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A Motivational Model of Authoritarianism: Integrating Personal and Situational Determinants

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Abstract

We describe and test a collective security model of authoritarianism. This model sees Right Wing Authoritarianism (RWA) as directly caused by collective security motivation (CSM), which is in turn influenced jointly by personality (with its effects mediated through group identification and dangerous world beliefs) and social threat (with its effects mediated through dangerous world beliefs). Two studies tested this model using student samples—one was correlational (N = 218), while the other included an experimental manipulation of threat using future scenarios (N = 136). Structural equation analyses partially supported the model suggesting that CSM fully mediated the effects of threat and group identification on RWA, but only partially mediated the effect of personality, which also had important direct effects.

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