Russo, S., Roccato, M., & Mosso, C.
Authoritarianism, societal threat, and preference for antidemocratic political systems
We addressed the interactive effects of authoritarianism and social threat in explaining the preference for antidemocratic political systems. Using a quasi-experimental design (N = 171), we manipulated exposure to social threat and tested its effect in combination with authoritarianism, operationalized as a three-dimension construct composed of authoritarianism, conservatism, and traditionalism. We found that social threat and authoritarianism lead people to endorse antidemocratic political systems. The same was true for conservatism, but only in condition of societal threat, while traditionalism was not associated with the dependent variable, either directly or in interaction with societal threat. The findings highlight the benefits of the distinction between subdimensions of authoritarianism, as well as the importance of individual-context interactions in explaining socially relevant outcomes such as support for democracy.
Testing, Psychometrics, Methodology in Applied Psychology, 2019, Vol. 26, pp. 419-429, DOI: 10.4473/TPM26.3.7