Effects of Right-Wing Authoritarianism and Threat from Terrorism on Restriction of Civil Liberties


  • We thank Frank Asbrock, Sabine Pahl, and Thomas Petzel for helpful comments on earlier versions of this article.

*Correspondence regarding this article should be addressed to Dr. J. Christopher Cohrs, Friedrich Schiller University of Jena, International Graduate College, Wildstr. 1, 07743 Jena, Germany [e-mail: christopher.cohrs@uni-jena.de].


In an Internet survey (N = 275), we investigated how right-wing authoritarianism (RWA), social dominance orientation (SDO), personal values, and political ideology predicted attitudes toward restriction of civil liberties and toward surveillance measured one year later. Feelings of threat from terrorism were also taken into account. RWA, SDO, political ideology, security values, and self-direction values were significant predictors. In addition, RWA interacted with threat from terrorism, in that threat reinforced the positive effect of RWA on support for surveillance measures. Thus, the study contributes to the understanding of psychological reasons for support for political measures related to civil liberties.