Wild Analysis in Politics



This commentary provides a critical discussion of Crouse and Stalker's (2007) attempt to psychoanalyze right-wing authoritarian beliefs. The psychological inventory used by Crouse and Stalker for this purpose, The Right-Wing Authoritarian Scale (Altemeyer, 1998), has dubious validity characteristics, and the conclusions reached by Crouse and Stalker regarding the origins and characteristics of right-wing political beliefs and attitudes may be more reflective of the authors' political prejudices than of a serious psychoanalytic study of different personality structures. In the present article, the author demonstrates not only the flaws associated with the measuring instrument used, but also the left-wing biases in the Crouse and Stalker analysis. Unfortunately, these prejudices against individuals with conservative political beliefs may be extensively present in the psychology and psychoanalytic communities and serve neither an appropriate clinical nor scientific purpose.