoritarian followers” in this book I mean right-wing authoritarian followers, as identified by the RWA scale.

Thus, it is a coincidence that RWAs tend to be politically conservative, but it doesn't have to be that way.


Rrhain

Thank you for your submission to Science. Your paper was reviewed by a jury of seventh graders so that they could look for balance and to allow them to make up their own minds. We are sorry to say that they found your paper "bogus," specifically describing the section on the laboratory work "boring." We regret that we will be unable to publish your work at this time.
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Lithodid-Man
Member (Idle past 1094 days)
Posts: 504
From: Juneau, Alaska, USA
Joined: 03-22-2004


Message 53 of 181 (501970)
03-09-2009 2:41 AM
Reply to: Message 43 by Larni
03-08-2009 7:56 AM


Psychology and Statistics
Larni and Percy,

I am completely sorry and retract my statement. It is a good example of how important it is for me to critically examine my opinions and beliefs, especially before airing them publicly. As a 'hard' science major I have taken it as a given that psychological sciences were weak on scientific rigor. I have not, however, based that on actual evidence but a composite of notions and opinions garnered over time. This is the very definition of unfair bias and bigotry. I will watch myself in the future, so thank you both for pointing this out.


Doctor Bashir: "Of all the stories you told me, which were true and which weren't?"
Elim Garak: "My dear Doctor, they're all true"
Doctor Bashir: "Even the lies?"
Elim Garak: "Especially the lies"
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Larni
Member
Posts: 3976
From: Liverpool
Joined: 09-16-2005


Message 54 of 181 (501975)
03-09-2009 4:32 AM
Reply to: Message 53 by Lithodid-Man
03-09-2009 2:41 AM


Re: Psychology and Statistics
No worries, mate.

When people think of psychology they often think of psychoanalysis; those charlatans Freud and Jung have a lot to answer for.


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Percy
Member
Posts: 18478
From: New Hampshire
Joined: 12-23-2000
Member Rating: 2.8


Message 55 of 181 (501982)
03-09-2009 6:42 AM
Reply to: Message 53 by Lithodid-Man
03-09-2009 2:41 AM


Re: Psychology and Statistics
I didn't think you went overboard in your criticism because there is a branch of psychology (the part that I think of as psychoanalysis, but I'm just a layperson) that is largely responsible for psychology's reputation as a soft science. Sociology is similar in this way, often very rigorous and mathematical but with some portions devoted to ideas with a very soft evidential foundation.

--Percy


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Modulous
Member (Idle past 267 days)
Posts: 7789
From: Manchester, UK
Joined: 05-01-2005


Message 56 of 181 (501985)
03-09-2009 7:07 AM
Reply to: Message 52 by Rrhain
03-08-2009 7:50 PM


I think you need to go back and read the paper. His use of "right" is not the political "right." Rather, it is the use of "right" as in "correct," "proper," "expected." Following "liberal" leaders is just as much "RWA" as following "conservative" leaders. It's just a question of what the status quo is.

Why do I need to go back and read the paper? The section you posted confirms what I said.

You could have left-wing authoritarian followers as well, who support a revolutionary leader who wants to overthrow the establishment. I knew a few in the 1970s, Marxist university students who constantly spouted their chosen authorities, Lenin or Trotsky or Chairman Mao. Happily they spent most of their time fighting with each other, as lampooned in Monty Python’s Life of Brian where the People’s Front of Judea devotes most of its energy to battling, not the Romans, but the Judean People’s Front. But the left-wing authoritarians on my campus disappeared long ago. Similarly in America “the Weathermen” blew away in the wind. I’m sure one can find left-wing authoritarians here and there, but they hardly exist in sufficient numbers now to threaten democracy in North America. However I have found bucketfuls of right-wing authoritarians in nearly every sample I have drawn in Canada and the United States for the past three decades. So when I speak of “authoritarian followers” in this book I mean right-wing authoritarian followers, as identified by the RWA scale.

So yes, you can have LWAs, but this book is not about them, it is about RWAs. An LWA would follow 'revolutionaries' rather than 'traditionalists'. (I use quotes because in later chapters he talks about Social Dominators who may lie about their position in order to get Authoritarian followers to follow them).


