Arne Roets is a post-doctoral researcher granted by the National Fund for Scientific Research-Flanders (Belgium).
The closed mind: ‘Experience’ and ‘cognition’ aspects of openness to experience and need for closure as psychological bases for right-wing attitudes
Article first published online: 21 JUL 2010
Copyright © 2010 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
European Journal of Personality
Volume 25, Issue 3, pages 184–197, May/June 2011
How to Cite
Onraet, E., Van Hiel, A., Roets, A. and Cornelis, I. (2011), The closed mind: ‘Experience’ and ‘cognition’ aspects of openness to experience and need for closure as psychological bases for right-wing attitudes. Eur. J. Pers., 25: 184–197. doi: 10.1002/per.775
- Issue published online: 16 MAY 2011
- Article first published online: 21 JUL 2010
- Manuscript Accepted: 18 MAR 2010
- Manuscript Revised: 16 MAR 2010
- Manuscript Received: 25 SEP 2009
Openness to Experience and Need for Closure (NFC) are dispositional variables related to social-cultural right-wing attitudes. The present study investigated their joint effects. Factor analysis revealed an ‘experiential’ dimension with high loading openness items, and a ‘cognition’ dimension with high loadings for most NFC items and about a quarter of the openness item set. The experiential openness items were weakly related to right-wing attitudes, demonstrating little predictive value. Conversely, the cognitive openness and NFC items were powerful predictors of right-wing attitudes, and also played an important role in integrative models, both as a predictor of authoritarianism-based racism and as a mediator of age related increments in right-wing attitudes. It is concluded that right-wing attitudes should be primarily understood in terms of (motivated) cognition, and to a smaller extent in terms of experiential openness. The distinction between ‘experiential’ and ‘cognitive’ openness is critically assessed, and it is asserted that because cognition is a multifaceted construct openness contains more than one cognitive dimension. Copyright © 2010 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.