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Keywords:

  • authoritarianism;
  • social dominance;
  • interest;
  • expertise;
  • moderation analysis

Abstract

Previous research has suggested that the association between right-wing authoritarianism (RWA) and social dominance orientation (SDO) is moderated by political interest and involvement. It is here hypothesized that interest also strengthens the association of authoritarianism with political self-placement and that higher levels of interest in politics shape voting choices that are more strongly associated with authoritarianism. Authoritarianism was defined as a second-order factor reflecting onto SDO and RWA in a structural equation modelling approach. In Study 1 (two samples, total N = 873), interest was found to moderate the impact of authoritarianism, as hypothesized. In Study 2 (N = 721), a higher order interaction involving interest and political expertise was detected. These results were obtained with different measures and in different electoral campaigns. The motivational and cognitive underpinnings of the moderating effects are discussed. Copyright © 2012 European Association of Personality Psychology.