Are you a right-wing authoritarian? Take the test today!
Last edited Sat Jul 6, 2013, 05:08 PM - Edit history (2)
Bob Altemeyer in his book The Authoritarians shares a 22 question test he uses to determines someone's approximate level on the Right-Wing Authoritarian scale. The scoring is a little complex, but it makes for the best way to take the test and then measure the score.
However, after trying to write it out here and make it understandable, I thought to do a search and see if someone has automated the process. They have! The link is here.
One very important instruction is about having different feelings about different parts of the same sentence. Altemeyer asks that you score each part separately and then add those numbers together to get your final answer for the statement.
This website doesn't give the score on the same scale as Altemeyer, though. It does it by percentages. My answer, for example, ranked me as 18% Authoritarian, which is rather low compared to the rest of the country. Although I'm sure I'll be one of the higher scores here at DU!
But I truly believe that almost everyone here at DU will hit around my score or lower. And that's why I offer the test - just to see where DU tends to rank. You don't have to share your exact score, or even at all. Altemeyer points out that people tend to overvalue scores like this. But I hope a few will, so we can find a general range. And I'd be surprised to find anyone here who hits above 20% at all.
(A note about the quiz site. I was able to get my score without signing up for anything. You can, too.)
ETA: Just a note for those who find the test simplistic, dumb, etc. Altemeyer addresses these kinds of questions in his book "The Authoritarians." Here's the link to the PDF:
But a couple of things: the statements had to be unambiguous to make the cut. If the statements were more subtle or ambiguous, then responses would be all over the map. And the statements are designed to test for authoritarianism, not conservatism. It's not so much the beliefs you hold that make you authoritarian, whether conservative or liberal. It's how far you think you can enforce your personal or societal beliefs on other people. You could, for example, believe that polygamy was a sin but if others wished to engage in it, it was none of your business. That's a conservative view, but not an authoritarian one.
Also, Altemeyer is using the term "right" in "right wing authoritarian" in a non-political sense. It's not conservative, right wing politics he's after, but the notion of being correct. From the PDF, "Im using the word right in one of its earliest meanings, for in
Old English riht(pronounced writ) as an adjective meant lawful, proper, correct, doing what the authorities said."
I expect most of my score came from not considering protesters, as a general rule, to be much more reliable than anyone else. I do not consider that to indicate authoritarian outlook, but rather awareness of the human creature. I have been at many protests in my time; a lot of the people I was alongside were idiots and ignorant.
Also, I am not entirely opposed to leaders in movements. There was at least one question where I thought, "Well, if we're talking about Gandhi or Martin Luther King, then, yes, it would be nice to have someone like that to lead a movement."
And there was one I thought needs to be changed. I'll look them over again later.
Does not mean they made a good job of it.
Which makes you a Low RWA as Altemeyer reckons it.
It has been very eye opening around here lately...(and not in a particularly good way)...
That said, this test's set of questions was pretty contrived, but in very broad strokes is probably good at differentiating the extremes.
"Please respond to the following series of extreme hyperbole. Forgive us; subtlety is not one of our gifts."
I really loved how each question was numbered twice.
"Beta"? No. Draft. Start over.
..." Women should have to promise to obey their husbands when they get married."
I strongly agreed and my wife socked me in the arm so hard I fell off my chair.
and similar hate groups?
There are many radical, immoral people in our country today, who are trying to ruin it for their own godless purposes, whom the authorities should put out of action.
To me, radical immoral people = Tea party, Fox News, Koch Brothers, KKK, etc.
They have incited more violence and hatred then any other group on the planet.
Whoever keyed-in the website has some spelling or keying problems!1 I will be posting my results in all the SNOWDEN/GREENWALD threads name-calling, "AUTHORITARIAN!1"
Your result for The Altemeyer Authoritarian Test ...
[font size=5]13% Authoritarian![/font]
You scored 13% Authoritarian.
[font size=5]A Low Score[/font]
You are skeptial(sic) of or dont trust the authorities.
On a jury you would take mitigating circumstances into account when determining a sentance(sic).
You are less aggressive.
You are less likley(sic) to join a military service.
You are less likley(sic) to care about fitting in with others.
You are less likley(sic) to belong to a fundamentalist religion.
Someone copied the questions into some form (hence the double numbering of the questions) and then threw out those inane conclusions. Altemeyer would never have made those kind of statements about low or high individual scores.