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Percy
Member
Posts: 18478
From: New Hampshire
Joined: 12-23-2000
Member Rating: 2.8


Message 57 of 181 (501989)
03-09-2009 8:08 AM
Reply to: Message 56 by Modulous
03-09-2009 7:07 AM


Just for clarification, this is from page 9:

Because the submission occurs to traditional authority, I call these followers rightwing authoritarians. I’m using the word “right” in one of its earliest meanings, for in Old English “riht”(pronounced “writ”) as an adjective meant lawful, proper, correct, doing what the authorities said. (And when someone did the lawful thing back then, maybe the authorities said, with a John Wayne drawl, “You got that riht, pilgrim!”)

In the paragraph you quoted I think he may have fallen victim to equivocation, using left-wing authoritarians to refer to political left-wingers, right-wing authoritarians to refer to political right wingers, and RWA (standing for Right Wing Authoritarians) to refer to those vulnerable to authority. This is confusing, but I believe you're correct that he's indicating that in the book he's not talking about political left-wing people high on the RWA scale, but about political right-wing people high on the RWA scale.

--Percy


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Modulous
Member (Idle past 267 days)
Posts: 7789
From: Manchester, UK
Joined: 05-01-2005


(1)
Message 58 of 181 (502032)
03-09-2009 11:42 AM
Reply to: Message 57 by Percy
03-09-2009 8:08 AM


To be honest, I think the term is unnecessarily confusing as if it was designed to create that kind of confusion so that people can spring an 'aha!' later. But if you read the note attached to that part you quoted you'll see that he made the term 'RWA' up first and then used that as a justification after someone confronted him on it.

quote:
John Dean, who loves words the way I love pizza, helpfully pointed out this early meaning of “right” after pinning me to the wall on why I called this personality trait right-wing authoritarianism.

Conceptually, I define authoritarian followers as persons who submit excessively to some authority, aggress in its name, and insist on everyone following its rules. As I shall quickly explain in the text, both right-wing and left-wing authoritarians exist. A few people
have said that my talking about “right-wing authoritarianism” shows I assume authoritarians are all “right-wingers.” Poppycock! (if I may be so bold.) I call it right-wing authoritarianism for the opposite reason, viz. to distinguish it from left-wing authoritarianism.


There is talk of LWAs from other sources - but there is confusion in terminology here too with people using it to sometimes mean political left-wing, but the LWAs implied by this book are presumably not the kind of people that submit to authorities that stand for 'lawful, proper, correct' behaviour but rather submission the kinds of authorities that stand for the opposite and by scoring very low on RWA doesn't mean you are submissive to authority to those that are 'unlawful, inproper, incorrect'.

This is confusing, but I believe you're correct that he's indicating that in the book he's not talking about political left-wing people high on the RWA scale, but about political right-wing people high on the RWA scale.

He does give examples of them, but he doesn't see left-wing RWAs as a big problem in the States (presumably because the left-wing isn't traditional and established.

quote:
High RWAs in the USSR turned out to be mainly members of the Communist Party. So psychologically they were right-wing authoritarian followers, even though we would say they were, as
Communists, extreme political and economic left wingers

Some people don't think such a creature as a LWA really exists, and those that follow revolutionaries would eventually become RWAs in there own right (Such as in many revolutions such as in France or what would become the Soviet countries) once their cause had become established. So calling these people RW anything is therefore pointless.

Its the fact that this potentially needless bias is in the text, despite the explanations as to why its all OK, that puts me on edge.

Then again, I guess there might be people who both want to overthrow The Establishment regardless of what that Establishment politically stands for and also are followers rather than activists...I'm just not entirely sure that's true.

I'm going to finish reading the book then read what his most qualified critics have to say about it before reaching any solid conclusions.


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Dawn Bertot
Member (Idle past 436 days)
Posts: 3571
Joined: 11-23-2007


Message 59 of 181 (502047)
03-09-2009 12:34 PM
Reply to: Message 47 by subbie
03-08-2009 11:43 AM


Re: 65
Subbie writes:
But that just assumes that I'm simply adopting radical positions because radicals espouse them. What if these are all positions I've taken on my own, based on my own reasoning?

"Obama ends Bush's limits on using federal dollars for embryonic stem cell research." Yahoo News

Maybe you idiot liberals and humanistic trash would like to discuss this idiots latest ignorant decision, amoung yourselves.

Uh oh.


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AdminModulous
Administrator (Idle past 267 days)
Posts: 897
Joined: 03-02-2006


Message 60 of 181 (502054)
03-09-2009 1:00 PM
Reply to: Message 59 by Dawn Bertot
03-09-2009 12:34 PM


I'll take this as a request for that indefinite suspension. Request granted.
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