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Pers Soc Psychol Bull. 2006 Apr;32(4):486-500.

Can values moderate the attitudes of right-wing authoritarians?

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  • 1Department of Psychology, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, 55455, USA.


This investigation explored how right-wing authoritarianism (RWA) and endorsement of egalitarian beliefs may interact to determine attitudes toward immigrants, homosexuals, and African Americans. Study 1 (N = 239) found that RWA was negatively related to evaluations of immigrants for those who weakly endorsed egalitarian beliefs. In contrast, endorsement of egalitarian beliefs was associated with positive evaluations of immigrants for both low and high RWAs. RWA did not interact with egalitarianism to determine attitudes toward homosexuals or African Americans. Study 2 analyzed data from the 1992 National Election Study and replicated these effects in a young adult (age < or = 24) sample (n = 102) using moral traditionalism as a proxy for RWA. Partial support for the hypotheses also was found in the adult (age > or = 25) sample (n = 1,257). It is concluded that when tradition and/or social norms offer unclear positions, endorsement of egalitarian beliefs influences the attitudes of authoritarians.

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