Intolerance of ambiguity and socio-politico ideology: A multidimensional analysis

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Abstract

This study tested the relative plausibility of three, main theories and/or hypotheses concerning the relationship between intolerance of ambiguity and socio-politico ideology: (a) authoritarian personality theory, (b) the extremism hypothesis and (c) the context hypothesis. The sample consisted of 195 Swedish high school students randomly selected from five different high schools from greater Stockholm in the spring of 1974. Separate factor analyses of the Budner Intolerance of Ambiguity Scale and the S4 Conservatism Scale generated seven factors of ambiguity intolerance and five factors of socio-politico ideology, Scattergram, correlation and trend analyses disclosed a number of statistically significant relationships between the various dimensions of ambiguity intolerance and socio-politico ideology. The main trend of the results tended to confirm authoritarian personality theory concerning the relationship between intolerance of ambiguity and racism or ethnic prejudice. Furthermore, some support was found for the context hypothesis, with regards to the relationship between general intolerance of ambiguity and general conservatism, among other things. No support could be found for the extremism hypothesis.

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