Right wing authoritarianism (RWA) describes a relatively stable dimension of individual differences in social attitudes and beliefs. At the low extreme of this dimension are beliefs and attitudes favoring individual freedom, personal autonomy, social diversity, social novelty, change, and innovation, while the high authoritarian extreme is characterized by beliefs and attitudes that favor maintaining traditional socially conservative values, lifestyles, morality, and religious beliefs; respect and obedience for established laws, norms, and social authorities; and strict, tough, punitive social control.

This dimension also has broader attitudinal implications. Persons low in RWA tend to be ideologically liberal and left wing, favoring the political Left and “progressive” social change; are more open and sympathetic to minorities, immigrants, and foreigners; and oppose nationalism, ethnocentrism, and militarism. Persons high in RWA ...

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