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J Psychol. 2007 Jan;141(1):77-90.

Political conservatism, rigidity, and dogmatism in American foreign policy officials: the 1966 Mennis data.

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  • 1Department of Sociology/300, University of Nevada, Reno, NV 89557, USA.


Researchers have established a relationship between political orientation and cognitive styles (A. Chirumbolo, 2002; J. T. Jost, J. Glaser, A. W. Kruglanski, & F. Sulloway, 2003a, 2003b; M. Kemmelmeier, 1997). In this article, the author examined whether this finding is true in the political elite, whether the relationship is linear or curvilinear, and whether interest in politics moderates the relationship between political orientation and cognitive styles. He used a 1966 sample of American foreign policy officials (N = 95) to examine the relationship between self-described conservatism and party identification and individual differences in rigidity and dogmatism. Rigidity was related to self-described conservatism, but this relationship was only significant among participants high in political interest, whereas dogmatism was unconditionally related to party identification. All relationships were linear and did not contain a curvilinear component.

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