A New Measure of Conservatism


  • The authors are indebted to Richard F. Lewis and Miss R. A. Ballin for invaluable assistance in the collection of standardization data.


A variable of personality which has been shown to have considerable predictive value in both social and clinical psychology is that which is variously labelled authoritarianism, dogmatism, fascism, and anti-scientific attitude. The term ‘conservatism’ is preferred because it is less value-toned than other alternatives. Previous tests of this dimension are criticized on a number of grounds and the development of a new test which circumvents these deficiencies is described. The ‘Conservatism Scale’ is found to be a remarkably reliable, valid, and economical instrument.