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The California F Scale is a personality measure of the traits associated with the authoritarian personality("implicit antidemocratic tendencies and fascist potential"). This scale is comprised of the following subscales:
- Conventionalism -- the tendency to accept and obey social conventions and the rules of authority figures; adherence to the traditional and accepted
- Authoritarian Submission -- submission to authorities and authority figures
- Authoritarian Aggression -- an aggressive attitude towards individuals or groups disliked by authorities; particularly those who threaten traditional values
- Anti-Intraception -- rejection of the subjective, imaginative and aesthetic
- Substitution and Stereotypy -- superstition, cliché, categorization and fatalistic determinism
- Power and Toughness -- identification with those in power, excessive emphasis on socially advocated ego qualities
- Destructiveness and Cynicism -- general hostility, putting others down
- Projectivity -- the tendency to believe in the existence of evil in the world and to project unconscious emotional impulses outward
- Sex -- exaggerated concerns with respect to sexual activity
The authors of the study expected a positive correlation between results on the F-scale and being marked by conservatism, ethnocentrism and anti-Semitism.
Robert Altemeyer found that three facets of this authoritarian personality were important: conventionalism, authoritarian aggression and authoritarian submission. He has refined the concept of the authoritarian personality into the Right-wing Authoritarian scale.
As Kohn points out, there have been three main lines of critisism of the F Sale.
- That the scale is susceptible to acquiescence response set
- That it is orientated towards measuring right wing ideology and extremism and
- That extreme right wing views or ethnic prejudices do not necessarily reflect externalization or ego-denses, but could reflect a lack of cognitive sophistication, or result from learned attitudes adopted from parents of reference groups.
References & Bibliography
- Hohn, P. (1972). The Autoritarianism-Rebellion Scale:A balanced F-Scale with Left-Wing reversals. Sociometry,35,1,176-189