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A little later, Jackson, Messick, and Solley (1957) found that rigidity on Luchin’s test was correlated not only with the F scale but also with the Reverse-F scale. Their results supported Bass’ contention about acquiescence. They cautioned us once more regarding the flaws of questionnaire-based studies. Additionally, Brown (1953) found that the correlation between ethnocentrism or authoritarianism and rigidity was dependent upon the factor of ego-involvement. If the subject was in an anxious, competitive situation, as he was in Rokeach s experiment (using the Luchin test), a correlation between authoritarianism and rigidity would be significant, if a competitive situation did not exist, if the subject took the tests in a relaxed, informal setting, the correlation would not be significant.

While Brown’s study did not get much attention, it pointed to a very important distinction to be made between the authoritarian personality as a trait and as a state. If it is a trait, then authoritarian perspectives and practices should show up in virtually all situations. If authoritarian perspectives and practices are only manifest in specific situations (states) then they should be inconsistently displayed. Brown’s results suggest that state rather than trait might be of greatest importance when studying authoritarianism and related factors—at least when it comes to the impact of competition and stress on these perspectives and practices.


Rokeach also provides more precision regarding dogmatism as well as rigidity. Dogmatism is defined by Rokeach as a relatively closed cognitive organization of beliefs and disbeliefs about reality which are centered around a cluster of beliefs about absolute authority. This closed cognitive organization, in turn, provides a framework for specific patterns of intolerance and qualified tolerance toward other people.

Rokeach characterizes the closed cognitive belief-disbelief system as one in which logically contradictory beliefs co-exist. It is like George Orwell’s “double think”. There is minimal perception of similarities between belief and disbelief systems and minimal knowledge o:f disbelief systems. Rokeach proposes that in this system there is also minimal perception of similarities between adjacent disbelief systems. Rokeach points to the Liberal or nonbeliever’s inability to· discriminate between Neo-orthodoxy and Fundamentalism. Most importantly, the belief-disbelief system is quite narrow in scope. The world is perceived through a very confining set of lenses.

This system—identified as the “closed mind”– is to be found in both the case of liberal and conservative authoritarianism. According to Rokeach, it is about as difficult to alter leftist or so-called tolerant attitudes in the direction of the right or “intolerance” as it is to move rightist or “intolerant” attitudes in the direction of the left or “tolerance”. According to Rokeach, the only difference between the two processes is the person’s group stereotype. In the former case, Capitalists and Fascists, in the latter case, Negroes and Jews. Hence, Rokeach considered the Adorno studies inadequate and in response constructed his own scale for dogmatism which he believed to be disassociated from any particular ideological constructs.

Additionally, the concept of dogmatism is not limited to the political and economic sphere as is the authoritarian study. Rather, according to Rokeach, the phenomenon of dogmatism is applicable to many other spheres, e.g. philosophy and religion. We run into the problem at this point of differentiation between the prejudiced and nonprejudiced when we realize that liberalism is not necessarily tolerance. “Who is tolerant?”. Is tolerance nothing more than noncommittal apathy? These questions were commonly heard among those who read Rokeach’s work.

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