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Authority Authority Document Transcript

  • -1Amanda Kitchen Week 6, Assignment 3 The F-scale is an extremely old and out dated test, that was once used to measure the dominance of an authoritarian personality. Although it consists of thirty questions, there are a few that seem to more directly address the desire to dominate. Number 1, which reads as, “Obedience and respect are the most important virtues children should learn.” People who believe in the authoritarian way of life, need to be in control of their surroundings. They would only raise their children to be totally submissive to their rules and ideas about politics, religion, money, and morals. This question when answered (agree strongly), would be a good predictor that a person is more conservative and or, authoritarian. The second question I would identify as a strong measure was number ten. It reads, “Nobody ever learned anything really important except through suffering.” In other words, only hard work and no play, make a successful life. “The true American way of life is disappearing so fast that force may be necessary to preserve it.” This is another extremely direct question. During this time, when war was on the forefront of everyone’s mind and the concept of the American home and family was changing rapidly, many people were simply scared. They wanted to hold on to traditional values and not confront what was coming for them. (Anesi, C. 1997) There were also questions on the F-scale that seemed weak links in truly identifying a authoritarian. Number nine states “No sane, normal, decent person could
  • ever think of hurting a close relative or friend.” I believe that even today, most people would hold this view, not necessarily a conservative, liberal, etc. This question to me would not directly correlate a relationship with a controlling personality. Another question, number twenty nine says, “The wild sex life of the Romans was tame compared to some of the going-ons of this country.” (Anesi, C. 1997)This question, based on the time when it was asked is irrelevant. If a person held this view point today I would definitely think they had a very authoritarian viewpoint. However, in the 1940’s and 50’s people were sexually conservative. They were not open, it was never discussed in the public. Even those who probably were more sexually amorous would simply be too embarrassed to admit it. As I stated, the test was created fifty years ago, it is hardly relevant today. We, as a country have experienced the sexual revolution, desegregation, an attack on our homeland, the aids epidemic and more. Our eyes have been opened up to the reality of change. The general consensus is no longer power by dominant control of the governing power. They have lost too much of our trust. Not only is the relevance questionable, the test has proved to be very inaccurate and incredibly lacking in validity. The F-scale mistakenly identifies people who tend to admire traditional authority with people who like to dominate others. There are many people admiring of traditional authority who would timidly cringe at the thought of having to exercise authority themselves. (Ray, J.J 1979) Since this time other tests have been created to be a more accurate tool for measuring this personality type as well as many others. Ray, J.J. 1979. DOES AUTHORITARIANISM OF PERSONALITY GO WITH
  • CONSERVATISM? Australian Journal of Psychology. Volume 32. Number 1, pg 19-32. Anesi, C 10097. The F-Scale. The Authoritarian Personality. Anesi.com