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The Authoritarian Personality is an influential 1950 book by Theodor W. Adorno and and several other researchers working at UC Berkeley during WWII and the period shortly thereafter. Adorno and his collaborators postulated the existance of an "Authoritarian Personality" that was receptive to Authoritarianism. The researchers created an psychometric instrument for measuring (the F-scale) and developed a Freudian theory of the development of this personality type.

The Authoritarian Personality inspired sociology and political science research during the later 1950s and early 1960s, on the role of psychology/anxiety in political expression.

The book has been criticized for its methodological flaws (e.g. issues of sample size and sample bias, poor psychometric technique)[How to reference and link to summary or text]. Nonetheless, the book has been cited considerably within the sciences of sociology and political science.[How to reference and link to summary or text]

See alsoEdit


  • Martin, John Levi (2005). The Authoritarian Personality, 50 Years Later: What Questions Are There for Political Psychology?. Political Psychology 22 (1): 1-26.
  • McClosky, Herbert; Chong, Dennis (1985). Similarities and Differences between Left-Wing and Right-Wing Radicals. British Journal of Political Science 15 (3): 329-363.

Further readingEdit

  • Adorno, Theodor W. (1950). The Authoritarian personality, New York: Harper.
  • Shils, Edward (1954). "Authoritarianism: "Right" and "Left"" Christie, Richard & Jahoda, Marie (eds.) Studies in the scope and method of "The Authoritarian personality", Glencoe, Ill.: Free Press.
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