authoritarian personality

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authoritarian personality

a person who prefers or believes in a system in which some individuals control while others are controlled. This, therefore, involves dominance and submission, and may be regarded as the obverse of a democratic preference.

The term authoritarian personality was introduced by ADORNO et al. (1950). After studying ANTI-SEMITISM, Adorno extended his interest to the negative attitudes to ‘outgroups’ displayed by ‘ingroup’ members. He found that these negative attitudes were only part of a cluster of related attitudes which could be seen in political, religious and social behaviour, and also within the family setting. Thus, the whole PERSONALITY is authoritarian: authoritarianism is not only expressed under certain eliciting conditions, it is a way of behaving which is a persistent personality characteristic.

Various theories exist as to the conditions which encourage the formation of an authoritarian personality, these being closely associated with the formation of PREJUDICE. In particular, having experienced authoritarian treatment, or the frustration of self-expression, seem to be conditioning factors. See also FRUSTRATION-AGGRESSION HYPOTHESIS, ETHNOCENTRISM.

Collins Dictionary of Sociology, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2000
References in periodicals archive ?
It is a perpetual feature of human societies." In their estimate, one-third of individuals have an authoritarian personality. (Many will question the measure they use to determine this, related to a survey question about preferred child education.) They develop a model in which both "authoritarian personality" and "threats to social oneness" explain populism (of the right) and provide some empirical verification for this model in Trump's America, Marine LePen's France, and the United Kingdom's Brexit vote.
His book The Authoritarian Personality is still a basic text for the left.
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The open mind was also defined in contrast to the authoritarian personality, in its many pernicious forms, ranging from Soviet communists to domestic racists.
Even some spin doctors acknowledge the fact that Erdoy-an has an authoritarian personality and political mind.
Images of a punitive, wrathful God have significant associations with the types of authoritarian personality you find in maturing terrorists, such as a lack of love and empathy, low self-esteem, a strict moral stance, suspicion, paranoia, and an inability to love life over death.
Extremist thinking becomes exacerbated in people with strong authoritarian personality traits.
Ever since the publication of one of the most famous social science volumes in the 20th century, The Authoritarian Personality (TAP) (Adorno, Frenkel-Brunswik, Levinson, & Sanford, 1950), it appears that research on antisemitism and authoritarianism has run on totally separate tracks.
Employing Adorno's concept of the authoritarian personality with its dialectics of submission and rebellion, Barbey interprets the protagonist's anarchist leanings as an emotional act of rebellion by a confused and alienated social outsider.