The authoritarian personality describes an individual who has a need for security and order. The authoritarian personality is characterized by adherence to a conventional set of values, rigidity, conformity, and unquestioning obedience. This construct is clearly a highly relevant issue in prejudice and cross-cultural studies. This entry introduces the concept of the authoritarian personality and its characteristic elements, provides an overview of the history and development of the construct, and outlines how the construct has been applied by reference to one of its core elements, intolerance of ambiguity.

Understanding the Authoritarian Personality

The authoritarian personality is a construct derived from a concatenation of personality traits that relate to a need for security and order. This construct describes an attitude or state of mind that is characterized ...

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