I did the test, then entered the characters (proving I'm a human) FIVE times, each time being told I had done it incorrectly.
Then I switched to audio and got what sounded like HAL9000 at the end of his life, with static mixed in. IOW, totally inaudible.
A test like this should take a little time, requiring some thought. These questions were way too obvious, I thought. Life is much more tricky than that.
Especially when you can break a statement into parts, score them separately, and then add for the final answer.
So extremely well designed, with carefully worded questions, no preconceived outcomes and absolute scientific precision!
FTR, I scored "well trimmed mustache", though I'll admit I cheated a bit.
The leader who would crush evil and take us back to our true path question could mean different things to different people. If it meant what I consider to be evil and what I believe is our true path, I could be somewhat in favor of that.
Same with the old fashioned way and values question. I have a different idea of what old fashioned ways and values should be. Like people being paid fairly for working hard.
I thought I would get a zero but it gave me 1%
Maybe I misclicked and hit a +/- 3 somewhere that I meant to hit a 4
I answered everything either -4 or +4 and it still gave me a 1% authoritarian. I also still scored higher than 15% of my peers. That makes no sense at all.
I think some of the 0%ers could agree with a bit more than they say. None of them believe we need any leader at all? Or that their job isn't at least to suggest the right path for our society to follow? But no matter. They still wouldn't be that high on the scale, and we can always overvalue individual results. I hope it has been fun for those who took the test.
But in the aggregate, my point has been made. There are no High-RWA types here at DU. This is a Low-RWA population. There are people higher on the scale than others. But of the people reporting scores, none of us got within spitting distance of 25%, not even me.
A Low Score
You are skeptial of or don't trust the authorities.
On a jury you would take mitigating circumstances into account when determining a sentance.
You are less aggressive.
You are less likley to join a military service.
You are less likley to care about "fitting in" with others.
You are less likley to belong to a fundamentalist religion.
You scored 1% Authoritarian.
A Low Score
You are skeptical of or don't trust the authorities. (true)
On a jury you would take mitigating circumstances into account when determining a sentence. (true)
You are less aggressive. (true)
You are less likely to join a military service. (not less likely, would never happen)
You are less likely to care about "fitting in" with others. (never did and still don't)
You are less likely to belong to a fundamentalist religion. (true that)
Mostly, I think, because I was neutral on a question about the "old ways." It didn't specify which "old ways" might be better. Native American ones? Off-the-grid ones? Old 4th-Amendment-intact ones? Etc.
Sometimes, a return to the old ways can be exactly what we need.
But who's specifying which "ways?"
All plus and minus four, the mark of a feral autistic spectrum human, raised by wolves.
I've never followed anyone who is not making sense, and I've been well taught what is fair and just.
Fuck everything else. It's an attitude that has got me into big trouble a few times...
Funny thing is, my parents were EXTREMELY hard ass about certain things and my kids, who have grown up to be excellent human beings, will tell you the exact same thing. Don't sass the teacher who has high expectations. Always be kind and nurturing to small children and animals. Love your neighbor. And yes, you must stay buckled in your car seat. No temper tantrums. And teens, if you are going to have sex, here's how to do it safely.
But even if you mess up, we're always here for you.
"Respecting Authority" has never been anywhere on that list. Avoiding unnecessary trouble with "authority," sure, that's generally a good idea, I tried to teach my kids that. But it's something my wolf-mom has never been good at. We once had to leave Franco's Spain in the middle of the night for France. I've also seen my mom fight with cops, school administrators, Catholic Bishops, and anyone else who has offended her sense of justice. I've learned by her bad example to avoid certain kinds of troubles, at least here in the modern U.S.A.
But things could change and we might have to walk away...
Rational first, blindly following "authority," NEVER.
I just left it. I don't want to give my e-mail address.
That was under the "save" option or the "introduce me to others like me" option. I gave age and sex, that was about it.
But the questions are so slanted I don't see how anyone could get higher than 0%
Oh well, im still happy with my 0% score
Altemeyer generally puts people at 75% and above in the High-RWA category (but again, individual results shouldn't be overvalued). But you certainly have scored higher on the scale than everyone else who have reported their scores.
Go fight City Hall then tell me about right-wing authoritarianism - left-wing authoritarianism can be equally vile. Test was biased and questions leading, but am relieved to learn my authoritarianism level is fairly low - although my children and spouse will undoubtedly disagree.