It is part of the conventional religion among psychologists to believe that conservatives are the ones who are "authoritarian". Joe Stalin, Mao Tse Tung, Pol Pot and the leader of the National Socialist German Workers party just did not happen, you see. And like most Leftist beliefs, this one is impermeable to evidence. I have reported in the academic journals heaps of carefully conducted research showing the belief to be false but I was wasting my time of course. You can't argue with something that people need to believe.
Still, every now and again, a piece of research pops up which questions the orthodox faith and one such article is: "Is political conservatism synonymous with authoritarianism?", in The Journal of Social Psychology of Oct 2005, volume 145, issue 5, p571ff. by H. Michael Crowson, Stephen J. Thoma and Nita Hestevold. Their research is of course the usual rubbish that passes for science in psychology: No attempt at sampling, no awareness of what the questionnaires they use actually say, internally inconsistent indices treated as informative, negligible correlations reported as if they offered useful information etc. but it is still nice to see a challenge of sorts to the orthodoxy being put up. I would give a more detailed critique of what they did but I don't want to discourage them too much. They should probably read this and this and this, though.
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