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However, the evaluation of the answers to such indirect questions is very difficult. One can never be sure that the indirect question would really elicit a response similar to that elicited by an ac­ curate expression of opinion on the direct question. Additionally, there is no way in which one can correlate the responses to the direct and indirect question, for in doing so we run into the same initial problem, i.e. how accurate is the direct response? Hence, an unresolvable dilemma.

The California group’s control of variables, or, more accurately, their recognition of variables was open to much criticism—particularly by Bass, and by Sullivan, and Adelson. Bass postulated that the California study failed to recognize the phenomenon of “acquiescence” in their authoritarian subjects. Sullivan and Adelson suggested that “misanthropy” must be taken into consideration as an influential factor on the responses elicited.


in a study conducted in the early 1950’s, Bass (1954, p. 616), hypothesized that: “performance on the F scale has less to do with the content validity of the items than with the response set to acquiesce to any generalizations about social issues – authoritarian or egalitarian. ”

Bass set about proving this hypothesis by creating a G scale which was composed of’ statements opposite to those given in the F scale. The degree to which each of the statements was in opposition to its mate was determined, and those mates which were found to be not the antithesis of each other were thrown out. Response set to acquiescence was measured by obtaining each individual’s tendency to support both F and G scale statements.

An analysis of variance disclosed that, if the individual’s fluctuations from one scale to another are ignored, then, the individuals tend to differ significantly from each other in the tendency to acquiesce. Additionally, it appeared that response set to acquiesce increased as items became more ambivalent, and that. after a factor analysis was run on the data, approximately three–fourths of the reliable variance of the F scale was associated with an acquiescence factor while only one-fourth was attributable to a content factor of authoritarianism. These results tended to substantiate those found by T. S. Cohn several years before. (Cohn found a correlation of .41 between F scale scores and the tendency to respond “yes” to MMPI items.)


Sullivan and Adelson (1954) presented “misanthropy” as a variable which hadn’t been considered by Adorno and associates. Misanthropy, defined as a generalized hatred of mankind, is believed by these authors to be the factor, rather than a particularized ethnic prejudice, which is measured on the California E scale. They attempted to verify these beliefs by rewriting 29 items on the existing E scale so that the terms “people, “most people” or “human{s)” were substituted for the specific minorities originally designated. The scale thus constructed (termed M) was found to be correlated .43 with a 20 item version of the E scale.

From these results the authors concluded that a “middle position” should be taken. On the one hand, misanthropy. is associated with ethnic attitudes, as is witnessed by the correlation obtained. On the other hand, the correlation is certainly not large enough to demonstrate that· prejudice is isomorphic with an underlying misanthropy or that designation of particular minorities as objects of hate is adventitious, i.e. free from social pressure.

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