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Authoritarianism

William Eckhardt
Political Psychology
Vol. 12, No. 1 (Mar., 1991), pp. 97-124
DOI: 10.2307/3791348
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3791348
Page Count: 28
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Authoritarianism
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Abstract

From the point of view taken in this paper, some psychological concepts look as if they were different aspects of the same thing: that is, a value dimension which includes authoritarianism, compulsion, conservatism, dogmatism, militarism, nationalism, and religiosity. These are interpreted and evaluated differently even when there is some agreement concerning the facts. But even the facts themselves come in for some disagreement. It seems clear that social scientists, like other human beings, have vested interests in the facts, theories, and values surrounding these concepts, which create as much controversy as they do presumably because they are laden with values. A basic task of political psychology would seem to be to find ways of reconciling the value differences caught in these concepts. In so doing, we might make some contribution toward resolving some of the most basic social conflicts. The purpose of this paper is to try to clarify the controversy.

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