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In Defense of Mainstream Conservatism: A Response to Crouse and Stalker



This article provides a response to Crouse and Stalker's reply to my commentary (Thomas, 2013) on their article titled “Do Right-Wing Authoritarian Beliefs Originate from Psychological Conflict?” (Psychoanalytic Psychology, 24, 25–44). The authors' critical remarks regarding my commentary are addressed, and recommendations are offered for a more cautious use of psychoanalytic theory and results derived from The Right-Wing Authoritarianism Scale (Altemeyer, 1998) for labeling persons with mainstream conservative political beliefs as being “psychopathological” or “right-wing authoritarians.” Such assertions regarding the personality characteristics of political conservatives are particularly troubling, since the authors' conclusions were purely speculative, and they collected neither clinical nor empirical data on patients or research subjects with so-called right-wing authoritarian personalities to support their speculations.

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