What is it about?

Authoritarianism is a personality trait that involves obedience to authority, conformity to social norms, and hostility to outgroups. Most research on authoritarianism has focused on its right-wing variant, which is associated with conservative political views and values. However, there is also a left-wing variant of authoritarianism, which is associated with progressive political views and values. Left-wing authoritarians are people who support a strong central government that can enforce their preferred social and economic policies, and who are intolerant of dissent. In this paper, we present a new measure and a data-driven definition of left-wing authoritarianism, and we examine how it relates to other psychological constructs and behaviors.

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Why is it important?

This paper is important because it challenges the common assumption that authoritarianism is only a right-wing phenomenon. It shows that authoritarianism can exist on both ends of the political spectrum, and that it has similar psychological roots and consequences. It also reveals that left-wing authoritarianism is a powerful predictor of aggression and political violence, which has implications for understanding and preventing social conflicts. By clarifying the structure and nature of left-wing authoritarianism, this paper contributes to a more comprehensive and nuanced understanding of authoritarianism in general.

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This page is a summary of: Clarifying the structure and nature of left-wing authoritarianism., Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, January 2022, American Psychological Association (APA),
DOI: 10.1037/pspp0000341.
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